As temps plummet, snow looks probable Friday night

— Forecast models predicting snow around the Triangle differ in their predictions, but one thing’s for sure: Wednesday’s warmth won’t last long.

Most local communities experienced temperatures in the mid-50s to mid-60s during the day Wednesday.

But WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson said not to get used to the unseasonably-high temperatures.

“It’s the last time you’re going to see 60’s on the map for a while,” he said. “Great day to get outside before some freezing temperatures.”

The watch is on for a big cool down over the weekend that could bring snow.

“High pressure is building in from the plain states, and that high pressure is moving down bringing much colder air from Canada, setting the stage for our wintering weather mix that is starting late Friday and into Friday night,” said WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze. “Overnight Wednesday we should see mostly cloudy skies with around 30 overnight and 32 for the morning commute.”

At least one forecast model shows the chance of snow on Friday night into Saturday morning is greatest to the south and east of Raleigh, Moss said. Not all models show the same thing, though.

“That’s one camp of models,” Moss said. “Not all of them are looking that way. In this particular case, (the snow) would tend to end as we went into later in the day.”

In an ensemble of computer model runs, 56 percent of the models showed Raleigh getting 1 to 6 inches of snow. The ensemble took into account 51 different runs, all given slightly different starting weather conditions, Moss said.

“What we could see fall would be either all snow or a wintering mix, but I think it will be all snow,” WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

Another 20 percent of the runs gave Raleigh less than 1 inch of snow, while 24 percent of models predicted more than 6 inches of snow.

Low temperatures over the weekend will drop into the teens while the high will be right around freezing.

Leslie Logan Brown, owner of Logan’s One Stop Flower Shop said it is that time of year when plants need to be covered.

“Plants that are tender or recently planted in the ground will need extra protection because they haven’t had a chance to get established yet,” she said.

Brown recommends using a light-weight bed sheet to cover outdoor plants.

“You don’t want to use anything heavy. You want to use something light and breathable so they can still get air circulating under there,” Brown said.

The region has already seen plenty of rain since New Year’s Day, as the second storm front in as many days moved through central North Carolina Tuesday.

Per Steve Abbott with DOT on why they are starting today-

“wrWe won’t get a lot done today (just a couple hours) as we stop before rush hour, then go quite a bit on Thursday. Then crews likely will stay home most of Friday to rest, and then come in just ahead of the weather since they will likely be working Friday night and all through Saturday.

Gov. Roy Cooper and other Council of State members are scheduled to be inaugurated in downtown Raleigh on Saturday morning, and Cooper said Tuesday he’s not worried about the forecast.

“I certainly hope we’re not conduct inauguration ceremonies from Emergency Management,” he said with a laugh.

A special thank you to our friends at WRAL for helping out with this post.

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