Wintry Weather Possibilities for the Carolinas


There is a preliminary round on Tuesday of snow, sleet, and freezing rain that will follow a cold front, and will affect from Arkansas into western Virginia. This is not expected to be a major event, as it will be a changeover to wintry precip from rain. We are not expected to get anything here in the Carolinas in the form of snow or ice. So there is no need to panic about Tuesday into Wednesday. Now for the Smokies and Tennessee into the Virginia mountains, there cold be some light accumulating snow. How much exactly is not known, but we are not expecting anything extreme.

The latest GFS shows the event totals from Tuesday into Wednesday:

Model images courtesy of

Now comes the million dollar question: Is the wintry threat still on for Thursday this week? The GFS would like to argue no. It has a widespread heavy rain event across the Southeast and suggest that the cold air across western NC will erode away and thus no ice or snow. The Canadian model disagrees, and has ice for western North Carolina. Check out the below model image:

The timing would be Thursday night and into early Friday morning, as this model is suggesting a cold-air damming event, and thus freezing rain/drizzle for western North Carolina, perhaps along the I-85 corridor. Since the Canadian and the GFS are not in agreement, we can not say for sure yet if this event will be all rain, or an icing event. The only thing we do know is to pay attention this week to see how the potential event unfolds.

We will keep you up to date on this at CWA.

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Author: Michael Griffith

I have had a passion for the weather since a very young age and am a degreed meteorologist. I have a Bachelor of Science from Penn State University and a Master's from Plymouth State University. If you ever see me out and about in the Charlotte, NC area, be sure to say hi!