A winter storm that hasn't yet begun affecting the weather significantly in the far western states is headed our way, and it will likely arrive later in the day this Saturday. The latest updates from various sources indicates that we will almost certainly have some snow. How much? In Lincoln County, it appears that 1-3 inches will fall late Saturday, Saturday night, and early Sunday...but our sources are much more inclined than the Charlotte tv stations to believe this may become a major event.
By Sunday afernoon, some of the snow will have changed to sleet and freezing rain for locations from Lincoln County southward. Hickory and Newton may get more snow, but Lincoln County now appears likely to get a lot more than the tv forecasts are currently indicating.
A cold front will push temps down as the wet weather arrives. The high Saturday will make it to the low 40s, but temps will fall quickly after the 5:35 PM sunset. The overnight low will be in the low 20s (early Sunday morning). Snow will increase as the night progresses and as much as three inches will likely fall in Lincolnton by Sunday morning.
We won't get very warm on Sunday. Surface temps will barely make it to freezing--perhaps remaining in the upper 20s, but some warmer air aloft will change the precipitation, especially south of us, to a mixture. Even so, we're now expecting (based on our reading of the weather maps from multiple sources) that this system may produce as much as 8 inches, possibly even more, before the day is over.
There may also be still more snow Sunday night--possibly another 1-2 inches, so you can see why we're calling it a 'major event.' The overnight low into Martin Luther King Day will be in the mid-20s.
We'll update our forecast as the merging weather systems approach, but right now (Wednesday morning) we are much more inclined than the Charlotte tv stations to believe that a winter storm is on its way.
FORECAST: WINTER STORM
Saturday (Jan. 15th): A 20 percent chance of rain after 3 pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42.
Saturday night: A chance of rain and snow showers before 9 pm, then snow overrnight. Low around 24. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Sunday (January 16th): Snow showers and sleet before 3 pm, then snow showers, freezing rain, and sleet between 3-5 pm, then snow showers and freezing rain likely after 5 pm. The snow and sleet will likely be heavy at times. High only near freezing. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Expected accumulation of snow and sleet: 8 - 12 inches.
Sunday night: Snow showers likely, mainly before 8 pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Additional accumulation of an inch or more is possible; up to three inches more in northwestern Lincoln County and Catawba County.
Martin Luther King Day: Sunny, with a high near 42.