We're in for a significant winter weather event. That it will snow is certain; how much is still not certain, but our prediction of 8 - 12 inches of frozen precipitation is looking more and more likely to be accurate.
As we had reported early Wednesday morning, the snow will begin very late Saturday night and will continue through much of the day on Sunday. Sunday afternoon, as temperatures aloft warm (ground level temps will barely make it to freezing), we'll get some sleet and freezing rain. Our reading of the weather maps coincides very closely with that of The Weather Channel, so here's the latest (Friday morning) update on the forecast:
Saturday: cloudy with a high of 43°. Snow likely beginning around midnight (12:00 AM Sunday). The overnight low will be in the low to mid 20s. 1 - 3 inches of snow will fall by 8 AM.
Sunday: snow until midday, mixing with sleet and possible freezing rain in the afternoon. High not likely making freezing; we're prediciting 29°. 5 - 8 inches of additional snow with some sleet mixed in. It may become windy--winds out of the NE, around 20 mph, higher in gusts.
Sunday night: snow early, ending for the most part by 8 PM. An additional inch of snow may fall. Total snow/sleet accumulation from the storm will be 8 -12 inches--more in northwestern Lincoln County, Catawba County, and upper Cleveland County.
Localized accumulation expected: Lincolnton 8-10 inches; Maiden 10-12 inches; Hickory 12-14 inches; Vale 12 inches; Gastonia 4-5 inches.
The overnight low Sunday night will be in the mid-20s; MLK Day will warm to the uppper 30s.