Will the Triangle see snow this week? NWS updates us on the latest chances.
If you were hoping for snow or other winter weather in the Triangle this week, it’s probably time to give it up.
While the Triangle will see rain throughout most of the week, “the chances of non-liquid, wintry precipitation look like they have gone down,” National Weather Service Raleigh lead meteorologist Gail Hartfield told The News & Observer Monday morning.
Still, some weather apps may be showing a chance of wintry precipitation this weekend, particularly on Sunday. Will that pan out? What can the Triangle expect to see?
Here’s what to know about the updated forecast.
Chances of wintry precipitation down on Thursday, Friday
When snowflakes started appearing in long-range forecasts on phone weather apps last week, it looked like the Triangle might see wintry precipitation on Thursday or Friday of this week.
The system driving that precipitation will still have impacts on the Triangle this week, but the area won’t have a steady source of cold air — a key “ingredient” for snow and other wintry precipitation — to cause it to freeze, Hartfield said.
Hartfield previously told The N&O there are three key ingredients for snow or other wintry precipitation:
▪ Cold air
▪ Moisture: “If there’s no moisture, then obviously nothing’s going to happen,” Hartfield said last week.
▪ “Lift,” or “something to lift up the moisture and make it rain out or precipitate out.”
“The main system that we were concerned about is going to be a Thursday-Friday system,” Hartfield said. “So, that one’s going to come through, and it looks like, yeah, we don’t have the cold air, but we are we do have the moisture and the lift, so we are going to get some rain Thursday into Friday.”
Hazardous weather outlook issued for Thursday
The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for Thursday due to possible heavy rainfall, “which may result in localized urban and poor drainage flooding.”
Hartfield said the Triangle could see one to two inches of rain on throughout the day and into the night on Thursday.
That could pose a risk for some spots in the Piedmont, particularly to the west, where soils are already wet and where more rain is expected throughout the week.
“We’re concerned that there could be some pretty rapid runoff, that this rain isn’t necessarily all going to soak in, and a lot of it’s going to run off,” Hartfield said. “There’s some concern about streets flooding, urban flooding, especially, you know, anything that’s paved over, the water’s just going to run right off into the low spot.”
Light freezing precipitation possible Sunday
After Thursday’s rain, Hartfield said, the NWS is looking at the possibility “of some very light freezing drizzle, perhaps on Sunday.”
“We’ve got some very frigid air coming in Saturday, and that’s going to kind of sit in place through the weekend, essentially,” Hartfield said.
The NWS forecast for Raleigh on Monday morning showed a high temperature near 39 degrees on Saturday, and a low around 27 degrees.
There won’t be a lot of moisture or lift at that time, though, likely making the weather event — if it happens at all — no more than “a very light drizzle” with no anticipated impacts.
And, Hartfield said, the Triad area, west of the Triangle and including Greensboro and Winston-Salem, is more likely to see that “very light event” than the Triangle. In the Triangle, Hartfield said, the chances to see freezing drizzle are very low.
“It’s a very low chance,” Hartfield said. “We are not concerned right now about it, but things can change.”
Keep up with the NWS forecast
While it’s easy to just follow the forecast on your phone, Hartfield told The N&O last week that she recommends seeking out more nuanced forecasts, like those from the National Weather Service.
“It’s very tempting to just look at your phone, but if you want more nuanced forecasts or more details, definitely check with the National Weather Service or your favorite TV meteorologists, somebody like that, who’s got a source of good information,” Hartfield said.
NWS Raleigh’s forecasts are available online at weather.gov/rah.