Snow forecast: Areas west of Raleigh-Durham airport could see 6 inches or more



If you have any plans for the next 24 hours, don’t worry about canceling them because that wintry weather we’ve all been anticipating won’t roll in until Saturday evening.

It’s now looking like snow will develop Saturday evening and overnight and spread north.

But don’t get too excited — it will be mostly rain south and east of Raleigh, and the rain could be heavy, maybe more than 2 inches.

But areas near the Virginia border and west of RDU could get quite a bit of snow, and amounts could be impressive for December.

Areas along and north of I-85 could see 4 to 8 inches of snow by Monday morning.

There is now a Winter Storm Watch in effect until 7 p.m. Monday for Alamance, Chatham, Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Granville, Guilford, Orange, Person, Randolph, and Stanly counties.

Governor Roy Cooper will be speaking about the upcoming weather event at 10:30 Friday morning. You can watch it live here.

The RDU area will be the battleground, where the all snow, mix, rain lines will set up, so forecasting amounts will be a nightmare and nearly impossible at this time, Hohmann said.

“It’s quite possible northwest parts of the Triangle (Hillsborough, etc) see heavy snow through much of Sunday, while eastern and southern Wake sees a transition to mostly rain,” Hohmann said. “Forecasting this line is very difficult, even 12-14 hours out. It’s possible the Triangle turns to all rain later Sunday, or even stays all snow. It seems at least parts of the region will turn to rain, considering climatology and the earliness of the season.”

Precipitation should transition back to a mix or snow on Monday, but additional amounts look light.

On Wednesday, businesses started preparing for a rush on supplies.

Lowe’s in Cary has items such as shovels, ice melt, salt, and scrapers.

Ben Forsythe, the Lowe’s assistant store manager, said he expects a bigger rush of customers to start coming on Saturday morning.

“When you’re using ice melt, you only want to use it when there’s ice,” Forsythe said. “You don’t want to use it when there’s snow because it can pit your concrete and it can just cause some damage.”

Ron Tarter, of Cary, came to the store to buy ice melt.

“I just know if I throw this on my driveway, my driveway will not freeze,” Tarter said. “That’s the most important thing when the snow comes.”

Forsythe also reminded residents that frozen pipes are a concern in this kind of weather.

“If your pipes freeze, you could have issues with that and potential repairs you didn’t account for,” the Lowe’s manager said. “We have plenty of pipe insulation, things like that.”

It’s not all serious business

“Snow is fun – it’s pretty,” Tarter said. “I’ve got a nice 4×4, and it’s fun to drive that in it, so kind of look forward to it.

Ahead of the potential storm, NCDOT crews started to prep brine for the central parts of the state.

Officials said they hope to have 10,000 gallons stored by the end of the day Wednesday.

The NCDOT isn’t concerned about wet weather ruining brining efforts.

“You have to have a certain amount of moisture to activate the brine,” said Jason Dunigan, a Wake County maintenance engineer for the NCDOT. “Brine is going to dry on the pavement after we sprayed, it’s got to get wet before it activates so I’m not really worried about that.”

In Wake County, crews will spray about 120,000 gallons of brine during the next few days.

Ashley Pilkington with Durham County NCDOT said crews will be treating I-40, I-85, and NC 147 throughout the day.

Whatever happens this weekend, officials said you should start to prepare for this winter season.

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2018-12-07 10:30:00

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