Most computer models - and human experts surveyed by the Carolina Weather Group - agree that most of North Carolina will see at least an inch of snow. Higher amounts, upwards of 4-6 inches, could be seen in the western, higher elevations along with the northeastern half of the state. (Yes, we realize that's a lower elevation, but Raleigh and points north and east could be in a separate bullseye.)
The best chance of seeing measurable snowfall accumulation in South Carolina stretches across the upstate and northern midlands.
Warm air could bring more rain than snow to coastal communities in both states. Too much warm air too fair inland, and we have to start redrawing some snowfall maps.
A slight change in the direction, the surface temperature or the amount of available moisture could greatly affect the amount of snow that accumulates this weekend in North Carolina and South Carolina, according to forecast experts assembled Wednesday by the Carolina Weather Group.
Let's be honest: It's still too early to give you precise snowfall accumulation totals. We think Spectrum News' Gary Stephens in Raleigh said it best during Wednesday's show when he said, "It's goin' snow!" It's definitely going to snow for many people.
As of Wednesday night, computer model runs still did not agree how much snow the Carolinas could see.
Television broadcast meteorologist Brad Panovich in Charlotte, Jim Gandy in Columbia, Dave Williams in Charleston, Jason Boyer in Asheville, Tim Buckley in Greensboro - along with Gary Stephenson in Raleigh - are experts in their field. They joined us Wednesday night to explain their forecasts.
Like the computer models, not every human forecasters agrees with the specifics either. The overall group conclusion was most of North Carolina would see snow. A large part of South Carolina could be questionable.
This maNy days out, the Carolina Weather Group feels a reasonable thing to do (to educate and inform) is to share "probability forecasts." These forecasts provide the percentage certain events (ie one inch total, two inch total, three inch total, etc etc.) could happen. This image from the National Weather Service shows a large portion of North Carolina has a 50/50 shot of seeing at least two inches of snow.
Further pinpoint forecasts will come... but first we need more data on the positioning of the Low (how far north? how far south?) and temperatures (is it freezing in the higher altitudes AND the lower altitudes?). Answers to those questions will help us determine where snow falls... versus where rain falls. If you want expert analysis from our panel of meteorologist - including their first take on pinpoint accumulation forecasts, then check out our special show on YouTube, iTunes or Google Play.
Once the storm forms in the next few days and begins to push into the Southwest, a clearer forecast will come together. Until then: Please prepare. It never hurts to be prepared. And regardless of snow totals, we're all in for a cold weekend. See your local forecast here.