Winter Storm Warnings stretch over 700 miles across central Alabama, central Georgia, upstate South Carolina, North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, eastern Virginia, southern Maryland and southern Delaware.
Are slated in purple are under the Winter Storm Warning and will experience the highest accumulation of snowfall. The areas in purple are under a Winter Storm Watch, where winter weather conditions are possible. Communities marked in "purple" along the southern and eastern edge of the warnings (ie places like Columbus, Georgia; Columbia, South Carolina; Fayetteville, North Carolina, etc.) will flirt with the 32 degree freezing mark. Therefore a period of freezing rain and sleet may proceed the changeover to snow. This scenario could lead to pre-snow icing potentials.
Below are some of the latest probabilistic snowfall total outputs from US National Weather Service Greenville-Spartanburg SC, US National Weather Service Raleigh NC and US National Weather Service Wakefield VA.
These offices are currently partaking in an experimental forecast tool: Forecasters are issuing graphics not only for the "most likely" snowfall to occur but also for the "high" and low" outliers. If you remember from our special snow podcast on Wednesday, there are a lot of atmospheric factors that could send the forecast one way or the other.
Statistically, places like Charlotte, North Carolina could see 6-8 inches of snow. A little further south in Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina, forecasted amounts are between 4 and 6 inches.
If the conditions are just right, the "worst case scenario" forecast could bring as much as ten inches of snow to Charlotte and Spartanburg. Higher elevations of the western North Carolina foothills, such as Hickory or Morganton, could see nearly a foot of snow in this scenario.
In eastern North Carolina, the worst of the snow is expected north and east of Raleigh. Places like Fayetteville and Fort Bragg will be so close to that "warm air" divide that they may se more rain, sleet and freezing rain than they do actual snow.
However if the "worst case scenario" forecast, that "warm air divide" moves further south. As more cold air is allowed to push South, areas near Raleigh / Durham climb to a foot of snow - - while areas near Fayetteville see significant snowfall totals of 6 inches or more.
In the most likely scenario, the northeastern corner of North Carolina - and the southeastern corner of Virginia near Norfolk and Virginia Beach, will see a significant amount of snowfall. Forecast totals are near 9 inches. This is because the storm is expected to intensify by the time it gets this far east. These areas will have plenty of cold air and can expect to see a steady snowfall overnight and into Saturday.
While not statistically likely, the "worst case scenario" forecast brings more of a foot of snow to places like Newport News, Virginia and Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
We are already seeing the cold air setting up along the Mid-Atlantic. Cold, moderate-to-strong Northerlies winds are blowing in the mid-to-upper 20 mph range with temperatures in the mid-30 degree range over the Chesapeake Bay. We are expecting those winds to increase to moderate gale force or possible fresh gales tomorrow as the storm races up the Southeast coast.
Stay tuned to your local National Weather Service Office for the latest official details in your area...
Click here for the National Weather Service link and either click your spot on the map...or use the drop down menu to find your regional office. And know where to find your county on a map!