Updated forecast: A winter mess looms later this week

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It's cold!

First things first: Cold again Tuesday night! Lows will be between 13 and 18 degrees.

There's a chance for a brief snow shower tomorrow late in the day or early in the evening. There shouldn't be much accumulation, but since the ground temperatures are so cold, a burst of heavier snow, even brief, could cause a few slick spots, at least for a bit, mainly from Raleigh to the north.

Now, on to late week. A storm system will move into Tennessee by Friday, then redevelop off our coast by Saturday, and then ride up the east coast by Sunday. It looks like one of our classic winter messes here, with all types of precipitation on the table.

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Right now, and remember -- we are still 3-4 days out -- it looks like a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain will develop Thursday night, then slowly transition to rain from the SE (Clinton) to NW (Roxboro) during the day Friday.

Still, there could be tricky travel Friday morning. Then, as the storm moves up the east coast Friday night and Saturday, the rain changes back to snow (no mix anymore) from NW to SE, and then ends by Saturday evening.

It's too soon to talk snow accumulations by Saturday, but the chance for at least a few inches is highest NW of the RDU area.
Remember, a LOT can change, so just stick with us, and we'll fine tune the details as we get closer.

If you follow some other weather sources, you'll see some wild snow totals. Take them with a grain of salt. I just wanted to let you know there's an increasing chance of winter weather for late week and early in the weekend.

Stay warm!

Also Tuesday, the NC Department of Transportation announced that in anticipation of possible wintry weather going through the Triangle area on Wednesday afternoon, crews began brining operations this afternoon on interstate and major highways and their ramps, as well as bridges.

Crews do not brine during rush hours, so they will resume the brining process after morning rush hour on Wednesday.

Earlier Tuesday, meteorologist Don "Big Weather" Schwenneker had details on the different model predictions and why other weather sources should be taken with that grain of salt.

Here's what he had to say:

The track of this storm will determine how much/what type of wintery precipitation we'll see.

Track One. This track of the low wraps more cold air into the system.

This would give us higher snowfall totals. The European model shows big snowfall amounts with this solution.

But, this is only one model, 5 days out, and very specific.

There's a lot of room for this model to change by Saturday. Though the model has done well this winter, I don't buy this solution right now. Just too far out.

Track Two. This track keeps it all rain. It puts our area on the warmer side of the low, and gives us heavier rain Friday and keeps the snow up north.

Bad news for winter weather lovers. The GFS model (which hasn't been great this year) actually keeps the snowfall down with this solution.

Notice it puts 1" or less across the northern counties, and nothing in the Southern counties.

Track Three. The middle.

This far out, this is the solution I'm going with for now. It's a blending of all the information I have.

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