A Winter Storm Watch is in effect until Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. for most of our viewing area.
iNWS Alert - New event. Winter Storm Watch from 1/22/2016 12:00 AM to 1/23/2016 6:00 PM EST for Chatham... https://t.co/i5pNZMPBPV— Liz Horton (@LizHortonABC11) January 20, 2016
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Refining the forecast, and putting together snow totals is proving to be a difficult task though. The reason is that the models haven't quite decided on the exact track of the storm. A track to the north would leave us with a lot more rain. A track farther south would mean more snow. Here's what we know now.
We know we're going to see some winter precipitation on Friday and Saturday. Precipitation will fall as rain as temperatures rise, but we will likely see a transition into sleet, freezing rain, snow or a combination of the three as temperatures fall Friday night into Saturday. We know roads will likely be impacted, and power outages could be possible as the winter precipitation falls on trees and branches.
Now, let's look at some of the things that are a bit harder to nail down. We'll begin with snowfall from the various models. THESE ARE NOT OUR OFFICIAL FORECAST TOTALS AT THE MOMENT. I can't stress that enough. These models are just the models the First Alert Weather Team uses to guide our forecasts.
Let's start with our worst case scenario... our snowmageddon. This model is known as the European model. It shows more than 6" of snow in the Triangle, and more than 12" for our northern counties.
The reason for this is a more southerly track and more cold air wrapping in. We might as well start using the hashtag #SNOMG now. Next, the GFS.
The GFS, or Global Forecast System, has changed some over the last 24 hours.
It now showing slightly more snow, and it has changed the track of the storm a little farther south. This brings around 3" of snow to the Triangle, and more than 6" to our northern counties. Now let's move on to our in house model, which is showing the least amount of snow.
Although there is less snow, this model is showing quite a bit of ice. Now remember, these are just ice accumulation estimates. Many areas could get slightly more or less. But either way you slice it, these totals could be dangerous for travel on the roads and dicey for power lines.
Now it's also important to note that if the storm shifts north, we could end up with mostly rain. And some models indicate we could see at least 2 inches of rain. That could bring back some flooding concerns, especially along the Neuse River.
Remember new model runs will continue to come in every few hours. We will continue to update your forecast on TV and online. FOr now, I'd say make sure you have some water, bread, and maybe some peanut butter in your house, in case you need to eat and the power goes out.