Nature’s latest move in what feels like a giant, atmospheric shoving match has forecasters downplaying chances for snowfall – never mind accumulation – this weekend.
The National Weather Service on Friday was predicting a slight chance of a rain-snow mix Saturday night and a 50 percent chance of snow early Sunday. But, snowfall will most likely be less than an inch all across the Triangle, and warm ground will cut down on the chance that any of the white stuff will stick.
The two factors “will all greatly limit snow accumulation,” forecasters said.
Although the snowfall may not be more than a dusting, the state Department of Transportation planned to head out Friday afternoon to brine bridges, flyovers and other vulnerable roads, said spokesman Steve Abbott.
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“The tentative plan for Saturday is to have crews come in that evening to handle whatever issues come up,” Abbott said in an email.
The change in the forecast comes because computer models show dry, arctic air from Canada will shove warmer, wetter air farther south than had been expected, weather service forecasters said Friday.
The chilly front edge of that cold air began its sweep over the Triangle on Friday afternoon, and winds with it are expected to gust up to 30 mph. That and dry conditions on the ground raise the danger of fires.
However, conditions change continuously, and the forecast now is talking about likely rain on Monday and a wintry mix of precipitation late Monday and into the early hours of Tuesday.
Going farther out than the weather service does, a Weather Channel forecast posted Friday calls for accumulation of 1 to 3 inches from snow showers on Wednesday morning.
ABC11 meteorologist Don Schwenneker said Friday morning that any accumulation of snowflakes falling early Sunday just is not likely.
“By 11 o’clock, they’re done. I don’t think it’s going to be much,” Schwenneker said.