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Heavy Rain Expected This Weekend and Snow Possible Sunday Night/Monday Morning

A complicated system this weekend is expected to bring heavy rain to most of the Carolinas, and a few parting snow showers will also be possible Sunday night and Monday morning.

Moisture will begin spreading northward towards western NC on Saturday morning, and light showers are expected across the Carolinas. Right now, the rain on Saturday is expected to be light and spotty. A few mountain locations may start as snow before changing to a cold rain.

There is model disagreement with the system on Sunday. The GFS has the strongest system, and the EURO has a weaker system. The NAM is in the middle of the GFS and EURO. The GFS has support from its ensemble members, so I am leaning towards the GFS model.

Rain is expected to overspread early Sunday morning across the Carolinas. The rain may be heavy at times as the low pressure strengthens. Thunderstorms will also be possible, especially east of I-77.

The images above are from the GFS computer model, which has the strongest low pressure. The GFS has been consistent run to run, so that is why this forecast is based heavily on the GFS model. The EURO is weaker overall, but it agrees with the GFS in bringing rain to the Carolinas on Sunday.

The GFS brings 1 inch of rain to most of the Carolinas. I wouldn’t be shocked if a few areas across western NC receives around 1.5 to 2 inches of rain from this system. The image below is the GFS computer model 72 hour precipitation totals.

GFS Computer Model 72 Hour Total Precipitation

 

The GFS also brings one more wrinkle into the forecast. As the energy transfers to the coast, the GFS develops a deformation zone precipitation shield across the western and central NC. If this was to occur, snow showers would be possible across the mountains, foothills, and western piedmont.

The GFS is the only computer model showing this solution at this scale at the moment, so this should be taken with a grain of salt.  The limiting factors will be above freezing ground temperatures, and it is too early to determine if there would be any accumulations.

We should begin to gain clarity on this situation on Saturday. I will continue to monitor this situation and will keep you updated.