Wintry weather will be possible this weekend from the mountains into the piedmont of North and South Carolina.
While there is still high uncertainty regarding the system, confidence is slowly increasing that parts of the Carolinas may experience wintry weather this weekend. The system in question remains over the central Pacific Ocean, so it will be a while before confidence increases enough for accumulations maps.
Overall, the GFS and EURO computer models are in relatively good agreement for six days out. Both models bring a system into the west coast late in the week and move it eastward into the Gulf of Mexico. At the same time, high pressure is expected to be building in from the north, allowing for cool air at the surface to move in. Therefore, wintry weather would be possible in this set up.
Notice the split flow in the computer model. The upper level disturbance on the GFS computer model is diving into southern California. It is then expected to move into Texas and an area of low pressure may develop in the Gulf of Mexico.
The EURO computer model is in general agreement with the GFS model. Notice the upper level energy and the surface low developing Saturday morning.
While it is way too early to determine who would see snow, sleet, freezing rain, or a cold rain, the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center shows the chance is the greatest across the mountains. Mountain locations currently have a 50-50 chance of receiving over a quarter of an inch of frozen precipitation (snow, sleet or freezing rain). The next highest location is along and north of I-85, with a 30-50% chance of receiving over a quarter of an inch of frozen precipitation.
This system will need to be watched very closely as it could cause major impacts this weekend across the Carolinas, stretching from the mountains to the coastal plains. The system is expected to have plenty of moisture with it, regardless of precipitation type.
Timing of the system is also subject to change being six days out; however, it appears the system in question would affect the Carolinas between Saturday and Sunday.
I will continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated with the latest trends and changes in the forecast.