First Alert Weather :Winter Weather Warning - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

First Alert Weather: Winter Weather Event - what you need to know

A WINTER STORM WARNING is now in effect for all of southeast North Carolina valid beginning at noon Tuesday

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Monday will be a preparation day in advance of what could be the worst winter storm to hit the Carolinas in years.  Expect a mix of sun and clouds and mild temperatures.  The winter storm could begin to impact the area as early as Tuesday afternoon. 

MONDAY: Temperatures will be mild in advance of the front. Look for highs in the 60s with clods thickening into the late afternoon. As the front passes overnight temperatures will fall quickly.

TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY: Computer models are coming into agreement, increasing confidence of an unusually moist winter weather situation for southeastern North Carolina. Highs both days will struggle to reach the low to mid 30's with lows in the low to mid 20's.  This means most precipitation should  be in the form of snow, although a few models suggest some freezing rain or sleet could mix in near the coast.

An area of low pressure will develop off shore in conjunction with the stalled Arctic front and push waves of frozen precipitation onshore starting mid-day Tuesday and continuing into the afternoon Wednesday.

Snowfall Projections: While it is a bit early to levy accurate snowfall projections the latest model data has some consistency.  All of the major weather forecast models (NAM, EURO, GFS, Hour by Hour) include accumulating snowfall totals for Wilmington and surrounding areas. But that may be as far as similarities go. Snowfall projections range wildly from 1-3"(GFS), to historic snowfall totals of 8" or more (HbH, NAM).

Part of that disparity is due to the possibility of warmer air aloft - nudging its way in from the south. The GFS continues to show this scenario. It would likely mean, particularly for coastal areas, the possibility of smaller accumulations snowfall amounts and an increase in sleet.

THURSDAY THROUGH NEXT WEEKEND: Arctic high pressure builds in and skies will become mostly to partly sunny on Thursday. Highs will struggle to reach the low 40's. Arctic cold rapidly retreats Thursday night through Saturday. Clouds and temperatures increase on Friday and Saturday. Highs Friday approach 50 with low 60's likely Saturday. Lows moderate back into the 30's to near 40. There is a small shower chance on Sunday.

Stay with WECT for the latest weather information. You can track the forecast anytime at or with the WECT Weather app for iPhone or Android devices. 

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