January 4: Snow Is Over, Cold Isn’t


I think we can sum up last night’s snowfall pretty efficiently:
The first burst of snow that hit the Sand Hills really made this an overachiever of a storm in that part of central North Carolina — elsewhere, the pattern ended up pretty close to what we anticipated, with the highest amounts along and east of I-95. This map shows the HIGHEST amounts reported so far from each county:
Keep in mind, individual communities within those counties are reporting variable amounts of snow — for instance, I had less than an inch of snow at my house in northwestern Johnston county, but areas near Smithfield picked up around two inches. The official snowfall in the Triangle was measured at 0.9″.

The larger storm system is an absolute monster:
Its movement up the coast has dragged the snow away from our neck of the woods, and the cloud cover has mostly departed as well. We’ll see a lot of sun the rest of the day, which will help road conditions improve significantly…but we’ll have to watch for the re-freeze once the sun goes down. That’s why a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect all the way through 7am Saturday:
Despite the sunshine, temperatures just won’t warm up very much at all today:
Adding insult to injury, the northwesterly winds at 10-15 mph (gusting to 20 mph) will keep wind chills in the teens:
Air temperatures drop to the low to mid teens overnight:
While the wind will die down tonight, it will still be strong enough to produce feels-like temperatures in the single digits…maybe even sub-zero to the north of the Triangle:
The cold air sticks around through the weekend, which means we’ll be within shouting distance of record low temperatures every morning:
I don’t think we’ll climb above freezing until midday Sunday, which would put us at around 180 consecutive hours at or below freezing in the Triangle. The all-time record is 8 consecutive DAYS at or below 32, but our 6 full days in this stretch (Monday through Saturday) will rank us in the top 5 for such streaks.
It looks like we’ll finally warm up early next week, with near-average temperatures by Monday and Tuesday, and even a chance of rain showers:
A few words of caution about the extended forecast, though…first of all, it’s the extended forecast — our certainty is always lower the farther into the future we look. Second, cold air is very stubborn, which makes me concerned that we might be over-estimating the warm-up…and thus under-estimating our chances of a wintry mix of precipitation on Monday. We’ll keep a close eye on things and keep you updated through the weekend.


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