A winter storm is bringing ice and rain to the Upstate and mountains on Tuesday.
Freezing rain is our main concern for Tuesday morning, as temperatures have cooled rapidly and moisture is streaming in from the southwest, FOX Carolina's chief meteorologist said. The freezing rain will turn to all rain very quickly, and that rain will become heavy through Tuesday.
The freezing rain could lead to ice accumulations in several mountain counties, prompting an Ice Storm Warning for Henderson, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford and Yancey counties from midnight until noon on Tuesday.
From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, we'll be drenched with cold rain area-wide. We could get 2" to 4" of rain by Tuesday evening. Watch for localized flooding, especially in low lying areas, and wet roads for the commute to and from work.
According to the National Weather Service, the icy forecast could impact those counties resulting in damaged trees and power lines, which may cause power outages.
The weather service said the most likely areas for damaging ice accumulations will be along the southeast of the continental divide. Locations across western and northern Henderson County would see lesser amounts. The area under the warning could see between a quarter and a third of an inch of ice.
With icy conditions, Papay said Tuesday morning travel should be approached with caution. Interstates 26 and 40 in western North Carolina could potentially becoming slick from 1 a.m. through 7 a.m. Portions of I-85 in the Upstate could also be slick at times, though it would be for a shorter amount of time, only two to three hours max.
"This area likely will see the most ice accumulation as it looks right now, and that could be as much as a quarter of an inch," Meteorologist Mark Johnson said. "This amount could damage trees and power lines as well as cause the most travel issues."
Johnson said mountain areas outside of the watch area may also see some freezing rain, but not as much ice accumulation.
"Thus, travel will still be tricky in areas of the mountains outside of the watch early on Tuesday morning," Johnson said.
Greenville, Oconee and Pickens counties in the Upstate and Buncombe, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Tranyslvania and Yancey counties are all under a freezing rain advisory from 9 p.m. Monday until 9 a.m. Tuesday as the storm could bring light ice accumulation to parts of the area.
The advisory in the Upstate is forecast to affect the mountain areas and North Carolina foothills.
More rain Tuesday, chance of snow Wednesday
As we warm into the upper 30s and low 40s Tuesday, rain moves back in and it could be heavy at times, Papay said. She said it will become quite windy by late Tuesday. Tuesday night's temperatures should remain above freezing for everyone, so rain will continue.
Wednesday morning brings more rain to the Upstate, with rain and the chance for sleet in western North Carolina, Papay said. She said as the system pulls north, cold air settles in, leaving lingering moisture as snow.
The Upstate will probably not see snow accumulation, though snow showers are likely, according to Papay. By late Wednesday, western North Carolina could see around an inch of snow accumulation, with counties bordering Tennessee getting potentially up to 3".
We'll keep a few showers around Tuesday night, then some colder air will push in Wednesday morning. This could cause some rain showers to turn to snow for the Upstate during the late morning and middle part of Wednesday. The mountains will get accumulating snow through Wednesday. No accumulation is expected for the Upstate at this time.
FOX Carolina Chief Meteorologist Kendra Kent added that this storm system is rapidly changing, so stay with FOX Carolina Weather and foxcarolina.com for the latest updates.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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