Winter Storm Jasper to bring snow, sleet

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Winter Storm Jasper is expected to bring snow and sleet to the Harnett County area beginning Friday, but just how much snow and sleet was anyone’s guess Thursday afternoon.

In its noon briefing, the National Weather Service office in Raleigh predicted “a light dusting up to an inch (of snow) possible after the changeover from rain” late Thursday night into early Friday. “A coating of sleet” was also possible for areas north of N.C. Highway 24 and the threat of a “glaze of ice” was not ruled out in the forecast.

Wednesday weather outlooks called for rain Thursday ahead of the winter precipitation starting early Friday morning, NWS Meteorologist Tom Green told The Daily Record. That prediction held firm on Thursday, but with an altered forecast of more snow and less sleet. Friday’s high temperature is set to top out at 31 degrees with a low of 22.

“Sub-freezing temps will pour into central NC beginning late this evening, setting the stage for black ice to form where the water from earlier rain hasn’t dried up yet on roads,” the NWS briefing stated. “Patchy light snow or snow/sleet mix will gradually push south and east of Raleigh by 3 a.m. (Friday). In the meantime, temperatures will fall through the 20s across all of central N.C. With the sub-freezing temps moving in, any water left on the roads from earlier rain will freeze, resulting in black ice conditions on many of central N.C.’s roads.”

Snow was expected to continue to fall on Friday, but most of Harnett County remained circled in a “zone of uncertainty” in the noon briefing.

“In the yellow ‘zone of uncertainty’ our confidence is VERY LOW! Snow amounts may range from nothing at all, to several inches, depending on which weather model ends up being correct. How far west the western edge of the snow reaches is very uncertain at this time,” meteorologists noted in the briefing.

The storm is expected to end across central North Carolina by 3 a.m. Saturday, but dangerous travel conditions were predicted to remain for the weekend across the Eastern Piedmont.

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