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Cold air and falling temperatures could mean wintry mix, but problems not in the forecast

March 03. 2014 11:26AM

A chance of freezing rain tonight and Tuesday shouldn

LUMBERTON — Break out the blankets and a hot bowl of soup.

Robeson County is in for some gloomy — and maybe icy — weather, but a meteorologist with the National Weather Service doesn’t expect that it will cause problems beyond trying to stay warm.

Temperatures that were in the high-50s this morning are expected to begin a free fall and dip down to 46 degrees at 5 p.m and 33 around 7 p.m. Overnight they will go below freezing.

Showers are likely throughout the day, mainly after noon. Up to a quarter-inch of water could fall.

Tonight winds as strong as 20 mph could make the air feel like the low-20s. Coupled with a 70 percent chance of precipitation, Robesonians could see rain until about 7 p.m. and a wintry mix of rain, freezing rain and sleet after 8 p.m. Up to half an inch of precipitation could fall.

Reid Hawkins, a science officer with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, says there’s no reason to panic.

“It’s going to be a very minor event … the rain is going to start moving in and the cold air is right behind,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins said the cold air — once again — is coming from the arctic.

“We’ve had three or four shots of this this winter and it’s just another shot coming down,” he said.

A chance of freezing drizzle and rain continues into Tuesday, when temperatures aren’t likely to climb past 40 degrees.

Hawkins said the wintry mix shouldn’t pose a threat to power lines, and aside from a few slick spots on bridges, shouldn’t make roads too treacherous.

“Because it’s been warm the last couple of days and this morning, we expect that if anything accumulates it will be on elevated surfaces … but we’re not expecting really an accumulation,” Hawkins said.

The chance of precipitation will decrease Tuesday night, as will temperatures. There’s a slight chance of freezing rain overnight along with near-freezing temperatures.

Wednesday will look largely the same, with a low chance of freezing rain before 7 a.m. and a chance of rain as the day progresses and warms. Temperatures Wednesday could reach 49 degrees.

The rest of the week will not give much respite. A chance of rain and temperatures in the 40s will persist through Friday.

But milder temperatures, in the mid-60s, are forecast for the weekend.

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