Forecasters say freezing rain and sleet are possible in the South Carolina Upstate and much of western and central North Carolina on Friday.
Meteorologists are dealing with somewhat contradictory data from the various computer models, in trying to decide what type of precipitation, and how much, will fall Friday afternoon and evening as a weak low pressure system crosses the region.
The best guess, forecasters said Wednesday afternoon, was a sleet-freezing rain mix is headed for the Charlotte area. But all that could change, and the amount of ice and sleet is highly questionable, they say.
The low temperature Wednesday morning in Charlotte, 19 degrees at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, was the coldest for the city since an 18-degree reading last Feb. 12. Morning lows were a bit colder at some other reporting stations, including 18 degrees in Lancaster.
Sunshine is expected to return Thursday, but clouds will begin streaming into the region late in the day. Those clouds will signal the advance of a weak low pressure system that will bring the inclement weather Friday.
James Oh, of the National Weather Service office in Greer, said the latest computer models are forecasting colder temperatures than earlier expected Friday.
Highs on Friday will run near freezing across much of the region, which will lead to a widespread wintry mix event, Oh said.
Precipitation is forecast to arrive sometime between 2 and 4 p.m. in Charlotte. Temperatures at the ground will be around freezing, or possibly a degree or two below freezing. But warm air will push into the region several thousand feet above the surface. That is a signal for sleet or freezing rain.
Several hours of light precipitation are forecast.
Fridays weather will mark the low point. Gradual warming will begin Saturday, with sunshine and highs near 40.
Steve Lyttle of The Charlotte Observer contributed