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Cornelius News

Forecasts call for snow, ice starting early Sunday

There’s bread at Harris Teeter on Old Jetton

Dec. 7. By Dave Yochum. Judging by the parking lot at Harris Teeter on Jetton, the winter storm heading our way is going to be a serious weather event. Computer models have a strong low pressure system starting with an abundance of rain followed by snow and ice.

The ice will be the problem, but the weather predictions change hour by hour.

It will start more to our south, but the worst stuff looks like it will hit North Mecklenburg, Iredell County and points north.

The National Weather Service says there will be freezing rain and sleet mixed in, a much bigger problem than snow. Electric power often goes out with just a quarter inch of frozen precipitation.

The town has laid in a supply of brine. Events Sunday and Monday are already being cancelled or postponed.

Steve Lyttle, who runs the Weather by Steve Facebook page, says the rain begins Saturday in the early evening and picks up sometime between 8 pm and 10 pm.

Between 2 and 4 am Sunday the rain changes to snow, and moderate snow will fall for several hours. The National Weather Service says between 2 and 4 inches of snow will fall.

Sunday looks dreadful—unless you have penguin in your blood. Somewhere  between 8 am and 11 am the snow mixes with sleet to the south of us then moves north in our direction. It will also become breezy—not good for trees and power lines.

Lyttle, a former weather writer for the Charlotte Observer, is calling for mostly freezing rain Sunday afternoon.

North Meck, Lincoln, north Gaston and Iredell are chillier, which means the snow-ice mix might linger.

By late afternoon, the precipitation probably becomes cold rain, with temperatures climbing to 33 or 34.

Water shelves at Harris Teeter

In west and northwest Mecklenburg, temperatures might not climb above freezing, so the rain will keep freezing on surfaces, Lytle said.
The rain gradually changes back to sleet and freezing rain in the evening. By midnight, precipitation becomes light. It continues, off and on, overnight Lyttle says.

The Lighted Boat Parade at the Peninsula Yacht Club Saturday is still a “go.” Businesses and churches are gearing up now for serious weather.

Real estate closing attorney Justin Ckezepis says some closings set for Monday or Tuesday have been moved up to today.

At Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep, they’re keeping a close eye on the predictions for snow and ice. “Our top priority is the safety of our employees and customers in the event of hazardous road conditions,” said co-owner Robin Salzman.

At First Baptist Church of Cornelus, Rev. David Judge says they are just having to “wait and see if the Lord opens the storehouses of snow before we decide to cancel service or not.” There’s one Sunday service, at 11 am.

At Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, Rev. Jonathan Marlowe, one of the senior pastors, said he used to have a firm policy that they would never cancel a service on Sunday morning, until one cold Sunday morning he slipped and fell in the church parking lot.

“It was amazing how quickly my mind changed in that twinkling of an eye. It took me about half a second for me to completely re-think my philosophy of church closings. When I was walking happily across the parking lot, I was laughing at all those churches that had cancelled. One second later as I was lying flat on my cold, wet backside, I had suddenly changed my mind,” he said.

All that said, Mt. Zion will take a look at conditions Sunday morning, and make a decision to cancel services based on what they see.

Residents should be prepared for hazardous roads and power outages, remain off roads if at all possible and monitor local weather forecasts.