Effective immediately, the NWS Wilmington, NC Office will implement new Winter Storm Watch/Warning Criteria for Heavy Snow across northeast South Carolina and southeast North Carolina. Under the new criteria, NWS Wilmington will issue Winter Storm Watches and Warnings when 2.0 inches or more of snow and/or sleet to fall within a 48 hour period is expected. This is part of a national effort to remove non-meteorological discontinuities across County Warning Areas and to better align watch/warning snowfall criteria to the local climatology of the region. For additional information, please see the image below about the criteria change.
Historically, the Wilmington, NC NWS Office used the following snowfall criteria: 2.0 or more inches of snow and/or sleet within 12 hours and/or 3.0 inches or more within 24 hours. The new criteria will no longer be dependent on the timeframe of the snowfall, allowing for a more event-driven approach to messaging.
To complement the NWS Wilmington Winter Storm Watch/Warning products, NWS Wilmington will provide a range of snowfall possibilities on their Winter Weather Forecast web page. In addition, the NWS Wilmington watch/warning/advisory criteria page has been updated to reflect this change.