A wintry combination of sleet, freezing rain and snow is expected to impact the Havelock area starting Tuesday, according to forecasters.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the area for about a 24-hour window in which the area could see a combination of sleet, snow and freezing rain before warmer air moves in, changing the mixture to rain by the middle of the day on Wednesday.
Still, the weather service forecast mentions uncertainty in the exact timing of the storm and the exact locations that will experience more snow and sleet than freezing rain or just rain. The weather service points out that just a one- or two-degree change in surface temperatures as well as temperatures in the higher levels of the atmosphere could change the type of precipitation at any location.
As of Monday morning, the weather service predicts 1 to 2 inches of sleet and snow accumulation through Tuesday afternoon for the Havelock area, when high temperatures are expected in the middle 30s.
A chance of sleet is expected to continue overnight Tuesday before warmer temperatures bring rain and a high of 45 degrees on Wednesday. A chance of rain is in the forecast for Thursday as well, with a high of 48 degrees.
Monday, the high temperature is expected to be 45 degrees, but lows overnight around 31 bring just a slight chance of snow or sleet. The main brunt of the winter storm is expected to impact the Havelock area beginning around noon on Tuesday.
The storm is not expected to be followed with freezing temperatures, most likely leading to a quick thaw of any snow or sleet that accumulates, according to the weather service. By Friday and through the weekend, high temperatures are predicted to be in the low to middle 50s, around average for this time of year, under mostly sunny skies.
Should the snow accumulate, this would be the third time in two weeks that the area would be impacted by a winter storm. On Jan. 28 and 29, a storm dropped about 2 inches of sleet and snow, and below freezing temperatures kept roads covered in ice for three days.
On Friday, a system that surprised forecasters produced about an inch of snow in the Havelock area, but temperatures that quickly warmed to near 50 degrees melted the snow quickly and no major road hazards were reported.