Wintry mix could make mess of Friday evening commute

Posted January 23, 2013

— Another blast of cold air expected to descend on the Triangle by Friday afternoon could bring snow, making for a potentially messy evening commute, WRAL forecasters said.

The air mass, which was hovering in the upper atmosphere over British Columbia, Canada, on Wednesday, should move into the region by 3 p.m. Friday. Depending on the temperature, the conditions could be ripe for snow, sleet or a wintry mix.

If temperatures are cold enough, that could mean icy, slick patches on roadways. The Town of Cary planned to start brining roads Thursday morning.

WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said this system will be different than the vigorous storm that dropped snow and freezing rain in the region last week. By comparison, the next one will be “puny.”

“Last week’s was loaded down with moisture, but it didn’t have the cold air,” Maze said. “This one is loaded down with cold air but not a lot of moisture. What will fall will be frozen.” Fountain Mountain Cam Cold weather tips

It’s too early to tell how much, if any, snow or sleet will fall. Residents just need to keep an eye on the sky, WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson said. Friday’s forecast calls for temperatures in the 30s.

“The timing of this is going to be tricky,” he said. “They need to make a decision in the morning about whether they will need to change their routine.”

Early Wednesday, temperatures plummeted into the low 20s and upper teens across central North Carolina as bitterly cold air continued to stream into the eastern half of the U.S. from Canada. 

The frigid temperatures sent hundreds of Triangle-area homeless into shelters overnight. The Raleigh Rescue Mission on Hargett Street reached capacity.

The men's shelter at the Durham Rescue Mission overflowed Tuesday night, with 200 beds taken and another 53 men sleeping on the floor.

"Every year, somewhere in our country, we hear in the news of someone freezing to death because they had no warm place to stay during the cold nights," shelter founder Ernie Mills said. "I don't want to hear of news like that in the Triangle."

In the Midwest, authorities suspect exposure to bitter temperatures has played a role in at least four deaths so far.

Among the coldest temperatures recorded Tuesday was 35 below at Crane Lake, Minn., a National Weather Service forecaster said early Wednesday.

Cold weather also affected cars. AAA Carolinas reported a 40 percent increase in roadside assistance calls Wednesday, compared with a typical January day.

After dipping into the upper 20s again overnight, highs Thursday should top out in the upper 30s. 

Temperatures will gradually rise through the weekend and into the early part of next week.

"The weekend's great," Maze said. "And we should be into the 60s by Tuesday."


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  • superman Jan 31, 2013

    I was one of 6 children and grew up on a farm. We didnt have heat except in the kitchen from a wood stove. No indoor plumbing which meant no bathroom or hot water. We used an outhouse and a catalog. We got our water from a well. I know and still remember well what it was like to have to sleep all winter in a room with no heat. Some days in the winter it was warmer outside than the inside of the house. We had to heat water on the wood stove to take a bath. I am very lucky that things have changed. One thing that I will always have no matter the cost is a warm house in the winter and cool in the summer. Am fortunate now that money is no longer an issue. "I done well for an ole farmboy". I took classes at ECU that helped me get a good job. (worked my way thru college and a master's degree)

  • josephlawrence43 Jan 31, 2013

    hate to ask a dumb question--but is this appliciable to this coming weekend ( 2-1 ) or does it apply to last weekend????

  • camhamsmom Jan 23, 2013

    Would love to see some snow since the last system was a dud. Don't see it happening though. The entire US looks moisture starved according to the dopplers.

  • injameswetrust2003 Jan 23, 2013

    Let it snow!!!!

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Jan 23, 2013

    I so wish you the best.
    You are in my prayers.

  • wheelercb Jan 23, 2013

    i feel so much for homeless people. when i left the unemployment office yesterday trying to find a job and get some help i saw a homeless man standing on the side of the road holding up a sign asking for help in which the man at the unemployment place in raligh,nc told me he couldnt help me because i didnt live in wake co, give me a brek man i live closer to that one on the edge of wake co.than i do in granville co. thanks a lot north carolina.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jan 23, 2013

    I pray everyone who needed shelter found it, and I pray no one forgot to adequately accommodate their pets for this.

  • shortz1994 Jan 23, 2013

    HEY!! I'll trade with you Raleigh.
    Our temps in my neck of the woods. Highs 7 lows tonight -7/-10.
    (I laugh at what i used to call "cold/freezing".)

  • Uhavenoclu Jan 23, 2013

    I walk every day at noon, cold or not but I go back to a warm office. It is totally different for those with no resources and nowhere to get out of the cold.

    I see many walking out whether alone or walking their dogs in the cold,eve seen runners out jogging in the cold.........I was in my car for over a year,in the cold and the heat,many do not want to go to shelters for most homeless shelters are just halfway houses for most people are either on parole or just out of jail and those who just ran into bad luck and lost their home or apartment because they couldn't afford it and got evicted and cannot get another apartment would rather sleep in their cars.
    I was fortunate for I did find a shelter but while I was in my car I was working and paying my way,so no one knows how both sides feel more then I for I have seen and done it all,been there done that and I am proud of what I have been through.

  • Holy Carp. Jan 23, 2013

    When you have worked outsidein all kinds of weather you learn to tolerate it no like or dislike just tolerate it. When it was 11 -4 wc this morning someone needed a jump;, I went out in a t-shirt and gave them a jump. If you hate you're going to hate no matter what. But if you tolerate and don't think of the cold and see the sun it's fine. . Uhavenoclu

    Did you sleep in a warm bed last night? Working outside is one thing- sleeping in it with minimal comforts is another.