Local News

Snow begins after midnight, lingers through Tuesday

Posted January 18, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— A snowstorm will move across North Carolina after midnight and leave a winter wonderland for morning commuters.

"A good part of our viewing area is likely to see at least 1-3 inches of snow," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said. "The (computer) model thinks there is going to be 1 to 3 inches of snow, with local amounts of 3 to 6."

5:30 a.m. snow forecast update 6:30 a.m. snow forecast update

The heaviest band of snow is forecast along the U.S. Highway 1 corridor, from Southern Pines to Raleigh and east to Rocky Mount and Nashville.

If you see flakes, share your pictures!

A winter-storm warning takes effect Monday at 9 p.m. and extends through Tuesday at 6 p.m.

More than 150 businesses and schools have planned to open late or close Tuesday.

A low-pressure system diving southeast from Iowa will end up bringing us the snow.

"Anything we see for the next several hours will be ... primarily in the form of rain. We really won't get down to business with snow until after midnight," Fishel said. "That's also the time the temperatures really begin to drop."

After the rain turns to snow, it is expected to continue to fall through Tuesday morning. "We think the snow will be peaking during the morning rush hour," Fishel said.

Get tips for driving on slick roads.

The snow will turn to flurries by afternoon. Whatever wintry precipitation falls is likely to stick around for a while – particularly on roads – because the state won't see a significant warm-up until the latter part of the week.

Tuesday's predicted high is precisely the freezing mark, and temperatures will fall into the teens that night. Temperatures won't break out of the 30s until Thursday.

The winter storm predicted for Jan. 19-20 comes during an auspicious – or infamous – time for snow in the Triangle.

Four years ago to the day, between 0.5 and 2 inches fell on central North Carolina, catching everyone by surprise. Roads clogged up with workers and students going home early, clogging roads at the same time they turned icy and making some commutes last more than eight hours. About 3,000 Wake County students were stranded at schools overnight.

Five years earlier, on Jan. 25, 2000, the region got its heaviest snowfall ever, 4 inches shy of 2 feet.

217 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • zanerx Jan 20, 8:13 a.m.

    Hey fly! SWAT!

  • OhBella Jan 19, 9:53 p.m.

    I am hoping for a delay but not a school closing! I do not want to teach on a Saturday!

  • John Q Public Jan 19, 9:43 p.m.

    Greg give us some hope. The storm hasn't gotten its act together yet.

  • bs101fly Jan 19, 9:41 p.m.

    Oh come on, Fishel only works a few days a month, let him work.

    Let him give us excuses #212 and 213 tomorrow as to why he was wrong, AGAIN!

    Celine Dion just called and said the show in cancelled for tomorrow night.

  • preppykev2004 Jan 19, 9:34 p.m.

    SNOWING IN GREENSBORO NOW - AS OF 9:00...WOOHOO

  • any1butcarolina0405 Jan 19, 9:33 p.m.

    What's up with this mentality about let's make fun of the people that want to be prepared, ok let's make fun of the people that act tough, all of you are silly. And why shouldn't weathermen/women show some enthusiasm when they get to report something other than RAIN! It's Raleigh, it doesn't snow a lot, get over it or go move somewhere that snows all the time if you don't want to hear about it!

  • seankelly15 Jan 19, 9:02 p.m.

    FISHEL GET OFF THE AIR - I DON'T WANT TO SEE YOUR FACE, I WANT TO SEE THE CBS LINE-up.

  • jimbo141 Jan 19, 8:41 p.m.

    it kills me when even the threat of a little snow creates a "death and destruction" mentality for the news. anything under 9-12" isn't worth the worry. oh well time to kick back and have a good laugh watching those that can't drive in the snow attempt to do so!

  • 2MuchPork4Just1Fork Jan 19, 8:23 p.m.

    GoBucks - Your comment cracked me up! I don't think anyone really understands the whole bread & milk thing, but in NC, that's what you're supposed to do when even the remotest chance of snow is predicted. Go buy bread & milk. Do it. Do it now!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

  • cary Jan 19, 8:19 p.m.

    Got groceries this morning before it got crazy. Wanna know why we Southerners go get bread, milk and tons of groceries when snow is forecast? Because while we know the weatherman is likely wrong and we won't get a thing, there is always the chance that he will be wrong the other way and we will get a ton that will end up melting a little then freezing to ice on the roads, which is hard to remove. For us folks living off the main roads, it means it could be more than a few days before we can go to the store. The year we got 20", we were trapped for almost 5 days before we could even get out of the driveway! When they finally plowed 3 days after the event, the driveway was blocked with a mountain of snow the plow pushed up. Amazing how much food you can go through in a few days when you are stuck with nothing better to do than eat! We were down to the Campbell's cream of mushroom soup that had been in the cabinet for 5 years, and Aristocrat vodka when the Grey Goose and Stoli's ran out.

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