Published: 2016-01-19 06:00:00
Updated: 2016-01-19 23:39:41
Posted January 19, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — An arctic air mass is in place across central and eastern North Carolina, and frigid temperatures will stay put through Wednesday ahead of a system that could produce a brief round of snow flurries for the evening commute.
Temperatures were in the low 20s Tuesday night and were expected to fall into the teens before cloud cover moved in to prevent the mercury from dropping further.
"We're going to continue to see some additional cooling before the clouds race in here later tonight," said WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel.
Fishel said a weakening weather system will enter the area Wednesday afternoon with the possibility of 'harmless' snow flurries during the course of the afternoon. Fishel said that people may see some flurries, but snowfall will not be significant because the storm will weaken as it approaches.
"The mountains are going to rob it of a lot of its oomph," he said.
Highs Wednesday will be in the mid-30s for the second-consecutive day.
In preparation for Wednesday's potential snowfall, Gov. Pat McCrory issued a statement saying state agencies will begin preparations for possible bad travel conditions. Tuesday afternoon, crews began brining operations on interstates, major highways and bridges and will resume the process after rush hour on Wednesday.
"North Carolina is in store for the coldest temperatures of the season. The weather can change in an instant so we will prepare for the worst and hope for the best," said McCrory.
Thursday will be more seasonal as high temperatures return to the mid-40s, but the cold air returns on Friday and Saturday as a more significant system – a system that could produce another round of wintry weather – approaches the area.
Durham braces for chilly Tuesday weather
People in Durham were bundled up on Tuesday battling the sub-freezing temperatures. Many said its hard dealing with the cold after warm weather, but others still took part in their favorite cold temperature treats, even on a chilly afternoon.
Steve Knoeller, a service technician for Lee Heating and Air, said he has been spending his day repairing broken furnaces for homes that have been left in the cold since winter arrived.
“When the extreme cold kicks [there are] a lot more issue for furnaces, especially the ones outside,” Knoeller said.
With unreasonably warm weather for most of December, Knoeller’s company wasn’t doing many repairs, but they are now, and possibly more than usual.
“A lot more failures than we normally see when the first part of the cold comes up,” Knoeller said.
In downtown Durham pedestrians tried their best to stay warm on Tuesday as they headed out in the blustery weather.
“I do not like the cold; it’s freezing,” said Ashley Wilson.
Wilson was especially susceptible to windy afternoon weather due to an unseasonable clothing selection—jeans with holes.
“This was definitely a bad idea; a bad idea,” she said. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”
Parlour Ice Cream was still welcoming customers in for a chilly treat despite the cold. Downtown employer Steve Foster said he had to stop by the ice cream store.
“We didn’t want to go back to work yet,” Foster said. “Ice cream is good every day, whether it’s cold or not.”