Snow plus melting could mean black-ice problems

Posted February 4, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Snow followed by temperatures above freezing posed a black-ice threat for areas that were visited by Wednesday's snowstorm.

"Those who saw snow last night and had it melt could see it refreeze and become black ice," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

Black ice is the term for thin, clear ice that forms over black road surfaces as melting water flows across them and temperatures sink back below 32 degrees. It can be nearly impossible for drivers to see.

Temperatures rose above freezing Wednesday afternoon, but a wind chill kept it feeling in the 20s. Maze said the overnight low was expected to be about 16 degrees with a wind chill in the single digits.

Who has to worry about black ice early Thursday depends on where they live.

"It was all about location, location, location this morning," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said of Wednesday's hit-and-miss snowstorm.

If you had snow, be sure to send your photos and video for use on

Parts of Wilson County reported the most snow, up to 5 inches. WRAL viewer Darlene Graham reported 4 inches of snow in the Anderson Creek area of Harnett County. Justin Seldon said he measured 3 inches near the Aberdeen/Hoke County line. Dunn and Smithfield recorded 4 inches overnight.

Most of the precipitation fell on a line from far southern Wake County and east along the Interstate 95 corridor.

The threat of snow and icy roads was enough to close or delay some schools, including Wake County, which closed due to safety concerns, spokesman Michael Evans said.

In Johnston and Wilson counties, several wrecks were reported near the Interstate 95 and U.S. Highway 70 overpass, state Highway Patrol troopers said.

wilson county road snowy Wilson, Johnston counties see icy roads

One driver ended up in the ditch after skidding across an icy road in Wilson, officials said. Another driver behind the wheel of a minivan slid into a snowy ditch near the outlet mall in Smithfield.

“People are still driving too fast. The posted speed limit is still 55, but you can't travel 55 on the ice covered and snow covered roadways,” N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Charles Purvis.

Cold temperatures in the mid-30s will keep their hold on central North Carolina on Thursday. On Friday, however, temperatures will shoot up, jumping to near or above 60 degrees for several days.

"We'll have very cold weather, at least by North Carolina standards, Wednesday and Thursday. And then, look, bang! 58, 67, 70 (degrees) – just like that," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

"What's likely to happen over the next seven days is just bizarre, just nothing short of bizarre," he said.


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  • fkhaywood Feb 4, 2009

    Pardon my error, esp. parr4246, According to Wikipedia The Triangle consists of 8 counties: Wake, Durham, Chatham, Harnett, Johnston, Orange, Franlkin & Granville, with a population of over 1 million people.

  • fritobandito Feb 4, 2009

    Sorry folks, didn't mean to "hog" all the snow. Would have gladly spread it around if I could have.....Love living in Wilson

  • scarletindurham Feb 4, 2009

    logically_thinking, I live in the Guess Rd. area as well, and I can't tell you how disappointed I was. I will never tell my three-year old "you're going to wake up and there will be snow!" ever again. Poor crushed little spirit. At least not unless they're predicting about 6 inches!

  • scarletindurham Feb 4, 2009

    I missed it all :( Didn't even have ice on my windshield.

  • rick_slick Feb 4, 2009

    Puppy = do want.

  • kikinc Feb 4, 2009

    If you know the weather's never predicted correctly, why even pay attention to it? I think some people are just mad they didn't have an impromptu day off from work. I was disappointed. I would have appreciated a day to play in the snow, but it didn't happen. Oh, well.

  • mmafighterwife Feb 4, 2009

    That is the most precious picture with the dog on the table!!!

  • christineswisher Feb 4, 2009

    I admit that I was looking forward to yet one more round of our snow, but we didn't get it where I live. I was disappointed, but it could be worse. We could be living in Kentucky and getting that mess!

  • 2assume Feb 4, 2009

    Had about 3 inches where I live in Smithfield.

  • parr4246 Feb 4, 2009

    fkhaywood........"The Triangle covers a lot more territory than Raleigh & Cary. Officially, the Triangle covers about 4 counties."

    what do you mean "about 4 counties".............????