Schools canceled, delayed ahead of predicted snow

Posted December 15, 2010

— As road crews raced against the clock to treat area roads ahead of winter weather moving into central North Carolina, more than a dozen school districts on Wednesday canceled or delayed classes for Thursday.

Granville, Orange and Vance county school systems will be closed, while other school systems, such as Wake, Chatham, Durham, Cumberland and Johnston counties, will operate on a two-hour delay. (See a complete list of closings and delays.)

Snow in the forecast also prompted North Carolina State University to push exams scheduled for 8 a.m. back to 10 a.m. and those scheduled for 1 p.m. back to 2 p.m.

4a Thursday's snow chances

Various weather models show the Triangle getting anywhere from a trace to 2 inches of snow, and areas northward receiving up to 3 inches, WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said Wednesday evening. Areas south of the Triangle will most likely see sleet and freezing rain.

The storm's biggest impact will come during the morning commute Thursday, because ground temperatures are so low. It won’t take a lot of precipitation to cause problems on the road, Fishel said.

Snow is expected to start falling in the Triangle and northern counties around 4 a.m. Thursday while a wintry mix of snow, freezing rain and rain is expected south of the Triangle.

The line separating snow from a wintry mix will move north during the morning, forcing a change-over from snow to freezing rain or sleet.

Current Temperatures, DMA Temperature Tracker

"It's going to be a morning where we have a lot of changes happening hour by hour," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

The precipitation will change over to rain by early afternoon and taper off by the evening.

Crews with counties, cities, towns and the North Carolina Department of Transportation have been working for the past two days treating highways and interstates and major roads with brine solution – a mixture of water and salt. About 80,000 to 100,000 gallons of the solution had been put down in Wake County alone by Thursday night, DOT crews said.

If the change-over to rain happens as predicted, roads should be in OK shape for the evening commute.

Local schools make call to cancel, delay classes Local schools make call to cancel, delay classes

Temperatures will be in the mid-20s when wintry precipitation begins to fall Thursday morning, and they'll only rise to the mid 30s throughout the day.

Any freestanding water could become black ice late Thursday and early Friday, Fishel said.

Despite the wintry weather, Thursday will mark the beginning of a slight warm-up. Temperatures aren’t expected to be below freezing again until Saturday.

Friday will see a high in the low 40s and an overnight low just above freezing. The day will be mainly cloudy with some spotty light rain or drizzle.

Saturday will be cloudy and chilly at 40 degrees, with a possibility of some rain or snow.

Sunday will be partly cloudy, breezy and cold with a high of 39 degrees.


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  • ccs1920 Dec 16, 2010

    This story is from 5:33am yesterday. It is now 10:32am Thursday. This weather information is no longer accurate. Why don't you remove it.

  • mojo1434 Dec 16, 2010

    May be Bev Perdue should take some money out of her 'travel" budget to get a few more snow plows. Last time I checked, tickets to Asia were not $80k. It's so sad when we close for less than 2 inches & up north it takes at least a foot of snow to stop their world

  • SaveEnergyMan Dec 16, 2010

    seankelly15, I don't have the names of the scientists, but I do remember seeing it on the cover of Time magazine. Maybe someone can search that, but it was reputable science - not meaning it was correct, but that it least it was mainstream science.

  • ratherbnwpb Dec 16, 2010

    wake waiting again ... all around us delay...why am i not surprised..

    Wake County announced they were closing at 6am. Dont you watch the news?

  • 3forme Dec 15, 2010

    wake waiting again ... all around us delay...why am i not surprised..

  • seankelly15 Dec 15, 2010

    DontLikeTheSocialistObama - "The interesting thing is that most scientists who said in the 70's that we were entering a century long ice age are the same ones saying that we're currently in global warming."

    This is the second time that you have said this. Which scientists in the 70s said that we were entering a new ice age? Can you reference ANY of these scientists or were these creation scientists?

  • teacher101 Dec 15, 2010

    make sure everyone runs to the stores and stock up for 5 days
    actually I'm not sure how they can predict anything this soon as nothing has happened yet, I think they should have waited because last year they wasted a day last year because they all closed and it ended up doing nothing.

  • NCTeacher Dec 15, 2010

    Allen98- The 2 hour delay is simply a temporary delay so that school officials can see how the roads are in the morning. If there is a dangerous road in the county, you can be sure that school will close. But think of how many times snow and ice have been forecasted and never materialized (just like the times it showed up without being forecasted first). They are not risking anyone's lives by waiting until morning to make a final decision.

    Besides, if they went ahead and cancelled this evening people would be up here complaining about how they canceled school for tomorrow and how we probably won't get much snow anyway and why didn't they wait until morning to see if the roads were going to be bad.

  • snowfreak Dec 15, 2010

    Army Research Office/RTP
    Severe Weather Plan
    Have they ever done that before? They are in Wake County right?

  • snowfreak Dec 15, 2010

    Wake county is so large it is impossible for not to be a dangerous road in the county...and if any road is icy they will close and they should close. They do not need to risk our kids lives.