Black ice, fog expected Thursday along with school delays

Posted January 14, 2015

— As temperatures drop below freezing overnight Wednesday, roads damp with moisture have the possibility of freezing, creating black ice and potentially dangerous driving conditions for the Thursday morning commute.

“The word of the night – cautious,” WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said. “Be very cautious if you’re going to go outside.”

Schools in Wake, Durham, Orange, Johnston, Franklin, Vance, Person, Wayne and Wilson counties, as well as Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, will start two hours late Thursday as a precaution. Warren County Schools will be closed Thursday.

View a complete list of closings and delays.

In Wake, school leaders consult with weather forecasts, local agencies and law enforcement before deciding whether to delay or close school, said Lisa Luten, Wake schools spokeswoman.

"It was determined that there is a possible icing of secondary roads and isolated areas overnight," she said. "These possible conditions would make it unsafe to travel to school in the early morning."

District transportation staff will assess roads throughout the county, starting at 3 a.m., Luten said.

Drizzle and mist fell across Wake County on Wednesday evening, and with temperatures expected to drop below freezing, black ice could form on roads, Maze said.

"The combination of any lingering water or moisture on roadways from this afternoon could refreeze this evening and cause patchy areas of black ice, especially on elevated surfaces, such as bridges and overpasses," Orange County officials said in a statement.

Clouds and fog are expected overnight before the Triangle experiences a brief bout of sunshine Thursday morning. Clouds will return by lunchtime Thursday, bringing light rain throughout the afternoon and into the evening, Maze said.

"Be very careful when you head out at the start of the day," he said.

Thursday’s high is expected to reach 46 degrees.

But things will get warmer. Temperatures will reach the mid-50s Friday and Saturday under sunny skies.

Thursday’s weather follows a slick Wednesday morning where the N.C. State Highway Patrol responded to more than 50 collision reports in Wake County between 4:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Raleigh police officers responded to 40 crashes between midnight and 11 a.m. That's nearly four times the number of crashes compared with the same period a week ago, police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

One of the worst tie-ups came when a Wake County Public School System fuel truck overturned on Interstate 40 at Gorman Street at about 7 a.m. Westbound lanes were closed through 10 a.m., and police detoured drivers off the highway, onto Gorman Street and back to I-40.

Elevated highways, bridges and outlying roads with less traffic saw a greater likelihood of ice glazing on roads and slip-and-slide crashes.

All Wake County school buses made it to school safely Wednesday morning, but the routes were running slow. District officials said there were significant delays, with some students waiting 30 minutes or more for their buses to arrive.

A district spokeswoman said bus drivers were asked to use an abundance of caution, and that, along with traffic jams, contributed to the buses moving slower than normal.


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  • Hubris Jan 14, 2015

    Come On Global Warming!

  • theliberadicator Jan 14, 2015

    That was a close call. So glad WRAL saved us from ourselves. Now on to Spring. It's only a few days away. Going to be a really hot summer. May even have a few storms to contend with. Don't let your guard down. Get the app.

  • TheCape Jan 14, 2015

    View quoted thread

    One of the nicest drives I have had to work in a long time. Did have a few of those dummies speeding and cutting people off on 70 though. Not smart to do, especially with ice possible.

  • K Hope Capps Jan 14, 2015
    user avatar

    Well, one Wake Co road is clear so they AAAAAAALL much be clear.

  • Obama-in-2016 Jan 14, 2015

    What a mess out there. At least people can get to work...because work is the most important thing in the world!! Work first -- your life second. America BABY!

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Jan 14, 2015

    Wake must think it is immune to ice.. ...

  • PJM Jan 14, 2015

    Well at least there are some counties outside of wake co that care about the safety of their residents.

  • Barry Smith Jan 14, 2015
    user avatar

    Falls Lake Academy should be closed, you can't get near the school for the ice.

  • CherryDarling Jan 14, 2015

    So glad I had no problems getting to work this morning. I had a really easy ride in from Cary to downtown Raleigh. It seemed like the few cars that were out there were being respectful of everyone on the roads. Listening to the radio, though... sounds like it was a mess everywhere else.

  • cheriep1 Jan 14, 2015

    Person County is a sheet of ice....14 car accident, cars sliding off the sliding downhill into oncoming traffic....don't attempt it!