31 NC counties are under alert, including Wake, Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Chatham counties. Details
Published: 2014-03-16 16:33:00
Updated: 2014-03-17 22:55:08
Posted March 16, 2014
Updated March 17, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Slick road conditions resulted in multiple vehicle accidents Monday night and led school districts across the Triangle, including Wake, Durham, Johnston and Chapel Hill-Carrboro, to open schools late on Tuesday.
The National Weather Service extended a winter weather advisory until noon Tuesday for most of central North Carolina, including Wake, Durham, Orange, Johnston, Nash, Person, Edgecombe, Halifax, Lee, Moore, Chatham and Alamance counties.
Wintry precipitation and falling temperatures could produce icy spots on roads overnight and in the early morning, according to the advisory.
Police and sheriff's deputies in Durham advised motorists to use extreme caution on elevated roadways along Interstate 40, Interstate 85 and U.S. Highway 70 Monday night. Interstate 85 southbound near U.S. Highway 70 and at Club Boulevard was closed briefly due to icy roads.
"This is not the type of storm that's going to generate power outages or lots of downed trees because there simply isn't the precipitation to do that," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.
Still, he urged drivers to be careful, especially Tuesday morning.
"Freezing drizzle is still a big deal if you happen to hit the wrong ice patch at the wrong time," he said. "So we urge you to be extra careful."
The chance for slick roads sent students in Orange, Person and Alamance counties home early Monday afternoon and prompted Wake County schools to cancel after-school activities.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation said it has 10 trucks on standby in Wake County in case conditions worsen overnight.
Up to a quarter-inch of rain has fallen since Sunday in some areas of central North Carolina. But temperatures hovered just above freezing in Raleigh and Durham overnight Sunday, keeping rain and roads from icing over, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
Temperatures will drop into the upper 20s to around 30 degrees Monday overnight, and Tuesday morning will be cold and wet again before beginning a gradual improvement through the remainder of the week.
The rain will slowly move out as temperatures climb to 40 degrees Tuesday and into the 50s Wednesday.
Thursday's high is 65 degrees, and Friday and Saturday could push toward 70.