First round of snow to linger through late afternoon Tuesday
Posted February 24, 2015
Updated March 5, 2015
4:20 p.m.: Snow continues to fall in Raleigh and points east, but the wintry precipitation is expected to come to an end shortly, WRAL meterorologist Mike Maze said.
3:32 p.m.: Crews were out in full force across Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett and Robeson counties. DOT crews are expected to work through the night pushing snow and spreading salt on the roadways.
3:05 p.m.: Snow continues to fall in Raleigh and points east of the Triangle, but areas further south saw the snow starting to change over to sleet and freezing rain.
3:00 p.m.: Classes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been canceled for the rest of Tuesday afternoon and are expected to resume at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
2:40 p.m.: According to officials in Durham, primary roads are passable and clear. Due to the threat of black of black ice, crews will be treating roads with salt and sand overnight.
1:15 p.m.: Snow continues to move east across the area, but it is redeveloping along the western edge of the precipitation, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
"It will take some for this system to push off the North Carolina coast," she said. "We continue to have a good bit of snow falling in Wake County, but it is beginning to taper some. It's going to be with us for a little while longer. By mid-afternoon our focus will shift to along the Interstate 95 corridor."
From Raleigh eastward, some areas have seen snowfall totals climb above 2 inches in the last hour or two.
Temperatures will be in the mid-20s for the bulk of the afternoon.
"Roads could improve a bit during the afternoon, but by this evening slick spots will once again be an issue," Gardner said. "They will be very treacherous Tuesday night into Wednesday morning."
12:15 p.m.: Snowfall totals could end up between 1 and 2 inches in the Triangle and 2 to 3 inches for the Sandhills and southern coastal plain, according to WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson said. Snow should begin tapering off in the western Triangle by mid-afternoon. Areas along the Interstate 95 corridor will see precipitation end closer to dinner time.
Temperatures will remain below freezing throughout the day and retreat into the 20s overnight, making slick roads a continued concern headed into the Wednesday morning commute.
11:53 a.m.: WRAL meteorologist says "blooming snow" is continuing to form along the western edge of the area of precipitation that began moving into the area before daybreak.
"We've been talking about midday for this precipitation tapering off, but it looks like it will be early afternoon for the bulk of the area," she said.
The blooming snow could continue to be an issue through about 2 or 3 p.m., Gardner said, but it shouldn't major additional problems on the roads. In fact, roads could improve some during the afternoon as state Department of Transportation crews continue to treat them with a salt-sand mix.
11:30 a.m.: Lt. Jeff Gordon, a spokesperson for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, said troopers in Wake County have responded to about 100 calls since snow began to fall in the county early Tuesday. Several areas along Interstate 40 continue to be heavily congested, he said.
"We're seeing a gridlock situation at Interstate 40 and U.S. Highway 70, and it's slow at I-40 and Interstate 540 as well," he said. "The weather turned quickly and roads got slick, and now we're seeing residual backups."
11:15 a.m.: Snow continues to move slowly out of the area from west to east, but it's taking its time, according to WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner. Snowfall totals continue to be relatively light, averaging between half an inch and 1 inch of snow.
"Extreme southeastern parts of the state are even seeing some of this precipitation change over to sleet or freezing rain," Gardner said. "It's going to be a mess in the Wilmington area this afternoon and evening."
Those in the Triangle who did make it to work should probably wait until mid-afternoon to try and venture home, Gardner said.
10:55 a.m.: Durham police said a man and his 7-year-old child were able to escape injury Tuesday morning after the Mustang they were riding in ran off Erwin Road and overturned into a creek.
Authorities said it appears the man was speeding prior to the wreck, according to WRAL reporter Arielle Clay.
WRAL traffic reporter Brian Shrader said highway ramps, bridges and some secondary roads with more hills are especially slick.
10:35 a.m.: Due to the ongoing snow, NC State classes scheduled at or after 11 a.m. Tuesday have been canceled. Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools will also close early on Tuesday. Wake County courts will close at 1 p.m. as well.
10:31 a.m.: Another wreck has been reported in Durham at the corner of Erwin and Morreene roads. According to a Durham police spokesperson, the car flipped upside down in a creek. The occupants were able to get out safely.
10:20 a.m.: WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner says snowfall totals have not been all that impressive across the bulk of the Triangle.
"In and around Wake County, we've really only seen about half an inch of snow," Gardner said. "We may have some isolated pockets of bigger accumulations south of the Triangle, but it will really be based on which areas ended up with heavier amounts."
10:15 a.m.: Law enforcement officials around the Triangle are working dozens of wrecks due to the slick roads. Two cars collided on Main Street in Fuquay-Varina shortly before 10 a.m. No injuries were reported, according to WRAL's Julia Sims.
9:50 a.m.: The back edge of snow continues to inch eastward, but the bulk of the Triangle is still seeing light to moderate snow. Snowfall totals range from half an inch to 1 inch across the area.
In an attempt to prevent wrecks, Raleigh police were closing Wade Avenue between Brooks and Daniels because of slick conditions.
9:20 a.m.: North Carolina State University is operating under its STATUS 4 of the university's adverse weather program until further notice, the school announced. Classes are in session and the university is open but operating under an adverse weather advisory.
Students who are unable to safely attend class will be allowed to make up missed class work, and faculty may make decisions regarding individual classes.
9:15 a.m.: DOT spokesman Mike Charbonneau says road crews are out in every county treating interstates and primary roads with salt and sand.
"As long as there are a lot of cars on the roads, our trucks can not get their work done," he said.
Charbonneau said roads were not treated before the snow arrived because of the forecast for lighter precipitation later in the day.
"The forecast changes and people were already on the road," he said.
8:50 a.m.: Snow continues to fall across the bulk of the Triangle, but there could be a lull in precipitation during the late-morning hours, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
"The back edge of the precipitation is in the western parts of our area, but there is another round of potential snow behind it," she said. "We have the potential for snow showers on and off through about lunchtime."
Area roads are becoming snow-covered because of the bitterly cold temperatures, which were in the mid-20s across the Triangle at 8:50 a.m.
8:40 a.m.: Snow continues to have an impact on area school systems. Nash-Rocky Mount Schools will release secondary-school students at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Elementary schools in the district will release students at 9:45 a.m. Wayne County schools will be closed Tuesday.
8:30 a.m.: Area Department of Transportation crews are out across the Triangle treating interstates and primary roads with salt and sand. State Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Jeff Gordon says there have been dozens of spin outs and wrecks due to the snow.
"With this type of snow, this was our fear. Once it falls onto the roadway, it gets compacted and becomes a slick surface," he said. "Troopers are going to a substantial number of calls, mainly vehicles sliding on the roads and running into other vehicles."
8:15 a.m.: Snow continues to move across the Triangle in bands, although lighter precipitation is moving into the western part of the area.
"We've probably seen some of the heaviest snow move through the area already, and things will probably become more patchy as we go through the rest of the morning," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "Our snow chances will continue to diminish during the afternoon."
8:10 a.m.: High schools in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district will operate on a two-hour delay Tuesday due to the weather.
Triangle Transit and Durham Area Transit buses are running regular routes and schedules, officials said.
7:45 a.m. : Bands of snow were spreading across central and eastern North Carolina early Tuesday and leaving snow on the area's roads as the first of two winter systems moved into the state.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for all of the Triangle until 10 p.m. Tuesday. Snow is possible throughout the morning across the area, with heavier snowfall amounts likely south and east of the Triangle. Snow was sticking to roads across much of the area.
"It's going to be a doozy of a morning. Expect more school delays and closings throughout the morning. We will see lots of changes between 5 and 7 a.m.," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "We're thinking that this snow will come in bands, so we'll have widely varying conditions in different parts of the area, and this will be with us through about lunchtime."
Snowfall totals could range from a dusting to 3 inches during the day Tuesday, and the extreme southeastern portion of the state – areas in an around Wilmington – could end up with a wintry mix by the time precipitation moves out.
Temperatures were in the mid-and upper 20s before daybreak, plenty cold enough for frozen precipitation to be an issue. High temperatures Tuesday won't climb above freezing.
Schools in Wake, Cumberland, Durham and Johnston counties, among others, will be closed Tuesday. Several other school systems announced two-hour delays.
North Carolina Department of Transportation crews in Wake County had planned to treat roads with brine after the morning commute, but snowfall arrived before the crews could get out.
"Now, the challenge is getting out there and covering all of our roadways. Our crews will be out treating the roads with salt and sand," DOT spokesman Mike Charbonneau said.
Lt. Jeff Gordon, a spokesman for the state Highway Patrol, said drivers should reduce speed if they have to be out.
"We're in the infancy stage of this winter storm, so it's going to be kind of touch and go here. Some of the roads are starting to become snow-covered," Gordon said.
Another system expected to move into the region on Wednesday could bring an additional round of snow that could produce totals from 3 to 6 inches across the area. WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said accumulation will depend on a number of variables.
"We definitely expect heavier amounts of precipitation," he said. "The issues are going to be how much is going to fall and what form is it going to be in, and is the warm ground leading into the event going to be an issue in terms of cutting down on accumulation."
Temperatures will remain cold on Thursday and Friday once the winter weather systems move out, but warmer weather is on the horizon for the weekend.
Highs will be in the 40s on Saturday and Sunday, and temperatures could be in the 50s or near 60 degrees by the beginning of next week.
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