Winter weather impacts central NC; schools delayed

Posted January 13, 2015
Updated January 14, 2015

— School systems in Wake, Durham, Orange, Cumberland, Johnston and other counties will operate on a two-hour delay Wednesday morning as a storm system capable of causing icy roads moves through the state.

Central North Carolina is under a winter weather advisory until noon Wednesday, meaning conditions are right for ice accumulation from a trace to .20 inches across the area as overnight lows dip to the low 30s.

The most significant precipitation is likely between midnight and 4 a.m., in areas north and east of Raleigh.

By 11 p.m. Tuesday, heavy rain was falling in Rocky Mount and areas of Edgecombe and Halifax counties, and ice was starting to build up on elevated surfaces where temperatures were at or below freezing.

Rocky Mount, Goldsboro and Greenville could see anywhere from .10 inches to .24 inches of frozen precipitation.

"In Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, we're talking about mist, at worst, which isn't going to cause any ice accumulations," WRAL chief meteorologist Greg Fishel said. "It could cause some slick spots on elevate road surfaces, so you still need to be very careful."

A trace up to .10 inches of frozen precipitation is still possible for the area, as well as Fayetteville and other parts of central North Carolina.

"It's just basically mist – light rain and drizzle – but just that little bit can cause icy patches, especially on bridges," Fishel said. "That means you're not going to have power outages, but it doesn’t mean there's not potential trouble on the roadways tomorrow, especially those bridges."

By 2 a.m., the precipitation moved to the northeastern part of the state as temperatures remained at or below freezing across central North Carolina. There may be a few patches of freezing drizzle throughout the night, but it won't take much for icy patches to form on roads, Fishel said.

Motorists should be careful on the roads until about 10 a.m. when temperatures reach above freezing, Fishel said.

As of Tuesday night, more than 550 schools, day cares, businesses and government agencies had reported closings or delays for Wednesday. (View the complete list of closings and delays._

Among other school systems announcing two-hour delays were Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, as those in Franklin, Granville, Hoke, Person, Wayne and Wilson counties. North Carolina State University canceled all classes meeting before 11 a.m. Wednesday, and schools in Harnett County will be closed.

Afternoon temperatures Wednesday are expected to climb into the upper 30s, although clouds will stay put throughout the bulk of the day Wednesday. Sunshine is forecast to return on Thursday and linger through the weekend as highs return to the upper 40s and low 50s.

Although power outages were unlikely by Tuesday night, Duke Energy officials said they were monitoring the timing of the precipitation and temperatures.

"Right now, we're not expecting widespread outages across our system, but that could change," spokesman Jeff Brooks said. "So we're going to keep a close eye on it – a few miles and a few degrees could make a big difference when it comes to ice. We'll be vigilant. Our crews are on alert."

Brooks said residents, however, should be prepared in case they lose power.

"Make sure your cellphones are charged, make sure you have a plan of action in case you're out a couple of hours," he said.


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  • heard-it-all-before Jan 13, 2015

    View quoted thread

    actually they do. it's nothing secret (it's just weather), but they don't have a TV ratings boss leaning over their shoulder. i have family at the power company too. they send me the internal weather report and it's 150% more accurate, and it arrives 150% sooner (while you're biting your nails glued to the TV aka TV commercials)

  • Donald Holder Jan 13, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    Think of all the people who have to get out in the snow to go to work. The power guy, police, fire, rescue, phone people, they don't have the luxury of staying home.

  • Duff Dry Jan 13, 2015

    Is there time to fix my generator? Nope! Honey, we're going to freeze.

  • Danny Cole Jan 13, 2015
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    Wal-Mart in Holly Springs had plenty of Milk and Eggs and the Bread man had shown up when I was there. LOL

  • North Johnston Resident Jan 13, 2015

    What is Johnston County waiting on? Other school districts have already delayed school for two hours...I don't care if high schools are giving exams or not, rest assured my wife will not travel the roads to report for work at her school if the roads are bad...simple as that.

  • Obama-in-2016 Jan 13, 2015

    Seems like this is being over-hyped.

  • Stan Creech Jan 13, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    Yep. Anything but freezing rain please.

  • rocket Jan 13, 2015

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    The electric companies don't have access to a secret, more accurate weather forecast than the rest of us.

  • Edward Anderson Jan 13, 2015
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    "My husband is a lineman for the electric company and they are telling them to prepare to be on call for outages in all Central counties." JESCOBEDO7

    Is this a more dire kind of alert than normal for your husband and co-workers? What I mean to say is do the electric companies pretty much *know* that this is going to be a bad storm or are they just thinking it might be more than just rain? I would guess that they might have a better handle on the "Should-Be-Scared" level than your average web-page lurker.

  • Jamie Escobedo Jan 13, 2015
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    I hope some of you remember the ice storm we had a few yrs back that crippled Raleigh for a week. It also was suppose to be a one day event but the temps stayed down and the ice stayed on the trees. We lived off Buffaloe Rd and had no electricity for a week, not fun. Better to be safe than sorry. Just in case getting out the oil lamps, crank radio, blankets and candles. My husband is a lineman for the electric company and they are telling them to prepare to be on call for outages in all Central counties.