Winter Grips Triangle Once Again
Posted February 16, 1996 6:00 a.m. EST
RALEIGH — February 17, 1996 - 9:40 a.m. EST
For the third time this year, the Triangle was whitewashed in a blanket of snow for the weekend. This, according to WRAL-TV Chief Meteorologist,Greg Fishel, has been the "snowiest" season since the winter of 1979-1980.
This time, though, it wasjustsnow, without the ice and freezing rain that accompanied previous storms.
That, and the fact that roads have been warmed by recent temperatures well above freezing, meant far less trouble for motorists.
While there were some fender-benders just after sundown Friday, roadways have been passable for the most part, albeit with the occasional early morning ice patch.
With temperatures for Saturday expected to climb to around 40 degrees, what little ice there is should be long gone by nightfall. Temperatures are expected to hit the 60 degree-plus mark by Thursday.
Local weather conditions didn't stop traffic at RDU airport, but some travelers were stranded just the same. Several hub airports in the Northeast were closed by a stronger version of the same storm, causing flight delays and cancellations elsewhere.
Businesses have probably been hardest hit by this winter's continuing blast. Retail business tends to be best on weekends, and that's when weather conditions have been the worst.
Things were very quiet Friday afternoon at Buchanan's Nursery on Western Boulevard in Raleigh. The only sounds to be heard were those of windchimes and falling snow, not cash registers.
Owner, Don Risser said business has not been good this season.
"You worry about cold damage on plants and, more than that, you worry about not selling any plants, trying to make at least the payroll and the major bills. But, with this kind of weather ... you can't even to that," he said.
With big sales coming over the Presidents' Day weekend, many retailers are hoping to make up for lost time.
Not everyone finds the snow a burden, however. In the Carolina mountains, ski business is booming, as enthusiasts take to slopes covered withrealpowder. Many say it's an experience much finer than schussing on a machine-generated surface.
There is no snow predicted in for the rest of the week, according toWRAL-TV5's WeatherCenter, but watch out for the possibility of thunderstorms by Wednesday or Thursday.
And you know what they say about thunderstorms in winter.
There'll be snow on the ground again within nine ... well, never mind