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Triangle Dodges Snow Bullet; Icy Conditions Expected For Morning Commute

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RALEIGH — Mother Nature spared the Triangle from the snow, but dropping temperatures could mean more trouble.

Although snow and a mix of precipitation fell in western North Carolina early Tuesday, the wintry weather made its way more slowly than expected across piedmont and eastern North Carolina. A system starved for moisture and a day providing more sun than anticipated caused meteorologists to scale back their original prediction of snow accumulation.

At noon, WRAL-TV5 WeatherCenter meteorologist Chris Thompson said the later the precipitation moves in, the less likely there will be accumulation. Greensboro has had light rain; Winston-Salem has been alternating between snow and rain.

The winter storm warning posted for the southern mountains, was ended by noon. The snow system had moved on -- but left problems.

``We're having wrecks like crazy,'' Macon County emergency dispatcher Mike Lequire said Tuesday morning. Sheriff's deputies had responded to a dozen accidents since snow began around midnight, Lequire said.

Early morning accumulations reached 5 inches in Macon and Jackson counties, forecasters said. Sugar Mountain reported 6 inches of snow.

In Asheville, 2-3 inches had fallen by daybreak. It was the fourth snowfall in as many weeks in the Asheville area. Farther east, steady snow began falling in Surry County around 5:30 a.m. and Wilkes County received a dusting early. In northern Forsyth County, a light mist began falling early in the day. -->

Schools were closed in Asheville and Mount Airy and the following counties: Buncombe, Madison, Haywood, Henderson, Yancey, Jackson, Swain, Transylvania, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin. Caswell County schools closed at 11 a.m. Rain fell in Charlotte early Tuesday morning. Scattered light rain showers will end as a period of snow over east central Virginia and interior northeast North Carolina this evening. The snow may be briefly heavy, but significant accumulation is not expected. Any accumulation would be an inch or less, and mainly confined to grassy surfaces. -->

The weather also caused headaches for travelers. RDU officials say about a dozen flights were delayed or cancelled to and from the Triangle. With the weather clearing, they do not expect problems on Wednesday. Icy Roads May Cause Trouble For Wednesday Morning CommutersMotorists are advised to drive especially carefully Wednesday morning, when the precipitation will have had a chance to create icy patches on streets and overpasses until the sun has a chance to melt them.

If you come up on a slick spot, your first reaction may be to slam on the brakes.DO NOT DO IT!One of the best things you can do is let up on the gas to slowly regain control of your car.

Thestate Highway Patrolalso warns drivers not to tailgate, no matter what kind of car they drive.

"Just because you've got a 4-wheel drive doesn't mean you've got 4-wheel control or 4-wheel stop," says Sgt. Jeff Winstead of the Highway Patrol.

Mechanics say there is something you can do before you ever pull out of the driveway to make sure you have a better grip on the situation.

"Most importantly, check your tire pressures. That's the most critical maintenance you can do," says Jason Browder of Atlantic Tire and Auto.

There are some things you can carry in your car that can come in handy, in case, you run into trouble.
  • An ice scraper
  • A bag of kitty litter that you can throw under the tires to get extra traction
  • A blanket
  • A charged cell phone
  • Wednesday's forecast calls for mostly sunny and chilly with a high in the upper 30s.


    Kay Miller, Web Editor

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