Most Schools On Schedule as Triangle Dodges Winter Weather
Posted January 9, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST
RALEIGH — The largest school systems in the WRAL-TV5 viewing area are operating on a normal schedule today as temperatures never dipped low enough in the Triangle area to produce major icing problems.
As of 6 a.m., schools in Wake, Durham, Cumberland and Orange counties hadnotannounced any schedule changes.
Areas west and north of the Triangle, especially along the Virginia border, are receiving freezing rain, causing some school systems to delay or cancel classes.
Nonetheless, drivers are urged to use caution during the morning commute as some bridges may have slick spots.
At 6 a.m., the temperature was 33 degrees at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and 32 degrees at WRAL. Rain was freezing on tree limbs near the station. However, the mercury is expected to rise and stay above freezing through Saturday afternoon, when a strong cold front will push into the South, bringing even colder temperatures. Highs are expected to be only in the 30s on Sunday and Monday.
Joel Cline of the National Weather Service office in Raleigh reported that the worst hit areas Thursday morning were in the northwestern mountains. He says Alleghany County is reporting two to three inches of icy precipitation.
Westernmost parts of the state, including Asheville and Hendersonville, also reported accumulations of about an inch of frozen precipitation.
Cline said some southwestern counties had very little accumulation.
In the foothills and central parts, travel was hazardous with some sleet sticking to bridges. Ice was also covering trees and power lines in places like Winston-Salem and Hickory.
Meanwhile, traffic is reported to be moving normally on Interstate 85 and 40 in the Greensboro area.
Person County, near the North Carolina-Virginia border, which usually sees snow and sleet when others areas of the Triangle as just wet, was receiving only rain at 6:30 a.m., according to WRAL-TV5's Mark Roberts. Rain was freezing on some power lines and trees.
The weather picture was much different last year at this time. Winter set in with snow and ice cutting power to ten of thousands of homes. Governor Jim Hunt proclaimed a state of disaster in 70 counties.