Local News

Snow Turns to Rain Across Triangle

Posted January 17, 2008 1:50 a.m. EST
Updated January 17, 2008 9:51 a.m. EST

— Snow and ice fell across parts of the Triangle this morning, but quickly turned to rain. The National Weather Service canceled a Winter Weather Advisory for several counties south and east of Raleigh after temperatures crept into the mid-30s.

WRAL Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner predicted the area could get about a half-inch of rain by the time the storm passes.

Schools in Wake, Johnston, Durham, Orange, Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Warren, Lee and Harnett counties decided to open two hours late as a precaution against slippery roads when their buses would normally have been out.

N.C. State University decided to open at 10 a.m. For a complete list of delays and closings, check the WRAL closing list.

Light snow, sleet and freezing rain were expected to cause travel difficulties this morning, but state Highway Patrol troopers reported mostly wet roads.

North Carolina Department of Transportation crews pre-treated some highways, bridges and overpasses Wednesday afternoon to help keep them from freezing. Elevated roads freeze more quickly because they are surrounded by cold air, even if the ground near them doesn't allow freezing.

The DOT primarily uses salt brine, a mixture of water and 23 percent salt that can be applied to road surfaces before a storm to keep ice from bonding to the road.

Throughout the Triangle, crews were on stand-by, ready to use salt brine trucks as soon as any roads got icy.

“We are flexible and ready to respond to tomorrow’s predicted winter weather,” Katie Kalb, director of Durham's Department of Public Works, said Wednesday in a news release. “We are following weather reports carefully and we will be ready to immediately respond if necessary.”

The state still needs a lot of rain, so the anticipated precipitation should help drought conditions. Raleigh's rainfall deficit was 9.12 inches on Wednesday afternoon. Ed Buchan, with the City of Raleigh, said the city has about 116 days of drinking water left.

Surface temperatures were predicted to rise into the upper 30s in the afternoon. The rain should clear out by the evening commute. Friday is expected to be warm, with temperatures in the mid-50s.

Folks should be prepared for bitter cold temperatures to arrive for the weekend. Sunday morning's predicted low is 16 in Raleigh and Monday's is 14, with the high Sunday only 32..

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