Roads wet for evening commute as winter weather moves in

Rain will move in to central North Carolina early Thursday evening bringing a wet end to a bitter day and giving fits to Triangle commuters.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Sleet formed across central North Carolina Thursday evening, bringing a wet end to a bitter day and giving fits to Triangle commuters.

With temperatures just at the freezing mark, some areas could see freezing rain through the night and icy roads by Friday morning.

"If this ever turns to freezing rain, that happens in Raleigh rather late, toward 9 or 10 o'clock, and turns back to plain old rain after midnight," said WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel.

There's more of a threat for frozen precipitation to the west and north, and some areas could see a wintry mix of snow, sleet or freezing rain between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Friday.

"We could even see a difference in Chapel Hill and Durham," Fishel said, noting that Orange and Durham counties are included in a Winter Weather Advisory effective from 6 p.m. Thursday through Friday at noon whereas Wake County is not.

"We could see quite a variance even just across those three counties," Fishel said.

Icy roads are more likely in the Triad this time around, and the North Carolina Zoo announced plans to be closed on Friday. Zoo staff will still be asked to work, but the zoo will be closed to the public, reopening Saturday.

Precipitation will change back to rain across all of central North Carolina Friday morning, and the showers will linger throughout much of the day as temperatures hover in the low 40s.

Southern counties could end up with as much as 2 inches of rain from the system, and areas from Raleigh north could get 1 to 1.5 inches.

That rain will be accompanied by winds up to 25 mph. "That wind will blow the rain right in your face," Fishel said.

The potent low pressure system proceeds the weekend warm up that will put the Triangle back on a more seasonable track.

Sunshine returns Saturday, and it will push temperatures into the mid-60s.


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