After Snow, Cold Weather Chills Triangle

Posted January 20, 2008 5:50 a.m. EST
Updated January 20, 2008 11:58 p.m. EST

— Folks in the Triangle are in for a cold start to the week as temperatures could drop to single digits early Monday morning.

A mass of Arctic air blasted into Central North Carolina early Sunday, causing daytime temperatures to plummet and threatening to freeze puddles and standing water left by Saturday's snow.

Before sunrise, temperatures lingered near freezing in the Triangle. Motorists were advised to be aware of black ice conditions on surfaces such as bridge decks and entrance and exit ramps. Crews spread salt and sand on major roads and interstates to help prevent accidents. The warmer-than-expected temperatures also kept Saturday's snow from accumulating much on the roads.

Instead, the system produced 0.28 inches of rain and half an inch of snow at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

The high temperature Sunday was 33 degrees. That was much lower than normal. The low temperature was 25 degrees.

WRAL meteorologist Kim Deaner said Sunday night that any snow left on the ground should melt by late Monday as temperatures rise to the 30s.

There could be some precipitation Tuesday morning, but it is too early to tell exactly how much rain could fall.

Rare Snowfall Covers South

The storm that dumped rain and snow on North Carolina also spread snow, sleet and rain across the southern United States, dusting lawns and shrubs with flakes from Louisiana to Atlanta.

Southwestern Mississippi saw its first snowfall since 2001, the National Weather Service said. The region got totals as high as 3 inches, although the ground was too warm to allow it to accumulate.

The last time snow fell at Leander, Louisiana, 30 miles west of Alexandria, was three or four years ago.

As much as 5 inches of snow fell in Alabama. The state's last major winter storm dropped 16 inches in March 1993.

Enough snow fell in Montgomery for children to make snowballs to toss in front of the state Capitol, although the snow melted on contact with pavement.

Eleven-year-old Khryshanna Taylor, one of the state Capitol snowballers, saw snow for the first time and was unimpressed. "I have decided that I don't like snow!" she said as she hurried home after her attempt at a snowball fight.

Despite the snow, all five runways at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport stayed open. Some flights bound for the airport were delayed by more than four hours Sunday, said the Federal Aviation Administration.

Delta Air Lines Inc. reported 280 flight cancellations Saturday, and AirTran Airways had 78 canceled flights.

Two tornadoes touched down along Florida's west coast late Saturday afternoon, the NWS said. There were no reports of injuries.