Dense fog creates dangerous day on roads

Posted December 18, 2008 9:12 p.m. EST
Updated December 19, 2008 10:53 a.m. EST

— Dense fog left visibility at less than a quarter-mile in some areas Friday morning, increasing the risk of early morning fender benders as commuters struggled to see.

The haze was also accompanied by light drizzle in some places, adding slick roads to the menu.

In Raleigh, an SUV and a car collided at Old Wake Forest and Millbrook roads. No one was hurt, but police cordoned off  the scene briefly just before 8:30 a.m. for cleanup.

Two fatal wrecks were reported overnight. In Chatham County, a man drove his car into a creek just before dawn. State troopers said it appeared he was trapped and drowned. In south Raleigh, a woman was killed in a head-on crash Thursday night.

 In Orange County, emergency management officials invoked a hazardous driving plan that raises the caution level used by police, EMS and firefighters answering calls.

A crash on Erwin Road near Stage Road in Chapel Hill closed Erwin Road shortly before 8 a.m.

“What is causing the fog is the approach of a warm front,” WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

Airport authorities said visibility was improving throughout the morning and that the fog had not caused any delays. They noted that winter storms in the northeast were causing delayed arrivals to RDU and advised travelers to check with their airline.

Cloudy skies and light rain are expected Friday before the warm front moves through in the afternoon, bringing sunshine and warmer temperatures. The high temperature could reach 70 degrees.

The warm-up won't last, though. Another cold front will move into the area Friday evening, bringing cooler air for Saturday, with temperatures only rising into the mid-50s, Maze said.

On Saturday, increasing clouds will give way to rain in the evening. The showers should end late Sunday, when an arctic blast of cold air comes through the Triangle to cool things for Monday and Tuesday.