Wake, Durham and Johnston schools delayed 2 hours

Posted January 7, 2010 5:59 a.m. EST
Updated January 8, 2010 12:33 a.m. EST

— Wake, Durham and Johnston county schools are among the groups opening on a two hour delay on Friday due to the potential for snowfall overnight.

Light snow started falling in the Triangle by 10:30 p.m.

WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said the snow is expected to arrive in Raleigh early Friday and continue off and on for several hours. Snowfall could linger in the coastal plain for longer.

WRAL viewers in Coats, Erwin and Princeton started seeing flurries around 9 p.m. Viewers in Smithfield and Goldsboro said sleet affected the area late Thursday.

Michael Evans, spokesman for Wake County Public Schools, said leaders decided to start on a delay because they'd rather be safe than sorry. In addition to buses traveling on smaller roads that may not have been treated, Evans said, leaders were also concerned about teen drivers trying to navigate icy roads.

"We have got a lot of high school drivers who are very inexperienced, if at all, with inclement weather," Evans said.

The central part of the state remains under a Winter Weather Advisory until about 9 a.m. Friday in most areas.

Turn in early to WRAL News at 4:30 a.m. Friday for the latest on the weather and traffic.

The Triangle will most likely see just a dusting of snow, Maze said.

"We'll see some snow, and it could range up to an inch in some places," Maze said. "The greater accumulation, up to an inch will be along and east of Interstate 95."

The mountains could see 6 or more inches, but the Triad will miss out this time around, Maze said. "The forecast shows little or no accumulation in the Triad," Maze said.

Morning commute a cause for concern

Any snow that falls could create slick spots on roads Friday morning.

"Normally, we wouldn't be making a big deal of trace to an inch of snow, but it's been so cold for so long that what falls will stick," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

"Even a light dusting can turn to ice real easily," state Department of Transportation engineer Steve Halsey said.

Winter weather driving tips

DOT crews treated roads with a salt-brine combination Thursday morning, then headed home to rest in anticipation of a busy night.

"We will be here, ready, available and dispatch as needed," Halsey said.