Wintry mix possible Friday morning for northern counties

Posted February 4, 2010 9:38 a.m. EST
Updated February 4, 2010 11:13 p.m. EST

— Some of the snow and ice from last weekend's storm has melted, but meteorologists are eying another storm that's headed to the area this Friday and Saturday.

"Any snow, sleet and freezing rain would be relegated to our northern counties (Friday) morning and should have little impact on the morning commute," said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.

WRAL-TV's Morning News will begin at 4:30 a.m. Friday.

A winter weather advisory covers Durham, Orange, Chatham, Granville, Person and Vance counties from midnight Thursday to midnight Friday. It predicts that less than an inch of snow will fall in southern areas, including Durham and Chapel Hill, while 1 to 2 inches could fall in northern counties by noon Friday.

"We could easily pick up 1 to 2 inches of rain across the area," WRAL chief meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

By late Thursday, rain began moving into central North Carolina. Viewers in some areas including Clayton reported seeing sleet.

The main threat to the Triangle will be light ice that could accumulate on elevated and metal surfaces, including bridges, overpasses and power lines.

State Department of Transportation officials said that the forecast of rain nixed any plans to spread an anti-icing, salt-brine mix on Triangle roads Thursday before the storm. Rain would simply wash it away, they said.

Durham Public Works officials said that crews will check bridges and overpasses for ice overnight. DOT will be called in to treat any trouble spots.

Some DOT salt barns are less than 20 percent full following last weekend's winter storm. Officials said they have enough on-hand to treat roads this weekend if necessary.

Precipitation will change over to freezing rain during Friday morning and become just rain by noon. The precipitation will be heaviest in the afternoon before tapering off to a light drizzle in the night.

A flood watch covers the rest of WRAL's viewing area, including Wake and Cumberland counties, from noon Friday until early Saturday.

Rain totaling between 1.5 and 2 inches could cause fall on already-saturated ground and full streams. The watch says that drivers should keep an eye out for water on roadways during the Friday evening commute.

Residents will see a second shot at a wintry mix overnight Friday into Saturday: A storm passing through North Carolina on Saturday morning could bring snow flurries and leave a dusting on the ground, but it will mostly affect counties near the Virginia border.

AmTrak cancels services due to winter storm

The threat of winter weather caused Amtrak to cancel some services in the Carolinas and Virginia on Friday.

Among the cancellations, Carolinian trains 79 and 80 will operate only between Raleigh and Charlotte.