Chance for snow delays some schools

Posted February 9, 2011 5:35 a.m. EST
Updated February 10, 2011 12:53 a.m. EST

— Early risers Thursday could see some snowflakes, and commuters could encounter slick conditions as a storm passes across North Carolina headed for the Atlantic coast, WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said. But the winter weather will be short-lived.

"Any snow that falls will quickly melt after sunrise," he said.

Wake County and areas to its south and east were under a winter weather advisory from 9 p.m. Wednesday to noon Thursday.

"Raleigh is right on the western edge of the projected snow accumulation. Some areas to the east like Rocky Mount have at least a chance of getting an inch or two of snow, especially on grassy surfaces," said WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel. 

Schools, including Edgecombe County, Sampson County, Johnston County and Fort Bragg, planned to open late Thursday morning. Cumberland County schools will start on a three-hour delay.

State Department of Transportation and local crews on Wednesday spread an anti-icing brine mixture on roads, including those in Wake and Cumberland counties and various towns and cities.

“Although we’re projected to see relatively minor snow accumulation overnight, crews will be on hand to tackle whatever comes our way,” Cary Public Works Director Scott Hecht said in a statement.

The snow-making system moving into the Carolinas dumped up to two feet of snow in Oklahoma and Arkansas, but has weakened significantly, Maze said. 

Light rain was falling Wednesday night in Raleigh. Eventually that precipitation will change over to a snow and/or a rain snow mix across the region after midnight, Maz said, before becoming then all snow towards sunrise. The limited moisture in the atmosphere will limit accumulations in the Triangle, with heavier amounts expected in the eastern Sandhills and coastal plain.

"The closer you are to the coast where this system can access moisture from the Atlantic, the greater the snowfall totals could be," Maze said.

After the storm passes, high pressure sets in, bringing sun and slowly warming temperatures. Thursday will see a high in the mid 40s. Sunshine and spring-like temperatures are on tap for Friday and through the weekend.