Rain slows in Triangle, threat of icy roads decreases NW of Raleigh

January 14, 2019
North Carolina Radar

The Triangle awoke to a cold rain on Sunday, but no snow fell across the viewing area overnight, according to WRAL meteorologist Kat Campbell.

Due to some icy precipitation falling Sunday, the National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings for counties north and west of the Triangle until Sunday evening, including Person, Caswell, Mecklenburg and Alamance counties. At 8 a.m., 100,000 power outages had been reported in North Carolina, primarily in those areas.

In Forsyth County, less than a half-inch of ice covered surfaces after freezing overnight rain, but more surfaces were covered in northwestern North Carolina and the mountains. Burke County reported almost half an inch of freezing rain and ice.

While northwest counties saw the worst of the storm, the Triangle is in good shape. Any frozen rain that does fall across the viewing area on Sunday is expected to melt quickly and shouldn’t accumulate on roads.

“We’re not expecting travel to be an issue with the exception of Roxboro northward into Virginia,” said Campbell.

Still, drivers should be alert for possible icy conditions, especially on bridges or overpasses northwest of the Triangle, according to Campbell.

Later this afternoon, any precipitation will be spotty and mainly in the form of liquid, according to Campbell, and the rain should stop by dinnertime. Temperatures could dip below 32 degrees in the Triangle overnight and early Monday morning, but icy roads for the morning commute aren’t a major concern at this point.

Impacts from the freezing rain that fell overnight were far greater in western North Carolina than they were in the viewing area. Duke Energy reported more than 100,000 outages across the state on Sunday morning, most in Henderson, Buncombe, Forsyth, Transylvania and Mecklenberg counties.

Boone woke up to a sheet of ice, according to a photo sent in by viewers, but warming temperatures should improve conditions throughout the day.

A winter weather advisory was issued for central North Carolina counties, including Durham, Orange, Chatham, Vance, Granville and Warren.

Spotty sleet was reported across central North Carolina on Saturday afternoon, including in Raleigh and Fuquay-Varina, but the precipitation quickly changed to plain rain. Campbell said the area is not likely to see additional frozen precipitation as temperatures climb throughout the day on Sunday.

Places that do see sleet and ice will likely not see impacts to roadways, as accumulation is most likely on grass and elevated surfaces.

Highs Sunday will reach 40 in many places, allowing for melting of any ice accumulations.

There will be a slight chance for some drizzle on Monday and maybe a flurry, but any precipitation will be tough to come by as dry air moves in, according to Campbell.

While temperatures will stay in the lower 40s and in the 30s Saturday through Monday, Tuesday could get up to 48 degrees.

Wednesday will break into the 50s, with warmer temperatures and sunny skies continuing into Friday. Saturday could be the warmest day of the week, with a high of 60 degrees.

The greatest chance for rain this week comes on Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday will be drier before a chance for rain returns by Thursday and Friday. With late-week temperatures in the upper 50s, frozen precipitation will not be an issue.

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