Patchy snow, ice continue to hamper Triangle travel

hpaytes@newsobserver.comJanuary 26, 2013 

  • Weather rollercoaster to continue Triangle temperatures are expected to be all over the weather map in the next five days. On Saturday, the high is expected to be 47 degrees, with lows in the mid-20s. Temperatures are expected to stay in the mid-40s on Sunday, too, and not drop below freezing. Monday will offer average winter temperatures for the Triangle, with highs in the mid-50s and lows in the high 40s. Tuesday is expected to bring a blast of warmth, with highs near 70 degrees and lows in the high 50s. Wednesday could offer similar temperatures, weather forecasters say, with a chilly blast returning by week’s end.
  • An early release day gets even earlier School systems across the Triangle already had decided to release students early Friday afternoon as the wintry weather threatened. But those short days for students got even shorter by midmorning. Wake County – which had planned to dismiss students three hours early – decided to close four hours early instead. “Any time we make a decision about the weather, we are continuing to monitor the situation,” said Mike Charbonneau, Wake schools spokesman. “We decided to update our closing times to four hours early, just to get those buses out of there before there were any problems on the road.” The situation was the same for other Triangle systems. Chatham County, which originally planned to dismiss students at 11:30 a.m., instead sent them home as early as 10:30 a.m.

Snow and ice continue to pose a problem in the Triangle area on Saturday morning.

Those who can stay at home are advised to until roadways clear and conditions improve this afternoon, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Wake and Durham counties’ interstates are partially covered with snow and ice, according to the department, while Chatham, Warren and Vance counties are clear with possible icy spots. Secondary roads in Durham and Wake counties are covered with ice.

To find out traffic and weather conditions in your area, visit the News&Observer's Traffic page and Weather page or the N.C. Department of Transportation’s website at http://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/RegionSummary.aspx?re=1 .

The National Weather Service advises its winter weather advisory will remain in effect until 11 a.m. Roadways continue to be slick and hazardous. Expect gradual improvement after temperatures rise above freezing later Saturday.

In addition to icy roadways, patchy freezing fog will be possible Saturday morning, according to the Weather Service.

Roadways, especially bridges and overpasses, will remain slick and hazardous due to a thin coating of ice throughout the morning hours. Main roads that were slushy Friday also might have become slick and hazardous again as a result of the slush freezing overnight, according to the report.

Except for extreme emergencies, travel is not recommended. To reduce the chance of accidents, keep at a safe following distance when driving. Sudden braking and accelerations might also cause your car to skid. To avoid accidents, use extreme caution when driving, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Local authorities were reporting improving conditions by mid-morning. In Cary, police said there had been no traffic accidents since 7 a.m. Over the duration of the storm, there were 26 crashes in Cary, four of which resulted in injuries.

“We are winding down our operations, and will continue with targeted spreading efforts where necessary,” said Steve Brown, Director of Public Works & Utilities. “Roads are generally safe for travel, but use caution as you return to your regular routine, especially when navigating private business parking lots and walking neighborhood sidewalks.”

Read more about the effects of Friday's blast of winter here.

All programs scheduled by the Town of Cary before noon were canceled, but indoor classes and other events were to go on as scheduled. For detailed information on programs to in the afternoon, call 919-469-4061.

Click here for a list of other closings and cancellations, most of which were Friday night or Saturday morning events.

Paytes: 919-836-4918

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