Snow falling, minor accumulations possible in Triangle

From staff reportsFebruary 15, 2013 

— A four-letter word – s-n-o-w – appeared Saturday, even though meteorologists were predicting only rain for most of the Triangle until later in the day.

Saturday's highs were forecast to be only in the 40s after Friday’s 60-degree sunshine, and were supposed to come with clouds and rain. But, as temperatures dropped, some wintery precipitation didn't wait for the forecast.

There was snow Saturday morning through parts of western Chatham County and Orange County, and most other parts of the Triangle had reported light-to-moderate snow by 9:30 a.m. as the rain-snow line moved east.

The majority of that precipitation is more likely to be snow between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., according to a winter weather advisory released by National Weather Service on Saturday morning.

Some parts of the Triangle, including areas east of U.S. 1 and north of U.S. 64, could see an inch or two of wet snow accumulating on grassy or elevated surfaces before midnight, according to the NWS. Other areas could encounter minor amounts of slush or black ice on roads, as overnight temperatures are expected to dip into the 20s.

Areas further north and east of the Triangle could see additional accumulations, according to the NWS.

The N.C. Department of Transportation said it has not pretreated the Triangle’s roads with brine because the rain in the forecast would wash away the salt-water mixture before it would be of any service. But the NCDOT said its work crews are ready to handle any frozen precipitation that falls this weekend.

The NCDOT also urged motorists to hang up the cell phone, slow down and leave plenty of space and issued a reminder that bridges and overpasses are first to freeze.

The NWS' winter weather advisory remains in effect until 4 a.m. Sunday, when a west-to-east front and an offshore low-pressure system are expected to no longer be a factor in the Triangle.

Go to our weather center for the latest forecasts and conditions.

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