Wind chill edges above warning range, but not much above

From staff reportsJanuary 24, 2014 

— The good news Friday morning was that the National Weather Service dropped its wind-chill warning as the likely chill rose above zero, but the bad news was that the change was pretty small.

Thermometers remained in the low to mid-teens two hours after sunrise, having gone from 12 degrees at Raleigh-Durham International Airport at 7 a.m. to all of 14 degrees at 9 a.m.

And even though the air was slightly warmer, the steady wind had gone from 3 mph at 7 a.m. to 12 mph at 9 a.m., and the wind chill actually was lower.

At Horace Williams Airport in Chapel Hill, anyone outside would be hard-pressed to notice a change from 11 degrees to 12 degrees, and the wind was blowing slightly faster there, too, according to weather service data.

The record low for the date is 7 degrees.

Forecasters said temperatures would stay below freezing, and that posed worries for area public works officials because the ground-penetrating cold threatens water pipes.

Water was coming up through pavement on Lewis Farm Road in Raleigh, police said.

Chatham County and Franklin County school officials announced two-hour delays for the start of school.

“Consequently, to avoid having students waiting at bus stops before sunrise, we will operate on a two-hour delay for students,” Chatham announced Thursday evening.

Faculty and staff, though, were told to report at their regular times.

Cold to shutter zoo

That forecast also forcde the N.C. Zoo to remain closed Friday for the second time this week, according to zoo spokesman Rod Hackney.

Hackney said keepers will bring most of the zoo’s outdoor African mammals into special holding facilities.

The zoo was closed Wednesday because of frigid temperatures and icy accumulation left by a winter storm that moved across the state overnight Tuesday.

State officials expect to open the park to the public this weekend for its usual winter hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Day-to-day information is available at 800-488-0444 or nczoo.org.

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