Weather

Snow expected early Wednesday, plus bitter cold wind chills and dangerous road conditions

Check out the latest snow forecast for the Triangle

Check out the ABC11 forecast to see how much snow we might see, if and when it arrives.
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Check out the ABC11 forecast to see how much snow we might see, if and when it arrives.

If you were hoping all that talk about snow on Wednesday would just melt away, we have bad news: The snow is coming and so is rain and a mix of the two. The good news is that weather models so far don’t call for too much of it.

Forecasters on Monday said the Triangle will likely see some snow. They were not, however, expecting much accumulation in the heart of the region.

“I do think we’ll see some snow around, especially in the morning Wednesday,” ABC11 meteorologist Don Schwenneker said.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh said central North Carolina could expect 1 to 2 inches of snow, with some areas seeing as little as a dusting while other areas could get more.

The Triangle could see anywhere from a dusting to up to 3 inches of snow, according to the weather service’s range of possible snow accumulation, with the most snow expected to the north.

The snow, and likely rain and a rain-snow mix before the flakes fall, is the result of arctic air that is over the upper central part of the country and will push into the area from the northwest late Tuesday and into Wednesday.

Snow likely will begin in the Triangle area at 7 a.m. on Monday, and end about 12 hours later at 7 p.m., the weather service said in its Monday afternoon briefing.

N.C. Department of Transportation crews sprayed brine on roads in Wake County on Monday morning to help prevent hazardous conditions. Roads could be treacherous, especially overpasses and secondary roads, throughout central North Carolina beginning late Tuesday night through Thursday morning.

“We are watching this forecast closely,” Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday afternoon. “Much of our state could see one to two inches of snow, and everyone needs be ready for that.”

Forecasters are confident that precipitation will start late Tuesday, likely as rain after a day with an expected high temperature around 50 degrees, according to the weather service. The rain will then begin to mix with snow and then quickly transition to all snow.

“What we’re not sure of,” the weather service said, “is how much snow there will be before the cold front goes by and when the switch from mixed precipitation to snow will take place.”

Some computer models say that places south of the Triangle may not see any snow, according to the weather service, while the bulk of the snow is expected near and north of the U.S. Highway 64 corridor. Wednesday’s low could be as cold as mid-20s in the morning and wind chills are expected to approach single digits for all of central North Carolina Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Wednesday’s high temperatures, though, should be a bit above freezing, and that will begin another warming trend that will see highs in the 50s on Friday and continuing to rise through the weekend.

Before then Tuesday morning will be cold. Duke Energy Progress asked customers to pare down their electricity demand early Monday to reduce stress on the electric grid.

A Duke spokesman said there had been scattered power outages during the last cold snap because of high demand and inevitable equipment failures in a very complex network.

Isolated power outages are possible as the cold moves in late Tuesday night through Wednesday evening, the weather service said.

A winter weather advisory is expected across central North Carolina beginning Monday evening.

Ron Gallagher: 919-829-4572, @RPGKT

Winter-weather tips

▪ Dress warmly for the cold. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.

▪ Keep alternative heating sources and fire extinguishers on hand. Be sure your family knows how to use them.

▪ Properly vent kerosene heaters and keep electric generators outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

▪ Do not burn charcoal or use a grill indoors.

▪ Use a NOAA Weather Radio or monitor local news for changing weather conditions.

▪ Keep fresh batteries on hand for weather radios and flashlights.

▪ If your pipes are uninsulated, keep faucets open to a slow drip to prevent pipes from freezing.

▪ Keep pets inside, out of the cold.

▪ Download the ReadyNC app for more winter weather preparedness information.

▪ Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include a windshield scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first aid kit and road map.

▪ Keep your cell phone charged.

▪ Monitor fuel levels.

▪ Clear your windshield and other windows of snow and ice before traveling.

▪ Use headlights and windshield wipers.

▪ Plan for delays and longer than usual travel times.

▪ Increase your following distance and decrease your speed.

▪ Choose several routes as some roadways may be closed.

▪ Share your travel plans/routes with others.

▪ Always be aware of your location in case you become stranded.

▪ If your vehicle becomes disabled, stay inside the vehicle until help arrives.

▪ Contact 911 or *HP in emergency situations only. Go to DriveNC.gov for roadway conditions.

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