Thursday - March 22, 2018
NC Prepares For Winter Weather
Written by Staff   
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 16:49

RALEIGH -- State officials are preparing for North Carolina’s first winter storm of 2018 and people in areas that could see snow are encouraged to do the same, Governor Roy Cooper said.

A winter storm watch begins Wednesday for many eastern North Carolina counties and snowfall is expected across the coastal plain on Wednesday afternoon and night. Bitter cold air from an artic high pressure system means temperatures statewide are expected to average well below normal for the rest of the week.

While the current forecast calls for varying snow amounts of up to five inches in parts of eastern North Carolina, the state is preparing should the forecast change.

“Snowfall amounts can be very hard to predict in North Carolina, as we saw in early December in western North Carolina,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “A small change in a storm’s track can make a big difference in how much snow falls and where. That’s why we’re making sure North Carolina is prepared for whatever this storm could bring, and why I encourage families and businesses to get ready.”

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm advisory, watch or warning for most counties east of Interstate 95 in North Carolina excluding the Outer Banks beginning Wednesday morning and running into Thursday.  These may be upgraded or expanded by the Weather Service as the storm draws nearer. State emergency management officials encourage people to continue to monitor the forecast.

Emergency managers and meteorologists at North Carolina Emergency Management are tracking the storm closely and are prepared to assist counties with any storm-related needs.

Motorists in areas hit by the winter storm should expect treacherous driving conditions overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning. North Carolina Department of Transportation maintenance crews in Raleigh and points east are brining major roadways, bridges, overpasses and other common trouble spots in anticipation of the winter weather.

The extremely cold temperatures mean any precipitation that falls could be more difficult to clear from the roads. Brine can only be applied when temperatures are above 20 degrees, as the salt-water brine solution can freeze onto the roadways and create icy conditions when temperatures are in the teens. Extreme cold in the evening and overnight also limits the ability of salt to melt snow and ice on roadways.  Crews will need to wait for the rising temperature during the daytime to clear any ice.

“These extreme cold temperatures can be life-threatening if people lose power and heat,” said NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “Many counties are ready with plans for  warming centers, should they be needed.  People should make sure they are ready for the cold, and should stay off the roads while conditions are dangerous.”




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