Low Temperatures To Keep Roads Icy Through Tuesday Morning

Jan 8, 2017

Updated 1:12 p.m. 1/9/2017

Another day of low temperatures will likely leave snow and ice on the roads. The National Weather Service says it will stay below freezing on Monday for most of central North Carolina.

Meteorologist Gail Hartfield said drivers will probably encounter more icy patches on main roads Tuesday morning.

"Around the Triangle area, looking at holding below freezing for the entire day, basically, so whatever is out there is unlikely to melt much," Hartfield said. "The only thing that could happen is in areas that have full sunshine, just the strength of the sun itself may help to dry up some of the spots on the road."

Hartfield said temperatures will start to rise Tuesday, with highs in the mid 40s. It will hit 70 degrees by this Friday.

Updated Sunday:

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, flanked by emergency personnel, urged North Carolinians to stay off the roads Sunday night.

"A lot of people are seeing the sun, ... and being more confident about getting out on the roads," Cooper said at a press conference Sunday afternoon.

However, even with the sun, temperatures remained at or below freezing for much of the day, and cold temperatures during the night will cause ice to form on roadways that were relatively safe during the day. "Do not risk driving, unless it is necessary," Cooper said.

The weather claimed one fatality when a vehicle slid off an ice-covered interstate south of Asheboro in Montgomery County, according to Cooper. The driver was killed when the car slid down an embankment and hit a tree. It was the first reported fatality directly related to icy weather over the weekend.

Elsewhere, two lost hikers in Haywood County were found. Although they both had hypothermia, they lived. "Pretty much everybody accepts the fact that had they not been found, when they (were), they would not have made it through the night with the wind chills like they were."

North Carolina snowfall
Credit National Weather Service

Many school systems, including Buncombe, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Pitt, and Wake counties, had canceled Monday classes with more expected to do so by Sunday evening.

Cooper urged North Carolinians to stay off roads, which he called "hazardous."

Acting Transportation Secretary Mike Holder, echoed the governor’s caution. "Once again, like the governor stated, we encourage everyone to avoid driving unless it is absolutely necessary. Give our crews time to clear and treat roads," Holder said. "The number one cause of crashes in winter weather is excessive speed. Slow down, keep a safe distance between your car and other vehicles."