Triangle Prepares For The Season's First Snowfall

Jan 5, 2017

An empty supermarket shelf on Thursday, January 5, 2016. Triangle area residents prepared for the first major snowstorm of the season by stocking up on the basics.
Credit Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Updated 1:20 p.m. Jan. 6, 2017.

The Triangle is bracing for up to eight inches of snow Saturday, with slightly smaller accumulations in the Triad and the Sandhills.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Scott Sharp said Friday afternoon's rain will give way to sleet and snow overnight. The Triangle could see up to 8 inches of snow by midday Saturday.

"Whatever falls on the roads will remain on the roads for several days, as we are expecting a Arctic air mass to filter in across the region as the storm exits out of the area Saturday night," he said, adding temperatures moving into Sunday morning will drop to the teens. "I think a lot of places will probably be 10-to-15 above, with a few single digits in the normally colder locations."

Sharp said roads are likely to freeze over for several days, making for a treacherous Monday commute.

Crews prepare for winter weather

Department of Transportation crews in central North Carolina are testing snowplows and spreaders, checking fuel supplies and moving equipment into position.

Governor Roy Cooper on Friday authorized a state of emergency for all 100 North Carolina counties.

Cooper said during a press conference that Duke Energy and power co-ops are monitoring the weather closely.

"When snow gets up to six inches there can be more of a chance of a power outage," Cooper said. "So although we don't expect widespread outages, we will be ready for that."

The National Guard and Highway Patrol have also been mobilized across the state to provide emergency support as a winter storm approaches. There are also about 1,900 Department of Transportation trucks across the state that are ready to be deployed, Cooper said.

Schools, government offices announce closings

Wake County Public Schools will cancel after-school activities today because of the coming winter storm.

Schools in Durham and Orange Counties, and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will dismiss students two hours early today due to snow. All after school activities are canceled.

Durham Technical Community College closes at 3 p.m. Evening classes are canceled at Alamance Burlington Schools.

Person County Schools and Chatham County Schools will release students at 1:30 p.m. today and cancel all after school activities. Person County Community College will release at 1 p.m.

Durham County Government offices will close at 2 p.m. Durham City offices and Orange County government offices also will close at 3 p.m.

Johnston County Schools canceled after school activities and weekend activities. Nash-Rocky Mount Schools also canceled all after school activities.