Snow

An image of child sliding down a sidewalk
Jess Clark / WUNC

Snow, sleet and ice continue to cover the state. Meanwhile, many people are staying safe as they experience the wintry weather. Take a look at what people are up to as the storm sweeps through:

Snow Scene
Billy Wilson (thebillywilson.com) via Flickr

Many regions of the Old North State are blanketed in snow today. As North Carolinians dig out from the storm, we dug back through the archives for these five snow day finds: 

Snow plow clearing the road
NCDOT

WUNC's complete coverage of the winter storm's timeline, impact, and ongoing closures and power outages.  Check back throughout the day and evening.

Salt brine sprayed and dried on a road surface for anti-icing before a snow storm
Z22 / Wikipedia

Winter Storm Jonas is headed across North Carolina tonight into early tomorrow morning.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Brandon Dunstan says the Triangle could get up to five inches of snow before tomorrow morning's commute; the Triad could see 10 inches. Freezing rain will likely fall throughout the afternoon.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Abbot says the department is ready.

Millbrook High School A. P. Human Geography teacher Mark Grow at work
Reema Khrais, WUNC

Many North Carolina students have been in class for only two days in the last two weeks because of the icy weather. But that doesn’t mean some of them haven’t been learning, or that teachers have stopped teaching.

On Friday morning at Millbrook High School in Wake County, Mark Grow carefully sidestepped an icy pathway where someone was shoveling.

“It’s been pretty slippery trying to get in and out of the building,” he said as he walked inside a school pod.

A picture of black ice outside WUNC.
Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

Whether your road has been plowed or not, you might want to think twice before heading out today, and to be really careful if you do. There's black ice everywhere.

(I took a spill in the parking lot just outside our studios, which was plowed yesterday.)  

After clearing main roadways of the heavy snow yesterday, the North Carolina Department of Transportation Department plows will hit neighborhoods today.  

But NCDOT Spokesman Steve Abbott warns that black ice will make driving risky throughout the morning.

A picture of an EDS truck by the WUNC sign.
Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

Updated at 7:45 a.m., Friday, February 27

Duke Energy has set up a day camp of sorts outside the WUNC studios in Chapel Hill. The temporary mess hall has been set up to feed utilities workers brought in to restore power to the Triangle, where tens of thousands are still in the dark, so to speak.

15-501 in Chapel Hill. Southbound is bumper-to-bumper at 1:30 p.m.
Carol Jackson

Many North Carolina school districts will have to make some tough decisions on how to make up the recent snow days.

State law requires all public schools to have at least 1,025 instructional hours or 85 instructional days in their calendars. Most school districts have some snow days built into their calendars, so they don’t have to make up all of the lost time.

But for the days they do have to make up, school officials have several options, which include:

A close-up picture of a snowflake
Alexei Kljatov / Creative Commons 2.0 http://earthdesk.blogs.pace.edu/files/2013/12/snowflake.jpg

A winter storm system is expected to sweep into the state tonight and leave 4 to 8 inches of snow in its wake. Freezing precipitation is likely to come at the end of the storm too. Meteorologist Darin Figurskey of the National Weather Service spoke with WUNC's All Things Considered host, Catherine Brand, about this wintry weather.

A 7-hour committee meeting carried on Wednesday at the Capitol. Refugees, open meetings and prison maintenance contracts were among the topics.
Jeff Tiberii

House Republicans filed an economic incentives bill at the General Assembly Tuesday.

This proposed measure would double the amount of incentive money available for the Job Development Investment Grant program, also known as J-DIG. Legislators want to make $45 million  in job incentives available over the next two years. The measure would require all employers seeking grant money to provide health coverage for all of its full-time employees; and, it would change the name of the program.

A picture of a school bus in the snow.
schoolbusdriver.org

Winter weather prompted many schools to close across central North Carolina today. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools made that call later than others. 

Classes at Chapel Hill-Carrboro high schools were canceled today, but not before elementary and middle school students got to their desks.

Truck being loaded with salt, Craven County (2/11/14)
NC DOT

Communities across the country are trying to replenish their stores of road salt. But, after the past harsh winter, the price of rock salt is climbing drastically.

Chris McGee is Raleigh's Transportation Field Services Manager. He says the city uses about 1,500 tons in a typical winter. But McGee said they used more than 4,000 tons this time around. Also, their cheaper purchasing contract just ended.

Raleigh recently signed a three-year contract that is 25 percent more expensive than the last one. McGee said they're buying enough salt for a typical winter right now.

A close-up picture of a snowflake
Alexei Kljatov / Creative Commons 2.0 http://earthdesk.blogs.pace.edu/files/2013/12/snowflake.jpg

A storm system is moving up the East Coast, but it's not likely to have a heavy impact South of Virginia.

Ryan Ellis is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Raleigh. He says we should expect some light precipitation and temperatures in the 30s this morning.

“Still cold enough to get some snow, but certainly not cold enough to cause major impacts,” said Ellis. “And this time of year, in late March, we know, from climatology, that it's just very hard to get a significant event here in North Carolina this late in the year.”

Urban Ministries of Durham's food pantry, which serves community members in need, tends to face extra demand after storms or bad weather.
Reema Khrais / WUNC

Thousands of North Carolina students are back in school after last week’s winter storm. But for many, the effects of the snow aren’t quite over. For low-income families, three to four days off of school can disrupt a tight budget, especially when their children rely on free or reduced lunches. 

Joyce Beavers, 32, takes care of four children who are all under the age of twelve. When she’s not at home, she works as a nurse’s aid making $7.25 an hour. She says she brings in less than $15-thousand dollars a year, and her husband is unemployed.

Duke Photography

Last week's winter storm canceled the men's basketball game between fierce rivals North Carolina and Duke. 

Meetings between coaches, athletic directors and the Atlantic Coast Conference resulted in the contest being rescheduled for this Thursday night in Chapel Hill.  That means both teams will be playing four games in eight days. 

The Tar Heels beat Pittsburgh over the weekend while the Blue Devils got past Maryland.  Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told Sirius-XM it's a challenging week.

Still from Video

Penn Holderness and Kim Dean Holderness, the brains behind the 2013 viral video 'Xmas Jammies', have a new video out: 'Snow Day: The Musical.'

'Xmas Jammies' is closing in on 14 million Youtube views. Could the dynamic duo do it again? Well, with so many kids and families at home, we bet the odds are likely.

If you didn't catch it the first time, here's 'Xmas Jammies':

Danielle Scott / Flickr Creative Commons http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielle_scott/

The two-day snow and ice storm has finally stopped, but hazardous road conditions remain.

Kathleen Carroll is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Raleigh. She said temperatures rose into the upper-30s yesterday, causing the snow to start melting.

“The problem is that it didn't really dry out a whole lot before the sun set and temperatures started to fall again,” Carroll said. “So what's we've seen over night is a pretty good development of black ice on area roads.”

This still shot from the traffic cameras on I-40 show heavy, stalled traffic. (Image taken at 12:59 p.m.)
still shot from WRAL video feed

The most recent updates are now found at this new post.

(This blog was from the first day of the storm, Wednesday 2/12/14)

Update 4:25 p.m.:

“Many businesses work to help their communities when bad weather strikes, but if you spot anyone using this storm to make an unfair profit off consumers, let us know about it." - Attorney General Roy Cooper

Update 4:19 p.m.:

Southpoint Mall
Dave DeWitt

A normal Wednesday night at the Streets at Southpoint mall is a swirling mass of activity. Shoppers. Diners. Teenagers on escalators. But this Wednesday was not a normal night.

“Everybody seemed fine until they realized, oh shoot, it’s really coming down,” said Maureen White, an employee of the mall. “It came on so quick.”

Maureen proved pretty quick herself. About 1:30 in the afternoon she called the hotel across the street and booked a room.

Michael Ulku-Steiner and Lee Hark announced school closing via Youtube
screenshot from Youtube video

The administrators at Durham Academy posted their school closing announcement yesterday via video. We added it to our weather newsfeed/blog, but think it's so good, it deserves its own post.

2014 snowstorm
Jennifer Coffman

The snow began falling in the Triangle around noon, causing many who were still at work to quickly head out on the roads. That caused major gridlock across the region. 

Hundreds if not thousands of motorists abandoned their vehicles along I-40 or the Raleigh Beltline or on the side of roads. Many walked home several miles through the snow.

ice on everything
Justinsomnia / licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Forecasters say a serious ice storm is headed our way.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Moneypenny says conditions could be similar to those of a 2002 ice storm that caused long power-outages across the state.

Ice increases the risk of branches snapping power lines, and of motorists sliding off the road into utility poles.

Moneypenney says parts of the Piedmont could receive up to five inches of snow. It will fall on ground that's already frozen, and the air isn't likely to warm up until the weekend.

Photo by mtsofan / John / found on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

The National Weather Service is calling for an ice storm, not unlike one that crippled the state in 2002. Home and business owners are on the lookout for rock salt, but they're having trouble finding it.

Eileen Beatty manages Pope True Value Hardware in Durham. She says winter inventory has gotten slim since the last snowstorm.

“We don't have anything here. All the salt is gone. Kerosene heaters are gone. Electric heaters are gone. I got two snow shovels left... Two saucers and two sleds,” Beatty said. “And that's it.”

 Image of a branch that has been subjected to freezing rain within the previous 24 hours. Note the branch is completly encapsulated in ice. Some melting has occurred as temperatures were around 0 Celsius
David Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on 27 Dec 2009. / Wikipedia Creative Commons

While the state transportation department is already out salting roads, utility companies are closely monitoring the weather forecast today.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Ryan Ellis said light snow is likely this afternoon, getting heavy tomorrow into Thursday. By tomorrow afternoon, he said, ice will coat much of the state.

Jane Pritchard is a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives. She said it would take a heavy snowfall to mess with power lines, but just a half-inch of ice can do a lot of damage.

Salvation Army Logo
The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army in Fayetteville administers two funds for those in financial need. The first, know as CIP (Crisis Intervention Program) is there to help people whose electricity could be cut off at any minute.

The second, known as LEAP (pronounced "lee-app") is a seasonal fund to help cover higher-than-usual heating bills. After a polar vortex and an uncharacteristically heavy snowfall, LEAP is being put to the test this week.

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