Weather

Drought Map as of June 21, 2016.
North Carolin a Drought Monitor

Summer has brought moderate-to-severe drought conditions to 14 counties in the southwest corner of the state.

The area usually sees about an inch of rain per week, but not so this year, according to State Climatologist Rebecca Ward.

Image of the warning areas from the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service

School districts across the state are closing early today in anticipation of thunderstorms, strong winds and possible tornadoes.

Wake, Durham, Johnston, Cumberland and Sampson County schools are among dozens of districts letting out about three hours early this afternoon. District officials say the dismissal is an unusual precaution. But they want to make sure students are safe at home and not on the bus when the severe weather is expected to hit.

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: 

National Weather Service / NOAA

Updated 6:53 p.m.

Meteorologists say another line of precipitation will add a little more ice and freezing rain to the wintry mix tonight.

The National Weather Service says the heaviest ice accumulation overnight will stretch along a line across central North Carolina from Moore County in the Sandhills to Granville County along the Virginia border. Within that range are Wake, Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties. The forecast says there could be another quarter-inch's worth of ice by morning.

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.

University Classes, Schools Canceled Friday

Jan 21, 2016
snow on I-40
Dave DeWitt

Updated at 6:26 pm: 

School and business closings are starting to come in, ahead of Friday’s expected storm.

UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, and NC State University have canceled classes for Friday.

Here's a list of schools that have announced they will be closed Friday:

  • Wake County Schools
  • Durham Public Schools 
  • Chapel Hill/Carrboro Schools 
  • Orange County Schools 
  • Cumberland County Schools
  • Chatham County Schools
  • Johnston County Schools
  • Alamance/Burlington Schools 
  • Guilford County Schools 
  • Franklin County Schools
  • Edgecombe County Schools
  • Nash/Rocky Mount Schools 
  • Person County Schools 
  • Lee County Schools 
  • Roanoke Rapids Schools
  • Weldon City Schools
  • Northampton County Schools
  • Warren County Schools

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.

A picture of a dog standing in snow.
Poligraf Poligrafovich / Wikipedia

Temperatures are holding steady at freezing and below. So animal advocates and veterinary professionals are urging owners not to leave pets outside if they can avoid it.

Cold sky in the woods.
http://www.torange.biz

An Arctic cold front passed through the region Monday, bringing below-freezing temperatures to the Triad and Triangle.

National Weather Service Forecaster Scott Sharp says temperatures have hovered in the teens so far this morning.

Flash flooding led first responders to evacuate residents of two Chapel Hill apartment complexes.
Jess Clark

Flash flooding led firefighters to evacuate residents of two Chapel Hill apartment complexes Wednesday afternoon.

Greg Fishel
WRAL.com

Broadcast meteorologists on local television have one job. It’s simple to express but difficult to do well. Predict the future, a few days at a time.

To be an effective forecaster, a broadcast meteorologist has to be a scientist. And because it’s TV, she or he also has to be likable and trustworthy.

Greg Fishel of WRAL is all of those things. He also used to be a global warming denier. Now, he admits he was wrong.

A picture of a flooded New Jersey pumpkin patch.
Jackie / Wikipedia

The worst of the stormy weather has passed. But Brian Long of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says the trouble is still ahead for farmers.

"Unfortunately, the impacts are on some of the crops that are major for North Carolina: Peanuts, sweet potatoes, cotton, tobacco, soybeans, in particular. And then you think about farmers, such as pumpkin farmers, that this is the time of year when their crop is in demand, and we're hearing some reports of pumpkins, you know, actually just floating in water in fields."

heat index
Climate Central

It’s the south, and it’s August. That means it’s hot. But if you’ve lived here a while and you think it’s worse than usual, you’re right.

This decade (2010-2014) has already had as many 95+ degree days as the Triangle experienced during the entire 1980s. That’s according to an analysis from meteorologist Lee Ringer at News 14 Carolina:  

A picture of strawberries.
BeccaG / Flickr

North Carolina's strawberry harvest is expected to be strong, even though a cold winter damaged some plants.

Don Nicholson is a regional agronomist for the state Department of Agriculture.

"We still had those extremely cold nights, and even though the plants are dormant, they still had some damage to the crown, which translates into some growers not having much fruit right now."

Nicholson says it hasn't resulted in a marked shortage.

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.

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 picture of an ice warning road sign.
Petelewisr / Wikipedia

Much of central North Carolina was hit with freezing rain overnight.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Scott Sharp says ice will linger throughout the morning.

“Temperatures here across the Triangle today are in the upper 20s, and probably will not rise much above freezing until about lunchtime or so.”

North Carolina Department of Transportation Spokesman Steve Abbott says salt trucks were busy yesterday, and the roads themselves are mostly dry.

Many schools in the region have delayed openings or are closed. Here's a complete list from our friends at ABC 11:

Jenna McLaughlin (foreground) during the kayak trip.
Jenna McLaughlin

Baby it's cold outside. So cold that many schools across the state took a little extra time to warm up the school buses, and doors opened late. An N&O reporter went on a ride-along to with the Durham Rescue Mission to find people living in the woods.

It rarely gets this cold in here in the Carolinas, so we took to Twitter to see what people are saying.

A picture of a hand in a fingerless glove.
ADRIGU / Flickr

Charities are urging shoppers not to forget the less fortunate during the winter holidays.

The Durham Rescue Mission and Salvation Army are collecting gifts for children.

Other shelters are asking people to drop off essentials for people who are out in the cold.

“In our winter ministry, in which we distribute clothes out in the community, we need scarves and hats and gloves and coats,” says Lynn Daniel.

You probably noticed: It's really cold outside. But it's not just you.

According to the National Weather Service and meteorologist Eric Holthaus, all 50 states hit 32 degrees or lower on Tuesday.

Yep. Even Hawaii, where Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano reaching 13,800 feet above sea level, was below freezing.

This map from the National Weather Service's Twin Cities office shows you that:

Frost design
RachelEllen via Flickr/Creative Commons

Residents of the Piedmont will experience a bitter cold snap Tuesday morning.  A strong front passing through the state Monday evening will lead to temperatures only reaching as high as the 30s Tuesday.  

National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Sharp says the chilly weather will stretch into Tuesday night.

Sharp predicts it will be very cold Tuesday night with lows near 20, upper teens in more outlying areas. 

Then on Wednesday we will start what Sharp calls a moderating trend, with temperatures still well below normal for this time of year. 

Pages