North Carolina's Overnight Forecast: Re-Freezing And More Snow Possible
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.
The storm is expected to pass through the area by Saturday evening.
This post has been updated regularly with the latest weather conditions and forecasts from the National Weather Service.
We are continuing to give updates on the latest road conditions, closings and power outages here.
Updated 6:03 p.m.
The National Weather Service has issued its overnight winter weather briefing. It says the number of reports of downed trees and power outages has surged in the last two hours, mostly in the eastern part of the Triangle.
The forecast calls for another quarter-inch of ice accumulation in some areas. Forecasters say surfaces will likely re-freeze tonight as temperatures dip below freezing again. There will be some pockets of heavy freezing rain, mostly in the Triad and near the Virginia border, and on-and-off snow flurries throughout the day on Saturday.
Updated 4:59 p.m.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service say this evening's rain will likely turn back into freezing rain and some snow flurries overnight.
The NWS says drivers should be aware of black ice Saturday morning as temperatures drop back below freezing. Tonight's precipitation is expected to be stronger in the Triangle.
In the Triad, temperatures will remain below freezing through this evening. The storm should pass entirely by Saturday evening.
Updated 4:05 p.m.
Temperatures are rising to the freezing mark in the Triangle and the Sandhills. Forecasters expect little to no accumulation in those areas until overnight, when temperatures dip again.
But it's significantly colder in the Triad. With constant temperatures in the lower 20s. The National Weather Service says it has received reports of ice accumulating quickly on power lines. Forecasters say there will be a higher risk of downed trees and power outages over the next few hours.
Updated 3:14 p.m.
In the Triad, sleet and freezing rain are still coming down in isolated areas. Greensboro and Winston-Salem have gotten the worst of the storm in central North Carolina.
"We're going to see the worst of the icing west of the U.S. Hwy. 1 corridor," National Weather Service meteorologist Nick Petro tells WUNC's Jeff Tiberii.
"Clearly, that will pose a problem to transportation. Folks should plan on just staying off the roads today."
Temperatures are still below freezing in the Triangle, Traid and Sandhills. Petro says the state will likely experience intermittent rain, sleet and snow flurries overnight and through Saturday.
Updated 2:25 p.m.
Northeastern North Carolina and parts of the Outer Banks are getting a brief reprieve from the precipitation, but sleet and freezing rain are still widespread across central North Carolina.
Updated 1:09 p.m.
Stubbornly low temperatures are making for slick roads in central North Carolina.
National Weather Service meteorologist Nick Petro tells WUNC's Jeff Tiberii that the temperature is barley inching up to the high 20s in the early afternoon.
"Even though precipitation may hit your windshield or the road in the form of a liquid, it's going to freeze on contact," Petro says. "And that's what we call freezing rain, so that's the main concern over the rest of the event."
Updated 12:30 p.m.
That National Weather Service has issued its latest winter storm briefing, saying there will be less snow than anticipated across North Carolina, but more sleet and freezing rain.
Forecasters have modified their predictions for snow and sleet accumulations to 1-3 inches in the Triangle area and 3-6 inches in the Triad.
Fayetteville and the Sandhills will likely see less than an inch on the ground, but the NWS is still warning of up to a half-inch of ice, which could snap trees or power lines.
Updated 11:40 a.m.
The Chatham County Board of Commissioners has declared a state of emergency. This is in addition to the states of emergency declared by Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday, and the Wake County Board of Commissioners earlier this morning.
Updated 11:24 a.m.
Temperatures remain slightly colder in the Triad area, where sleet has been the heaviest in central North Carolina.
The latest forecast says temperatures are only expected to rise to 25 degrees by this afternoon in Greensboro. The high for the Triangle is 32. Meanwhile, Fayetteville's high is 36, and temperatures on the Outer Banks should rise to 47.
Updated 10:38 a.m.
In a 10:30 a.m. press conference, Gov. Pat McCrory reported that one person died in a wreck on I-95 earlier this morning. The governor did not identify the victim.
McCrory echoed forecasters' concerns about gusty winds of up to 30 miles per hour through this evening. That could cause power outages, especially where ice has accumulated. We are continuing to give updates on the latest road conditions and closings here.
Updated 9:42 a.m.
The latest forecast from the National Weather Service shows this morning's early snowfall has quickly turned into sleet and freezing rain.
The Triangle got about a half-inch of snow before the precipitation changed to sleet. The NWS says road conditions will likely become more hazardous by this evening.
Updated 8:49 a.m.
The National Weather Service's radar shows the snow and sleet in isolated spots along the Outer Banks, mostly near Corolla. Areas south are experiencing rain.
In central North Carolina, temperatures are holding in the mid-20s. Snow is mixing with sleet, with the bulk of the snowfall happening along the Virginia border.
Updated 8:14 a.m.
The Wake County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency this morning. That officially opens the door for municipalities to assist each other in the winter storm.
Updated 7:31 a.m.
Snow and sleet are falling across much of central and eastern North Carolina.
The precipitation started before dawn and is expected to continue through this evening, but forecasters say temperatures will likely rise more quickly than anticipated.
That means snow will change to sleet by this afternoon, causing potentially hazardous road conditions. WUNC has the latest updates on roads and closings here.
The National Weather Service expects 2-4 inches of snow or sleet in the Triangle. The Sandhills, including Fayetteville, could experience little or no snowfall today, but the forecast calls for up to a half-inch of ice accumulation. The Outer Banks could see patches of freezing rain.
But the Triad could get the worst of the storm. The forecast calls for 6-12 inches of snow in that area.
Meteorologists expect wind gusts of up to 30 miles per hour throughout the day. The NWS says residents in the hardest hit areas, like the Triad, should prepare for downed trees and power outages.
A winter storm warning is still in effect for central North Carolina until 6 p.m. Saturday. Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency Thursday. The governor will be giving an update on the state's efforts to respond to the storm at 10:30 a.m. Friday.