12/26/17 — Winter weather advisory takes effect at midnight

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Winter weather advisory takes effect at midnight

By Steve Herring
Published in News on December 26, 2017 4:28 PM

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Plows have been placed on state Department of Transportation trucks in preparation of possible wintery weather that could hit the area over the next several days.

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Luther Thompson, state Department of Transportation maintenance supervisor for Wayne County, directs a truck driver loading a salt spreader on the vehicle Tuesday afternoon. Workers were called in today from their Christmas break to prepare for possibly wintry weather between today and Friday.

State Department of Transportation workers who were off for the Christmas holiday were called in Tuesday morning in advance of possible winter weather hitting the area.

A winter weather advisory goes into effect at midnight tonight and will remain in effect until 10 a.m. Wednesday for Wayne, Johnston, Sampson, Cumberland and Scotland counties.

Light freezing rain is expected and will result in very slippery conditions on elevated road surfaces such as as bridges and overpasses -- areas treated today by state Department of Transportation crews in those counties.

Total ice accumulations will be light,  ranging from a glaze up to perhaps one tenth of an inch, according to the National Weather Service in Raleigh.

Freezing rain is also more likely to accumulate on tree limbs and power lines. However, the Weather Service says there will not be enough ice accumulation to pose and danger of power outages.

Ice, which will be difficult to see prior to sunrise, will, however, make the morning commute dangerous, the agency said.

The freezing rain is predicted to end by 10 a.m. and any lingering icy patches will quickly melt as temperatures reach the low 40s.

Light precipitation -- mainly in the form of freezing rain -- also is possible in the Goldsboro and Fayetteville area from now through Friday.

National Weather Service predictions show less than one-tenth of an inch of ice accumulation is possible in the Goldsboro and Fayetteville area through Friday morning.

But the weather agency says the greatest chance for a glaze or light accumulation exists outside of Fayetteville and Goldsboro, where a winter weather advisory was issued Tuesday afternoon for areas east and south of Wayne County.

One is in effect from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday for Duplin, Jones and Craven counties, where a total ice accumulations of a light glaze are expected. Sleet is expected along with the rain and freezing rain.

The second is in effect from 4 a.m. to 3 p.m. today for Pitt, Lenoir, Greene, Martin, Washington and Beaufort counties.

Total ice accumulations of a light glaze are expected with less than an inch of snowfall.

"We are just trying to pretreat the bridges and overpasses just to be on the side of caution," said Luther Thompson, Wayne County DOT maintenance supervisor. "We are not doing the entire lanes.

"We are hooking up equipment with spreaders so we can treat the roads with salt and be ready to go."

One truck was pretreating bridges and overpasses in the southern part of the county Tuesday. Another truck worked Interstate-795 while two others worked along U.S. 70 and the new U.S. 70 Bypass.

Thompson said some spreaders had earlier been hooked up to some trucks.

He joked that they would take advantage of Tuesday's warmer weather to complete the hook-ups since they did not know what the weather would be.

Thompson said the salt would not be put into the spreaders unless needed.

No crews are on standby at the DOT maintenance yard on U.S. 70  tonight, but crews will be called in if needed, he said.

A hazardous weather outlook is in effect for central North Carolina with areas of light freezing rain or a wintry mix possible on Wednesday morning.

According to the National Weather Service office in Raleigh there is a 20 percent chance of freezing rain after 1 a.m. with a low around 28 and a light northeast wind.

There is 40 percent chance of freezing rain before 10 a.m. Wednesday, then a chance of rain between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Skies will be mostly cloudy Wednesday, with a high near 4o with a north wind of 6 to 9 mph. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

It will be partly cloudy Wednesday night with a  low of around 23 degrees and a northeast wind 8 to 13 mph.

Thursday's skies will be partly sunny, with a high near 35 and a northeast wind of 8 to 10 mph.

There is a slight chance of snow before midnight, then a chance of snow and freezing rain.

The low temperature will be around 23. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent. Little to no snow accumulation expected.

Friday there is a slight chance of snow and freezing rain before 4 p.m. otherwise it will be partly sunny, with a high near 38. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

The high for the day will be near 38, falling into the low 20s at night.