Snow misses Triangle, cold sticks around

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January 9, 2010 3:23:17 PM PST
After some light rain and snow Friday morning, a fresh batch of arctic air spilled into the Triangle.The frigid temperatures could create dangerous driving conditions for the weekend.

"The weekend will be a near carbon copy of last weekend, with sunny skies and cold temperatures," ABC11 Chief Meteorologist Chris Hohmann said. "Highs both days will be in the mid to upper 30s, with lows in the mid teens."

Moisture on untreated roads will probably freeze, so DOT crews are asking drivers to be careful and keep their speed down.

On Friday, some areas got a light dusting of snow from a cold front moving through the area.

Many central North Carolina school districts operated on a 2-hour delay Friday morning - including Wake, Durham and Orange Counties.

Person County 911 dispatch told ABC11 Eyewitness News it was slammed with weather related calls just before 7 a.m. Schools in that county closed for the day.

Road crews had to re-treat roads in Roxboro and surrounding areas that iced up overnight Thursday.

Further south, areas like Raleigh and Durham and Fayetteville got light rain. The rain tapered off before sunrise and there were no significant accumulations of ice.

Friday afternoon, a broken water main made it a slick drive for commuters in Durham.

It was 28 degrees outside when water bubbled-up through the asphalt. It created an icy situation on Duke Street at Crutchfield Street near Durham Regional Hospital.

A couple of cars got into a wreck after the water pipe broke, but officials brought in a sand truck to help prevent other accidents.

Meanwhile, DOT crews continued hitting cold spots with sand and salt as needed to decrease the threat of slippery roads.

In Wake County, workers began treating roads with brine early this week.

"Northern states might get a lot more snow and that has to be handled differently," explained Steve Brown, Cary Public Works. "Freezing rain and ice is much more difficult to deal with, and it can make the roads very treacherous with very little actual precipitation."

Wake County DOT workers treated major highways with brine Wednesday. The Town of Cary began spraying its roads with a salt water mixture Monday.

ABC11 Eyewitness News Chief Meteorologist Chris Hohmann said behind the rain, we'll see much colder temperatures.

Click here for the 7-day forecast

Snowstorm enters Northeast, complicating commutes

Meanwhile to the north of the Carolinas, a broad snowstorm pushed eastward early Friday, dumping a light coating of snow in the Northeast, making the morning rush tricky and closing or delaying the opening of some schools, all part of a powerful cold front engulfing much of the nation.

The National Weather Service said that the edge of the storm, with light snow flurries, reached the Philadelphia area overnight and that 1 to 2 inches of snow were likely there and in the New York City metropolitan area. The weather service warned commuters to be careful trekking to work.

“People ought to take it easy when they get out on the road this morning,” weather service meteorologist Bill Goodman said early Friday.

Much of Pennsylvania woke up to at least a coating of snow Friday morning, with a total of 5 to 7 inches expected across the western part of the state.

Many schools across the Pennsylvania delayed opening and a few closed in response to the winter weather. Nearly 20 school districts in New Jersey, where a light dusting of snow fell Friday, delayed opening.

In Ohio, where icy cold winds and snow on Thursday contributed to occasionally treacherous road conditions, the weather service warned of a possible lake effect: cold arctic air blowing over open bodies of water, picking up moisture and carrying it inland, creating narrow bands of heavy snow. It said a winter storm warning was in effect until Saturday morning.

The Cincinnati and Columbus school districts canceled Friday classes.

Light snow began falling across Ohio on Thursday morning, gradually intensified throughout the day and continued through the night. Up to 6 inches were expected Friday, more in the northern sections of the state.

As Thursday’s snowfall blanketed the Midwest, a tractor-trailer spun out of control on a snow-slick road in Ohio, killing four people.

The tractor-trailer jackknifed on Interstate 70, crossed the highway median and swerved into oncoming traffic, colliding with a small bus transporting adult disabled passengers, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

Three passengers on the bus were killed, as was its driver. Six other passengers of the bus, which was carrying 11 people, were injured, as was the driver of the commercial truck, Sgt. Raymond Durant said.

Snowfall was heaviest in Minnesota and parts of South Dakota, where blowing winds piled up drifts too big for snowplow drivers to clear. In Illinois, six snowplows were involved in accidents, most when other vehicles rear-ended them. By Friday morning, parts of Wisconsin could see up to 12 inches of snow.

Snowflakes fell as far south as Alabama and Georgia.

Atlanta woke to an unusual glaze of ice on the roads Friday

after light snow overnight melted and refroze. Authorities urged motorists to stay home in much of Georgia, at least until daylight so they could see ice patches.

Drivers still collided. A 50-year-old woman in the far northern suburb of Acworth died after skidding off a road late Thursday. About 27 vehicles were involved in a pre-dawn crash Friday at the junction of two interstates near the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and three motorists were taken to hospitals.

Frostbite-inducing temperatures gripped much of the nation, and schools in at least 10 states were closed, as were roads and government offices.

Nowhere was it colder than in Bismarck, N.D., where wind chills hit a frighteningly frigid 52 below zero and the temperature reached 14 below.

While North Dakotans get plenty of practice with bundling up, folks in other parts of the country were still learning the basics.

With temperatures on the Texas-Mexico border expected to near freezing Thursday night, officials in Laredo issued an advisory telling residents to “dress warmly and stay dry.”

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