NC weather: Light snow fell overnight, cold and windy conditions to last throughout Saturday

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A light dusting of snow fell across central North Carolina blanketing grassy areas in a wintry white to start Saturday morning. The snow is gone but the threat now into Sunday is icy roads as temperatures remain bitterly cold.

This is the third straight weekend of winter weather for the region, but actually, we are right around average for how much snowfall we typically get in January.

Before this weekend's light snow, Raleigh had officially seen 2.3 inches of snow. The average for January is 3.1 inches.

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Overnight weather forecast



While the snow accumulation is not going to amount to much, Saturday is going to remain very cold. The morning started around freezing, and it will not warm up much past that.

In addition, winds will be gusty, bringing the feels like temperature down into the 20s.

Skies will be clear, which will help quickly melt the light snow on roads, hard surfaces and grassy areas.

Though the Triangle avoided the feet of snow dumped in the northeast, or even the few inches here last weekend in several spots, the very cold temperatures are presenting a concern for those who might need shelter.

PROVIDING SHELTER TO THOSE IN NEED



On Maywood Avenue in Raleigh, St. John's MCC is operating as a white-flag shelter.

We take in about 120 at the primary shelter every night, and then we probably have another 40-50 utilizing the overflow shelter spaces," said Pastor Vance Haywood, who leads St. John's MCC.
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On Maywood Avenue in Raleigh, St. John's MCC is operating as a white-flag shelter.



Haywood explained they have made adjustments due to the pandemic -- separating beds, requiring masks inside and providing N95 masks to clients and staff. During the week, they offer COVID-19 testing on-site and have partnered with health agencies to administer vaccines.

They also serve as a food pantry.

While those steps may help ease some concerns of clients being in congregate settings, Haywood notes necessary safety measures have also affected shelter capacity across the Triangle.

"Before COVID, we had just over 600 shelter beds on any given day. When COVID hit, that number dropped to today is just over 400. So we've lost 200 beds just due to spacing and COVID restrictions," said Haywood.

The shelter opens when it is 35 degrees or lower, a mark that has hit most nights recently. However, Haywood is concerned for the nights that are above that mark, but still cold to be in for several hours.

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Organizations are collecting coats, jackets and heaters to help those in need survive the cold temperatures. Michael Perchick reports.



At Helping Hand Mission, volunteers sorted through donated winter weather, providing to those in need.

"We've seen much more people come in this year," said Director Sylvia Wiggins.

She said they've been trying to keep up with requests.

"We gave out almost 400 pair of gloves just today, so it's been a steady flow. People definitely need them, I'm telling you this cold weather has been something," Wiggins explained.

Many people have been asking about heaters for their homes.

"Coats, and jackets, and children's clothes, and toboggans, gloves, we have been giving. We started out with a pretty good little supply, but so many people (came) in over here and (to) our shelter at New Bern House, so we are down to pretty much not much right now," Wiggins said.

NCDOT URGES CAUTION



Roads should remain largely clear. Although bridges and other raised surfaces could have some slick spots especially early in the morning.

More than 1,100 NCDOT employees and contractors started earlier this week treating roads with brine. As of Friday morning, NCDOT had used nearly 500 trucks to apply 1.5 million gallons of brine.

On Saturday, NCDOT officials warned residents to be careful if they must drive Saturday night and Sunday morning as bitterly cold temperatures will create slick, icy roads and bridges across parts of North Carolina.

More than 1,800 NCDOT crews and contractors worked through the night and into the morning to apply salt and sand to roads as snowfall moved across the state. On Saturday, N.C. Department of Transportation crews continued their work to clear roads impacted by the overnight storm. In addition to their pre-treatment efforts, NCDOT crews and contractors applied 6,200 tons of salt, 538 tons of salt and sand mixture and another 412,000 gallons of brine to de-ice roads.

Most crews were close to completing road clearing efforts Saturday and planned to head home to rest before returning tonight to work on trouble spots where roads could refreeze.

The North Carolina mountains received several inches of snow. Areas to the north and west of Asheville, particularly those in the highest elevations, saw the greatest accumulations, led by portions of Yancey County seeing up to 10 inches.

Madison County recorded up to 8 inches, weather service data said. Totals in Buncombe County ranged from 1 to 7 inches, depending on elevation.

Other sections of the state that received snowfall Friday night and Saturday that was more than a dusting included areas south of Greensboro.

The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro said Saturday that it would be closed Sunday because of the expected refreeze.

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How does this year's snowfall total compare to years past? Meteorologist Kweilyn Murphy breaks it down.



ABC11's Michael Perchick contributed to this report.

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