Cold, rainy start Saturday with brief chance for isolated freezing rain in parts of North Carolina

WTVD logo
Sunday, January 7, 2024
Wet start to Saturday, with chance for more rain and storms ahead
A look at road conditions as of 9 a.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A winter weather advisory is in place for Saturday morning in some parts of North Carolina, but the chance for significant icing is minimal.

Rain started falling overnight across much of North Carolina, and temperatures in some northern locations dipped down toward freezing ahead of sunrise. That recipe caused the National Weather Service to issue a winter weather advisory for counties along the North Carolina-Virginia border.

But the chance for ice accumulation remained minimal, with the best chance being along bridges and overpasses.

The rain is also expected to taper off in the early afternoon, although it could linger longer in areas located farther east.


First Alert Evening Weather Forecast: Jan. 6

Tuesday's Severe Weather Risk

The bigger concern going forward is Tuesday. That day will see a powerful storm for this time of year.

Expect heavy rain and strong winds, with a chance for some severe storms to develop -- especially south and east of the Triangle.

Flooding will be the main threat with this system, as it is expected to bring 2-3 inches of rain accumulation. But saturated ground and gusty wind could also cause some power outages.

ABC11 First Alert Doppler Radar Net improves real-time weather picture for North Carolina forecasts

Friday's Winter Weather Preparations

NCDOT crews spent Friday preparing for winter weather from the Triangle to the western part of the state which could see more of the freezing rain, sleet, and even snow in the mountains.

"Ice is definitely something that concerns us and we're keeping an eye on," Brooks said. "For ice, the threshold is about a quarter of an inch of ice when we start to see the potential for tree limbs to begin breaking and falling, and when they fall, they often hit power lines and can cause outages given the number of trees that we have. If those accumulations get to half an inch or more, you can start to see impacts to the equipment itself on the overhead lines," Jeff Brooks with Duke Energy said.

Brooks said they prepare year-round for severe weather, "We trim trees year-round. We make great improvements year-round to strengthen the grid to make it more resistant to power outages from these types of scenarios. But even so, we have a lot of trees in the state and we have a lot of overhead lines."

He said winter weather presents a different type of challenge, "It's really hard to predict the types of outage impacts you're going to see because again, that accumulation difference can be so small, you may not see anything or you may see a lot in a very concentrated area. When the roads are slick, we see cars hit poles and those utility poles can cause outages. Also, crews are going to be out there restoring power, so we want to keep them safe."

Download the ABC11 App and get weather alerts on your phone.

Brook issued a reminder to people to stay away from downed power lines and don't use generators indoors. He also said to make sure your cell phone is charged and have a personal winter strategy in place in case of a major storm.


"Think of 540 at Aviation where we have that long, sweeping, high bridge. We're picking up bridges like that. We're not anticipating a lot coming out of this event, but out of an abundance of caution, we're hitting our high and most vulnerable locations," Doug McNeal, NCDOT Division Maintenance Engineer told ABC11.

McNeal said there is a method to when they treat the roads and bridges with brine.

"We want to make sure that the road temperatures and the pavement temperatures are above freezing so we don't cause a problem during application. We're putting it out in advance today. It should be in good condition for when the weather starts to come in, in the early hours of the morning."

Skies should clear out Sunday, but any break in the stormy weather will not last beyond Monday.

Here's how to safely turn your home into a warming station during a power outage in the winter

Here are some hacks to keep your phone charged during a power outage