Area Dodges Snowball on First Winter Storm: White Christmas Looking Unlikely
A winter storm that slammed parts of North Carolina and areas of the Northeast missed Moore County entirely, but just barely.
The rain-snow line of the storm tracked a little bit to the west of its original predicted path, according to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. As a result of that change, Moore County got about an inch of rain Friday instead of snow.
"You were looking at six to nine inches if all that liquid was snow," said Ryan Ellis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh.
Areas to the north and west of the Sandhills got snow. Some areas of central North Carolina received as much as eight inches. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said it had received more than 1,000 calls involving accidents and for assisting stranded motorists.
Moore County was under a winter storm watch through Saturday evening. Uncertainty abounded about how the storm would or would not affect the area.
On Thursday, several grocery stores in Moore County saw an increase in the sales of milk, bread and other nonperishable food items as residents prepared for the worst. Ice melt was a popular purchase at local hardware stores.
Public work crews from local municipalities and the N.C. Department of Transportation prepared for winter weather by putting a salt brine solution on highways, primary roads and key secondary roads. The salt brine pre-treats road surfaces by preventing ice from bonding to the roadway during the first few hours of winter weather.
On Friday, as rain fell and the threat of winter weather loomed, the Moore County school system and The O'Neal school dismissed students at 1 p.m. All athletic events involving teams from the schools that were scheduled for Friday night were canceled or postponed.
Temperatures are expected to rise beginning today. And with the predicted warm-up, it now appears slim that Moore County will have a white Christmas.
High temperatures are expected to remain in the lower to mid-40s for the remainder of the week. Precipitation is possible Thursday or Friday, but highs on Christmas Day are expected to be near 50 degrees.
"We could see a system roll through on Thursday and Friday, but I think any precipitation we get will be on the liquid side," Ellis said. "As it looks now, we are pretty much out of the woods for snow until after Christmas."
Contact Tom Embrey at 693-2484 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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