Snow, Freezing Rain Forecast for Area
Ice Brings Threat of Power Outages
A month ago, Moore County dodged its first winter storm of the season. This time around, the area won’t be so lucky.
It appears likely that the county will see a significant amount of freezing rain, sleet and some snow. The newest forecast indicates that the some parts of the county are expected to receive 2 to 4 inches of snow. For the latest report, click here.
Also a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch of freezing rain is possible in the southern part of the county, depending on where the snow boundary falls.
“The (weather) models we have been tracking have been very consistent,” said Darin Figurskey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh. “I don’t think we are going to avoid wintry precipitation this time around.”
Moore County is under a winter storm warning from 6 p.m. today until midnight Saturday. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service are keeping a close eye on conditions that are expected to bring the area a wintry mix of sleet, freezing rain and snow tonight and into Saturday morning.
Figurskey said the areas to the north of U.S. 64 will likely see more snow than freezing rain or sleet.
In December, the snow missed Moore County because the precipitation arrived before temperatures dropped below freezing. This time around, the cold air is expected to arrive before the precipitation, increasing the likelihood that Moore County will take a hit.
There is a 20 percent chance of precipitation after 3 p.m. Chances of rain and snow increase until 11 p.m., when the precipitation likely will turn to freezing rain, possibly mixed with sleet.
“The heaviest precipitation time will be from midnight (tonight) until daybreak Saturday,” Figurskey said.
The wintry mix will continue to fall through noon Saturday. And road conditions could be dangerous.
“It’s going to be real tough traveling beginning late Friday and into Saturday,” Figurskey said. “It is going to be a slow go because we don’t expect temperatures to get above freezing until Sunday.”
Skies are expected to clear on Sunday with high temperatures reaching the mid-to-upper 30s. Highs are expected to return to the 40s by Monday.
When weather forecasters call for bad weather, area grocery stores often see a big increase in sales of staples such as milk, bread, soup and other quick-fix items. Ice melt, ice scrapers and snow shovels are popular sellers at area hardware stores.
On Thursday, the N.C. Department of Transportation prepared for winter weather by putting a salt brine solution on primary roads and key secondary roads in Moore County. The salt brine pre-treats road surfaces by sticking to the pavement and keeping ice from bonding to the roadway during the first few hours of winter weather.
In Southern Pines and Pinehurst, public works crews were also out putting down the salt brine solution on town roads and streets.
Travelers can call 511, the state’s toll-free travel information line, for up-to-date information on road conditions.
Scot Brooks, Moore County emergency manager, said his employees have been monitoring the weather bulletins for several days, sending out alerts to necessary agencies throughout the county. Brooks is also making sure necessary emergency management personnelare rested and available if the weather gets dicey.
“We’ve done our due diligence,” Brooks said. “Now, we wait and see what it (weather) does.”
Brooks said freezing rain, sleet and ice can present bigger problems than snow.
“Ice means downed trees and power lines,” he said. “Widespread power outages can be a real bad thing.”
Local power companies are taking necessary steps to make sure they are prepared in case of power outages.
“We are engaging our storm plan and identifying areas of highest risk,” said Andy Honeycutt, community relations manager for the Southern Region of Progress Energy.
Honeycutt said extra crews will be staged in Rockingham and be sent to the areas of need if the weather causes outages.
“We’ve been spared for a while but we’re preparing and making sure we are ready no matter what happens,” Honeycutt added.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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