Freezing Rain May Lead to Slippery Commute Wednesday

Winter has officially settled in across the Tar Heel state, and our area is no exception. After seeing heavy rain early Monday morning, temperatures have fallen and led to the possibility of some icing as we continue through the week.

The National Weather Service has issued alerts – including a Winter Weather Advisory for Orange County and a Winter Storm Watch for Durham and Wake Counties – that will go into effect late Tuesday and remain through mid-day Wednesday.

NWS Meteorologist Shawna Coakley says Tuesday we expect to have lingering drizzle, but the real problems may develop late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

“We’ll have temperatures right within a few degrees of freezing, and that brings with it a chance of freezing rain,” she says.

Coakley says we are not expected to see major accumulation, but “certainly you could get some glazing on surfaces. And you might see some difficulty with travel on roadways and walking on sidewalks.”

Coakley adds the chance of inclement weather will be rather widespread.

“We’re looking at the whole area for this, the entirety of central North Carolina,” she says.

The Wednesday morning commute may be a slippery one, if the variables of the forecast develop over the next 24 hours.

After that, Coakley says the temperatures will climb above freezing for the foreseeable future and the chance of rain will diminish to close out the week – taking any chance of inclement weather with it.

Freezing Rain Still Possible In OC, But Not Much

CHAPEL HILL – A freezing rain advisory remains in effect for Orange, Chatham and Durham counties until 7:00 p.m. Sunday, but meteorologists now say it’s not likely we’ll see much.

National Weather Service meteorologist Brandon Locklear says to expect a bit of freezing rain in the area sometime between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., turning into rain later in the afternoon as the temperature rises.

Earlier forecasts had called for as much as a quarter inch of freezing rain, but Locklear says the actual accumulation will be minimal.

Still, even a small amount of freezing rain can cause slick road conditions, so forecasters are reminding drivers to take extra precaution when on the roads on Sunday.

Freezing Rain Likely Sunday Morning

CHAPEL HILL – Get ready for a shot of winter weather: the National Weather Service has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory for the Triangle on Sunday from 4:00 in the morning until 7:00 in the evening, with steady precipitation and temperatures dropping to the low 30s.

“By around daybreak, maybe an hour or two before daybreak, we’ll see temperatures right around the freezing mark,” says NWS meteorologist Brandon Locklear, “and we could have a period of freezing rain Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon.”

Depending on how long it lasts before temperatures climb back above freezing, Locklear says that could result in “as much as a tenth to a quarter of an inch of ice,” with more sustained accumulation further to the west near Greensboro.

“The further south and east that you live, you’re likely to see less (accumulation),” he says. “In the Chapel Hill area, you could be in the clear as early as 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon on Sunday.”

Freezing Rain Possible In The Triangle Thursday Night And Friday Morning

RALEIGH – The National Weather Service is keeping an eye on a storm system that could bring more frozen precipitation to the Triangle area at the end of this week.

“It looks like we may see a brief period of some freezing rain and sleet at the onset of it,” NWS forecaster Scott Sharp says. “It (should) happen after midnight or so. (There) may be a little bit of a period of freezing rain early Friday morning before it changes to all rain by mid- to late-morning.”

Of course the greatest concern will be for commuters Friday morning.

Sharp says the system is still a ways off with time for the forecast to change. But as of now, it looks like another Friday could be affected by cold temperatures and potentially harmful weather. The good news is that is isn’t expected to last long.

“We are monitoring a storm system out in the southern Rockies that will be approaching the southeast US late Thursday into Thursday night and Friday,” Sharp says. “It looks like the precip (will begin) during the overnight hours Thursday into Friday morning.”

Stay tuned to WCHL and as the storm approaches. We’ll continue to bring you up to the minute forecasts of the winter weather expected in the area.

Click here for the current Chapel Hill forecast.