Monday, June 24
Shadow

Power Outages & Treacherous Roads Likely As Forecast Calls For Less Snow/More Ice

ASHEBORO N.C. – Over the last 48 hours, as the start of the winter storm gets closer, meteorologist have been watching their forecast models closely. Now, just hours before snow and sleet are set to start, new forecasts are changing the amount of snow and ice we can expect, with warnings of widespread power outages and treacherous travel conditions.

WINTER STORM WARNING

At 3am this morning, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Raleigh upgraded the Winter Storm Watch for our area to a Winter Storm Warning, starting at midnight tonight. Meteorologist are calling for heavy mixed precipitation (snow, sleet, & freezing rain) with total snow accumulations of up to 3 inches and ice accumulations of two tenths to three tenths of an inch, with winds gusts as high as 40 mph.

TIMELINE

Sunday Morning: The system bringing the winter weather will move in with snow and sleet starting around 3am continuing until around 10am.

Sunday: Snow and sleet are set to change to freezing rain for most of the day. While highs are expected to be near 33°F the strong winds and gusts will result in wind chill values possibly dropping as low as 13°F. By Sunday evening, ice accumulations of 0.2-0.4 of an inch are likely with snow and sleet accumulations expected to be around 1.5 inches.

Sunday Night: Things are expected to calm down with winds dropping to under 10 mph and rain until 11pm, after which skies will become partly cloudy.

Monday: Expect good melting temps under sunny skies, but Monday night temperatures dropping to 18°F will create problems with roads refreezing creating dangerous travel conditions.

IMPACTS

Randolph County will be within the area of the worst icing which the NWS says is expected to occur 40 miles either side of a line from Charlotte to Albemarle to Sanford.

Snow Accumulation(NWS)
Ice Accumulation (NWS)

Travel Conditions
On Sunday travel conditions will be treacherous if not impossible. While warmer temperatures will help clear roadways on Monday, but that night falling temperatures will refreeze roads again creating treacherous traveling conditions. NCDOT and the State Highway Patrol are planning to tow any abandoned or disabled vehicles starting Saturday and continuing through Monday.

“After the storm hits, please stay home and off the roads,” said NCDOT Chief Operating Officer Beau Memory. “NCDOT and contractor crews will do the best they can to clear roads as quickly as possible, but we ask everyone to be safe and stay patient.”

Power Outages
Downed trees will lead to widespread power outages that could last hours or days. Duke Energy is estimating 750,000 customers could lose power in the Carolinas due to the storm and is warning that customers in storm’s path should prepare for possible multi-day power outages.

GETTING READY

NCDOT crews and contractors used hundreds of trucks Thursday and Friday to apply brine to roads across the state in advance of the winter storm. “Our crews and contractors are doing all we can to get ready for this storm and we ask North Carolinians to prepare as well,” said J. Eric Boyette, State Transportation Secretary. “Please make sure to plan ahead because this storm could impact travel around the state.”

How To Prepare

Now is the time to prepare for the impacts expected from this storm. Today you should prepare you home by cutting away tree branches that could fall on your house or another structures or vehicles during the storm, clearing rain gutters, and insulating pipes, Check your heating fuel level and making sure you have fuel for heaters, grills, and generators. (Importantly remember to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by only using generators and grills outdoors and away from windowsNever heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.)

Ensure that you have what you need to stay at home for 1-2 days possibly without power. That includes food, water, and medication. Charge your cell phone and any electronics you may need tonight before going to bed in case you loose power overnight. Make sure you have batteries for flashlights.

The Red Cross has a good guide on understanding and preparing for winter weather.

If You Do Loose Power

Close off rooms that you aren’t using to avoid wasting heat. Stuff towels or rags in the cracks under doors. Close blinds or curtains on your windows to keep in some heat. Remember to eat and drink as food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat. Drink lots of water and other non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic drinks to prevent dehydration. Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Remove layers to avoid overheating, sweating. Know the number to call for your power company, don’t trust the internet to be there when you need to look it up.