Tri-County under winter storm warning

Jan. 18, 2013 @ 08:33 AM

A winter storm warning in effect from 6 p.m. Thursday until 4 a.m. Friday.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh issued the warning shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday.

Accumulations of two to four inches of snow are expected, the NWS says, across an area that includes a large part of the Piedmont and the northern coastal plain including the Triad, the Triangle and Rocky Mount. The area includes Vance, Granville and Warren counties.

Rain is expected to quickly change over to heavy wet snow this evening. This transition will occur west-to-east across the warning area, the NWS says.

The changeover is expected in the Triad region early this evening, reaching the Triangle area by mid to late evening. The snow will diminish west to east after 1 a.m., ending in the east by 4 a.m.

The NWS predicts snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour will quickly lead to an accumulation on grassy surfaces. Due to the warm pavement and the rain expected prior to changeover, most roads will initially remain wet but may become very slushy, especially where the heavier snowfall rates occur.

Temperatures near or slightly below freezing by early Friday morning will lead to roads quickly becoming slick and hazardous especially west of the Triangle. Travel will remain dangerous through most of Friday morning, the NWS says.

Northeast winds will gusts between 25 and 30 mph tonight. Temperatures will be in the 40s to the lower 50s today will quickly fall into the 30s this evening and to near or slightly below freezing by Friday morning.