Tri-County forecast has 3-6 inches of snow

Jan. 27, 2014 @ 09:30 PM

Snow is in the forecast today, with estimates varying but comfortably set between 3 and 6 inches.

According to a Monday evening information update from Brian Short, the emergency operations director for Vance County, the forecast worsened throughout Monday. Short wrote snowfall “is expected to begin in our area shortly after lunch on Tuesday with the heaviest snow occurring between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. The snowfall is expected to taper off on Wednesday morning.”

Short wrote the exact amounts will be dictated by position and speed of an off-shore low pressure system.

The indefinite track of the storm creates problems for schools and other groups that must make decisions about closings or delays.

At press time, The Dispatch had not received notice of any cancellations from Vance County Schools or Vance-Granville Community College. Both VCS and Vance-Granville were without notices on website homepages and “news” sections at 9 p.m.

“Everything is so wishy-washy right now it’s hard to say what the time frame will be,” said Terri Hedrick, public information officer for Vance County Schools, late in the afternoon Monday. “What we try to do, if the forecast is solid, is make an announcement before school is out, by 3 o’clock.”

If that schedule is not possible, Superintendent Ron Gregory will make the decision later in the night, she said.

James Edwards, director of communications at Vance-Granville Community College, wrote in an email message that Stelfanie Williams, president of the college, and her executive staff will continue to assess the forecasts and actual conditions to determine the appropriate actions. The college has multiple avenues for releasing information to students, faculty and the public.

“We post announcements about delays and cancellations with the local media and Triangle-area television stations as well as making announcements through our telephone system, website, mobile site and social media such as Facebook and Twitter,” Edwards wrote. “Our students also receive notices through a campus service that goes directly to their e-mail accounts and cellphones.”

In a weather alert issued on Monday afternoon for an area that includes Vance, Granville and Warren counties, the National Weather Service stated that the storm system would bring widespread precipitation, mainly snow, for the area from about 3 p.m. on today through 3 a.m. on Wednesday.

The NWS forecast was for 3 to 5 inches of snow, creating hazardous travel conditions. That danger, due to cold temperatures could last into Wednesday night.

“With the potential for significant amounts of snow or freezing rain expected, we must be prepared for power outages and icy conditions,” said Frank Perry in a prepared statement. He’s secretary of the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

“We are urging everyone to be ready, watch the local weather forecasts and stay safe.”

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.