Snow/sleet headed our way!

Published 11:26 am Friday, January 25, 2013

Get ready….winter weather is on its way.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the entire Roanoke-Chowan area from 1 p.m. today (Friday) through 1 a.m. Saturday.

While the snow will stick to most all surfaces due to the recent round of cold weather, there isn’t a threat of major accumulation with this system. NWS officials in Wakefield, VA are forecasting approximately 1.5 inches for the R-C region.

Local school systems have announced early dismissal for students and staff in an effort to get everyone home safely prior to the start of the winter weather. Those dismissals are as follows:

Bertie Public Schools: 12:30 p.m.

Gates Public Schools: 1 p.m.

Hertford Co. Public Schools: 1 p.m.

Northampton Public Schools: 12:30 p.m.

Lawrence Academy: 12:30 p.m.

Northeast Academy: (no return phone call)

Ridgecroft School: 12 noon

The biggest threat is the possibility of the snow changing over the sleet and/or freezing rain by late afternoon or early evening. If that become reality, it will make driving extremely treacherous. The NC Highway Patrol is advising to stay off the roads tonight unless it’s an emergency. If you do have to travel, please exercise extreme caution by slowing down and not applying your brakes suddenly. Drivers are also encouraged to have a blanket in your vehicle in case there is a minor accident that will require a wait for emergency responders.

Snowfall is likely between 1-4 p.m. where the high temperature is predicted at 33 degrees. Sleet may arrive after that and continue until around 10 p.m. The biggest threat of freezing rain is along areas of the Albemarle Sound.

Total daytime snow and sleet accumulation of less than one inch is possible. Expect an accumulation of less than one-half inch of sleet tonight.

In advance of this winter weather, N.C. Department of Transportation crews pre-treated roads and are taking other steps to prepare for the storm. NCDOT maintenance crews are using a salt-water mixture called brine, which is a cost-effective way to help prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement.

Because most North Carolina motorists rarely have to deal with icy roads, here are a few cautionary notes to remember when the precipitation begins:

Slow down;

Bridges and overpasses freeze first;

Have your cell phone handy to call in case of an accident or vehicle mechanical failure, but do not use it while the vehicle is moving;

Use only gentle pressure on both the accelerator and the brakes to avoid skidding; and

Give other motorists plenty of room in case you or the other drivers begin to slide.

Motorists can also check road conditions before traveling by accessing real-time information about changing road conditions across the state in a number of ways:

Call 511, the department’s toll-free travel information line;

Visit NCDOT’s travel webpage at to see live traffic camera images and access road conditions by region, route or county;

Use NCDOT Mobile, the mobile version of the department’s website, to know before you go about road conditions. Just type “” into your smartphone’s browser;

“Like” NCDOT on Facebook at; and

Follow one of NCDOT’s many Twitter feeds, which are listed at

Hopefully, Saturday’s sunshine and 40-degree temperatures will help to melt away the snow and ice from Friday. However, motorists should still exercise caution on Saturday night where, with a low temp in the upper teens, any left-over moisture on roads will re-freeze.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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