Update Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2:15 p.m.
Mark Bacon, a meteorologist with the National Weather
Service’s Wilmington office said roads will likely remain icy until Friday,
with temperatures expected to stay in the 30s Thursday.
“We will start to get above freezing tomorrow, but I don’t
think we’ll get far enough above for the ice to start really melting off the
roads,” Bacon said. “We’re discouraging unnecessary travel, although of course
people may still have to go to work. Leave early, drive slow, and allow extra
time to get where you’re going. Often a little common sense goes a long way.”
Temperatures will remain below freezing Wednesday, but by Friday
Bacon said they will reach the 50s and likely melt away most of the ice.
Update Wednesday, Jan. 29, 1:02 p.m.
New Hanover County Schools will remain closed Thursday, Jan. 30 due to continued hazardous road conditions.
NHCS Chief Communications Officer Valita Quattlebaum said the district made the decision at about 12:30 p.m., and will continue to monitor conditions tomorrow as they weigh a Friday school closing.
"There is an ice sheet over
the roads, and until the ice can melt or they can do something to clear the
roads we don’t want to put the kids in jeopardy, or the school staff," Quattlebaum said.
Update Wednesday, Jan. 29, 11:50 a.m.
The winter storm warning for inland and coastal New Hanover County has been canceled by the National Weather Service office in Wilmington.
Update Wednesday, Jan. 29, 8:30 a.m.
Winter storm Leon brought snow and ice to Wrightsville Beach and New Hanover County beginning Tuesday, Jan. 28.
Snow is expected to become the dominant weather by daybreak, according to reports from the National Weather Service office in Wilmington.
Total snow and sleet accumulations are expected to total 1 to 3 inches, with the lowest amounts closer to the coast.
Temperatures are expected to remain in the teens, below the freezing mark for the remainder of Wednesday, Jan. 29.
As of 6:46 a.m., the winter storm was expected to last through predawn hours. The winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 p.m.
A slight moderation of temperatures are expected by Friday, warming throughout the weekend with a cold front projected for Sunday night into Monday.
Update Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2:45 p.m.
New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington have declared a State of Emergency. The county's State of Emergency took effect at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
a 2:30 p.m. conference call Steve Pfaff, warning coordination meteorologist
for the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, said the winter storm
expected to drop freezing rain and snow on Southeastern North Carolina is still
on schedule although there have been no major precipitation events yet.
“Keep in mind
the briefings we had were developing the more intense conditions late into
afternoon and into tonight,” Pfaff said. “If you look at the recent radar
trends you finally start to see a larger outbreak of precipitation across South
Carolina that is coming this way.”
In a change from
the earlier forecast Pfaff said the snowfall amounts for coastal North Carolina
have decreased to a total projected accumulation of 1-2 inches. However, the
decrease in snowfall is due to the increased amount of freezing rain projected
for coastal areas.
Pfaff said the
peak ground and roadway icing times for coastal areas would occur from late
afternoon Tuesday into Wednesday morning. The areas where snow will cover the
freezing rain will be particularly dangerous, Pfaff said.
power outages are still anticipated for southeastern North Carolina and will be
more prevalent in the areas hit hardest by either snow or freezing rain.
Pfaff said the snowfall in coastal counties would continue until around noon.
Black ice will
become an issue into Thursday morning with the slight melting and refreezing
that will occur.
Southeastern N.C. is under a winter storm warning until
Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m.
Blustery northerly winds from 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to
30 mph are expected.
Wrightsville Beach School is closed on Tuesday, Jan. 28,
Wednesday, Jan. 29 and Thursday, Jan. 30, along with all other New Hanover County Schools. The Town
of Wrightsville Beach will be closed from noon to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28,
and on Wednesday, Jan. 29.
This story will be
updated as weather conditions and predictions change.