ONLINE UPDATE: Winter storm to bring ice to Cape Fear region

by Staff reports
Monday, February 10, 2014

UPDATE: 8:55 p.m. Most power has returned to Wrightsville Beach, as seen from the Duke Energy Progress outage map.

UPDATE: 8:20 p.m. Duke Energy Progress is reporting 1,733 customers affected by power outages in Wrightsville Beach. For live updates, view the outage map at https://www.progress-energy.com/app/outagemaps/carolinas.aspx

New Hanover County Schools will be closed tomorrow, and the makeup day is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22, and will be an early dismissal day.

UPDATE: 8:10 p.m. There are several power outages in Wrightsville Beach. 

The Town of Wrightsville Beach offices is currently scheduled to open with a two-hour delay at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12.

UPDATE: New Hanover County Schools will be closed all day on Wednesday, Feb. 12, as a result of the winter weather event. The make-up day is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22. 

The Town of Wrightsville Beach will close early at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11. The New Hanover County government offices will close early at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Beginning Tuesday morning, a north-bound storm could bring freezing rain and snow once again to the Cape Fear region.

Impacts along the coast are expected to be more moderate than in inland areas, but Steve Pfaff, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, cautioned that current forecasts are subject to change.

"Our forecast challenge is where is that transition line going to occur, is it going to stay just inland with rain along the coast or is it going stay right along the coast with the potential for some freezing impacts along those coastal areas?" Pfaff said in a conference call Monday morning. "We're talking a degree or two room for error along the coastal areas. It could be a very cold rain or it could be that wintry mix."

Rain and potentially some freezing rain will begin to fall Tuesday morning, but accumulating impacts will not start until Tuesday night, continuing through Wednesday and possibly into Thursday morning. Significant freezing rain will lead to icy conditions inland, with the biggest impacts around Pee Dee and Lumberton, but the NWS currently expects temperatures to remain above freezing along the coast.

He warned that people driving inland from the coastal areas should remain alert for rapidly changing conditions on the roads.

Relief from icy conditions will begin to come on Thursday, as temperatures inch back up into the high 30s, and on Friday rain and highs in the 50s will help wash most of the remaining snow and ice away.

Currently no winter storm watch is in effect for Wrightsville Beach, but Pfaff said alerts for coastal areas may come later today as forecasts are updated.

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