01/19/09 — Forecast: Snow is on way tonight

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Forecast: Snow is on way tonight

By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 19, 2009 1:46 PM

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Shivery cold temperatures froze the fountain Saturday at Mount Olive College. The next round could bring snow.

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Some Wayne County NCDOT workers were called in early this morning to make preparations for the possibility of accumulation of snow that could hit the area starting this afternoon and Tuesday.

DOT work crews were applying salt brine to the county's major roadways this morning in anticipation of 1 to 6 inches of snowfall predicted to begin tonight or by early morning.

Luther Thompson, DOT county maintenance supervisor, and several department employees were out at 4 a.m. today inspecting bridges for black ice.

None was found, but Thompson said he could tell the temperature had fallen since that time.

Thompson said the salt brine was being applied to U.S. 117, Interstate 795 and other major roadways in the county.

"We will try to cover as many primary roadways as we can today, " he said. "We are going to call in more people and have them staged around the county by morning."

Along with spreading the salt brine, the local DOT workers were hooking up plows on smaller trucks. Thompson said 27 pieces of equipment including trucks and graders would be readied to respond to the snow.

Thompson said he would monitor weather forecasts throughout the day.

As of this morning the coastal plain was under a winter storm watch and could be placed under a winter storm advisory by early afternoon.

"Goldsboro does stand a good chance of a measurable amount of snowfall within the next 24 to 36 hours," Scott Sharpe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Raleigh office, said this morning. "That is pretty definite for at least two to three inches.

"It could possibly be more depending on the track and the moisture. Wayne County could receive a pretty decent snowfall."

Sharpe said based on weather models and moisture on Sunday, the prediction did not indicate snow for that day.

But the amount of moisture and track of the system have changed, he said.

Some models indicate the snow could start as early as midnight, while others suggest early morning.

The area could receive more snowfall should the storm track south of Goldsboro and less should it track north, Sharpe said.

The storm will hit at a time when the county schools are closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and teacher workdays. Students do not return to class until Thursday.