01/29/14 — Ice, snow likely will stay until weekend

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Ice, snow likely will stay until weekend

By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 29, 2014 1:46 PM

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Katie Pelt, 13, smashes a snowball in the face of her sister, Ashley, 11, this morning on Beech Street. They were out getting ready to build a snowman.

Wayne County residents woke up this morning to find their yards covered by a 3- to 3.5-inch mixture of snow and sleet. There was one report of nearly 4.5 inches near Pikeville.

The totals include about three-quarters of an inch of sleet that fell before changing over to snow late last night.

The local snowfall totals would have been higher had it nor been for the sleet that started just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, said Darin Figurskey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Raleigh.

Sleet starts out as snow in the upper atmosphere, Figurskey said. The snowflakes partially melt as they pass through slightly warmer air in the mid-atmosphere, about 3,000 to 5,000 feet.

They refreeze as they pass through the lower colder air, creating sleet, he said.

Meanwhile, a winter weather advisory remains in effect until noon Thursday as snow-covered roads and slippery conditions across all of central North Carolina make for dangerous driving conditions.

Temperatures will remain below freezing today and what little melting occurs will quickly refreeze this evening creating widespread black ice.

Most of that melting will happen on pavement surfaces that warm up more quickly than the ground, but even with moderating temperatures over the next few days, the snow is expected to remain around through the weekend.

And the melting that does occur today and even Thursday could results in dangerous spots of black ice, Figurskey said.

Skies will be sunny Thursday with a high near 38 dropping to around 17 Thursday night.

Temperatures will continue to moderate reaching near 46 on Friday before climbing to near 60 on Saturday and Sunday.

For the most part the snow totals were between 3 and 4 inches, Figurskey said. Wilson received

However, there is an area from Kinston, Snow Hill, Greene County and on to Dare County were up to 7 inches were reported, he said.

Between 2 to 4 inches of snow fell in the Triangle area. Wilson got 4 inches while Elm City had 4.5.

"We are seeing a good swath of about 3.5 inches east of Raleigh to near Kinston," Figurskey said. "The I-95 corridor got anywhere from 3 to 5 inches, but only 2 to 2.5 inches at Fayetteville."