Get ready for ‘wintry mix’

Schools announce early closings
Jan. 25, 2013 @ 11:54 AM

The work week may finally be over, but driving home this evening might not be such a great relief.
The dreaded “wintry mix” is coming.
That combination of rain, freezing rain, snow, and maybe a little sleet should be arriving sometime this afternoon — and it could be staying awhile.
The precipitation will start with some snow a little after noon and that will gradually turn to freezing rain this evening.
“It’s probably going to affect the evening commute,” said meteorologist Scott Sharpe with the Raleigh office of the National Weather Service. “With cold air already in place, it’s probably going to leave a little glaze on the roads.”
The good news is there’s not likely to be much of it.
“We don’t expect much accrual, not much snow or ice total,” Sharpe said. “Amounts should be on the light side. But there still could be slick spots, particularly on bridges.”
In expectation of what might be a difficult commute, the Durham Public Schools on Thursday already announced a shortened school day, with students being dismissed three hours early today. Chatham County Schools will dismiss students at 10:30 a.m. and Orange County Schools will dismiss students at 11:30 a.m. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools also will close early. UNC Chapel Hill also has canceled afternoon classes and N.C. Central University classes are canceled after 1 p.m.
And with temperatures Saturday morning still hovering below or at the freezing mark, the glaze won’t be gone, most likely, until the afternoon.
The fast-moving area of low pressure headed into the area from the Tennessee valley and the southern Appalachians is also bringing with it some gusty winds — up to 25 or 30 miles per hour — along with the cold temperatures. That means it will feel even colder.
The whole weekend, in fact, will be much colder than usual, with highs both days probably no more than around 40 degrees. Normal high temperature for this time of the year is around 50. And overnight, the mercury will descend into the chilly low 20s.
If you’re looking for something warmer, you’ll have to wait until the beginning of next week, when you’ll see around 55 degrees on Monday and then a very pleasant 60 or so on Tuesday.

A note from Durham Public Schools: Due to anticipated inclement weather, Saturday’s SAT Test Centers at Jordan High and City of Medicine Academy will be closed. The tests have been rescheduled for Saturday, Feb. 16. Parents and students with questions regarding new registration tickets should contact the College Board at 1-800-257-5123.