Durham drivers face icy roads tonight, Tuesday

Mar. 03, 2014 @ 05:28 PM

Durham roads are expected to be dangerously icy Tuesday morning – at least in spots – and the rest of the week looks bleak compared to Sunday’s touch of spring.

“It will be noon before temperatures rise above freezing, but the day will be dry,” said Nick Petro, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service at N.C. State University in Raleigh. Tuesday morning’s low could be in the teens.

Petro said forecasters will watch a weather system coming in Wednesday, when temperatures will be near freezing and more rain and freezing rain are possible.

“Stay tuned,” Petro said. “Winter is still around.”

Farther down the road, another storm system is forecast to move along the Southeast coast late Thursday and bring Durham continued freezing or near-freezing temperatures, although precipitation is unlikely, he said.

The weekend could bring milder weather, with highs around 60, he said.

At C&H Cafeteria at Northgate Mall on Monday, diners had mixed reviews of the winter that won’t quit.

“I’m sick of it, but it’s normal,” Connell Green said. “I’m ready for some sunshine, you know? Take the long sleeves and jackets off.”

But Elaine Hightower, who moved to Durham from Michigan, said she loves winter.

“The sun and I don’t agree,” she said. “I love snow, and I don’t mind shoveling it. I was the shoveler at home.”

Doug Alin said the flip side of bad weather is spending time at home.

“It’s OK if we have a few hours when we stay home with the family,” he said. “I get to spend more time with my kids – and that’s great.”

Mike Cates looks forward to spring, but knows that every time of year has its downside.

“The sleet will be gone soon, and we’ll be back on track,” he said. “When it’s spring, we have pollen, and when it’s hot we’ll be in a drought. Weather has its seasons.”

Northern High School student Francisco Murcia, 17, got out of school three hours early Monday and loved it.

“I like winter,” he said, as he headed to the cafeteria line with a smile.

For Sam Jones, Durham’s long winter could be divine payback.

“We’ve had some mild winters in the last few years, so it’s time we had one that was ugly,” he said. “God pays us back when it’s time.”

Meanwhile, N.C. Department of Transportation crews planned to treat Durham roads with salt and sand Monday night. Trucks begin working at 4 a.m. in time for Tuesday morning’s rush hour, and will work through the day to clear roads.

Officials offer these tips for driving in winter weather:

  • Clear windows and mirrors of ice before driving.
  • Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles in case either skids.
  • Allow extra travel time.
  • Approach bridges and overpasses with caution and don’t apply brakes on a bridge or ramp unless necessary.
  • If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Don’t apply the brakes, because that will cause more loss of control.
  • Come to a complete stop or yield right of way when approaching an intersection in case any vehicles coming from other directions lose control.
  • If you have a cell phone, take it with you. You can contact the N.C. State Highway Patrol statewide by calling *HP (*47), or dial 911.