Ice expected Tuesday morning

Mar. 17, 2014 @ 05:20 PM

No one will ever accuse this winter of being a quitter.

Following Saturday’s high of 72 and Monday’s light snow and sleet, icy drizzle is forecast for Durham Tuesday morning, creating slick spots on bridges and overpasses, according to the National Weather Service.

A weather winter advisory continues until noon.

“I would say that is not unheard of, but it’s getting pretty late in the season [for ice],” Nick Petro, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at N.C. State University in Raleigh, said.

Petro said freezing drizzle could make this morning’s commute dicey, with up to one-tenth inch of ice on bridges, cars, trees, road signs and power lines.

But unlike two weeks ago when thousands of Durham residents lost electricity, that’s not expected this time, Petro said.

The freezing drizzle forecast for this morning differs from sleet, he said. That’s because it falls as liquid and freezes on contact, but sleet hits the ground as ice and usually bounces off pavement.

A trace amount of snow and less than one-quarter inch of sleet fell Monday at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, sticking on cars and grass and creating slush on roads. That could produce “black ice” this morning when the slush freezes, Petro said.

Tuesday’s high is expected in the 40s, about 20 degrees below normal.

Wednesday’s forecast calls for showers, with a high in the mid- to upper 50s.

A warming trend kicks in Thursday and Friday, with sunny skies and highs of 65 and 68, respectively.

The weekend outlook is for a chance of rain and highs near 70.

But the whiplash syndrome returns Monday, with a sharp drop in temperatures as a cold air mass blows in.