Governor says snow not deep, will cause concerns

Gov. Roy Cooper talking winter weather (Gov. Roy Cooper's office photo)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Winter took a parting shot at North Carolina on Monday, dropping snow across the northern tier of counties that forced school systems to cancel classes and prompted the governor to tell motorists to stay off the road.

Despite spring looming next week, the National Weather Service issued winter weather advisories, winter storm warnings or freeze warnings for 67 of the state's 100 counties on Monday. By the afternoon, snowfall in the Triad region had ended and was turning to slush on local roads, while the snow began falling in the Research Triangle area.

"Even though the forecast tells us this storm will be short-lived, driving could remain hazardous tonight and tomorrow morning, especially on bridges and overpasses." Gov. Roy Cooper said in a news release."

Cooper told a news conference that motorists in the Research Triangle area should stay off the road if they can, and use caution if they have to travel. He said people shouldn't be misled by the rain that fell early because snow was anticipated later in the day and suggested motorists should home.

The governor said the rain prevented transportation work crews from applying brine to roads, so the focus will be on snow removal.

Some school systems held classes at the start of the day, but announced early dismissals in advance of the storm.

By 4 p.m., National Weather Service radar showed the back edge of the storm was almost clear of the Triad and focusing on the east. Snow, or a mixture of snow and sleet, was forecast for eastern Wake, eastern Harnett and all of Johnston counties. Sampson and Wayne counties were expected to see snow and sleet before sunset.

With falling temperatures came the concern for roads turning icy and creating hazardous driving conditions.

A winter storm warning was in effect until midnight Monday for northwestern North Carolina, where forecasters called for additional snow and sleet of up to 3 inches, leaving a total of as much as 6 inches for the day.

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