Vienna

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Cold & Wet

Published 9:14pm Thursday, January 24, 2013

What is a wintry mix, and will it, or won’t it, come to Beaufort County today?

A wintry mix is any combination of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain

The National Weather Service’s office in Newport forecasts a 60-percent chance of a wintry mix today and tonight. Snow and sleet are forecast for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. today. Rain, sleet and freezing rain is forecast from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. today, with a chance of rain and freezing drizzle from 10 p.m. today until 1 a.m. Saturday.

The low tonight is expected to be in the high 20s, warming to a high of 41 Saturday.

“Friday afternoon through Friday evening a developing low-pressure area and associated cold front will move across eastern North Carolina. While moisture will be limited with this system, it appears that it will be cold enough for the possibility of wintry mix across portions of the northwest coastal plain. There is still some uncertainty regarding this situation at this time, but residents of eastern North Carolina are encouraged to monitor the latest National Weather Service forecasts,” reads an advisory from the NWS office in Newport.

“If we get anything, it’s supposed to come in (tonight), correct?” said Allen Lewis, Washington’s public-works department on Thursday. “We’re kind of playing it by ear. We don’t have the capabilities of doing what the state’s doing as far as spraying the roads. All we’ll be doing is pushing and spreading salt, if and when the time comes. So, (today) we’ll evaluate the situation. If necessary, we’ll put our plows on and get the salt read to spread.”

Kelly McCollum, with Smith’s Food Pride in Chocowinity, said as of Thursday afternoon customers had not overrun the store to stock up on staples such as milk, bread, fruits and vegetables.

“Not right now, not yet,” she said.

McCollum said the rush to stock up on such items likely would start late Thursday or early today.

The N.C. Department of Transportation began “pretreating” major highways Thursday in advance of the expected wintry mix. The pretreatment is more for sleet and freezing rain than snow. Most of the pretreatment is being done north of U.S. Highway 64.

A three-hour early dismissal is in effect today for Beaufort County Schools, said Sarah Hodges, public information officer for the school system. All after-school activities, including sports, and after-school day care are canceled, she said.

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