More winter weather heading for Beaufort County

Published 8:18 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2018


A second round of snow is heading into Beaufort County this afternoon into the evening.

The National Weather Service is forecasting rain starting in the early afternoon, then transitioning to snow around 4 p.m. Beaufort County Schools are on a three-hour early release Wednesday in response to the incoming weather.

“We’re still monitoring what has been another changing forecast for the impacts of this area. … A flurry progressed to a trace, and a trace has progressed to around 1 inch across the county,” said Chris Newkirk, Beaufort County’s operations chief for fire/emergency management. “We are by no means expecting what we saw a week ago, but we are expecting some.”

Newkirk said precipitation will move from west to east across the county, and higher temperatures will postpone the change from rain to snow until later in the day.

“It should be a relatively fast change from rain to snow,” he said. “From 4 to 9 p.m., that’s where we’re expecting our biggest impact.”

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Martin, Pitt, Washington, Greene, Beaufort, Duplin and Lenoir counties and is warning drivers about hazardous road conditions.

“A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving,” the NWS advisory reads.

Newkirk said the timing of the storm could impact driving conditions — when the last winter storm hit on Jan. 3, county emergency services were inundated with 911 calls after a string of accidents occurred on the U.S. Highway 17 bypass bridge.

“The biggest concerns for us is the timing of the precipitation. If you think about the onset of the last storm, we’re dealing with the same time frame — high commute times, people getting off work and trying to get home,” Newkirk said. “Be careful, monitor road conditions. This has the potential for road conditions to deteriorate really fast tomorrow, especially during the sunset hours.”

Unlike last week’s weather, the snow is not expected to stick around, as temperatures will be warming up again on Thursday.

Newkirk said while the forecast calls for 1 to 2 inches, a variation in amount of snow is based on location: the northeastern part of the county could receive up to 2 inches — Old Ford, Clark’s Neck and some of Pinetown — but places such as Aurora could get less than an inch of snow.