First Posted: 12/17/2009
Surry County and surrounding counties were placed under a winter storm warning Thursday evening. The warning is in effective from 9 a.m. today through 7 p.m. Saturday.
Area forecasters are speculating the region could see anywhere from light accumulation up to eight to 10 inches of winter precipitation during the day today through Saturday evening.
The cause of the warning is a front forcing cold air into the area from the north, which is expected to meet up with moisture off a front in the southeast.
The winter storm warning was issued by the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., which monitors the mountains, foothills and Piedmont of North Carolina.
According to the warning, the winter precipitation is to begin during the morning hours today and be heavy at times this afternoon and night.
The NWS is advising people to travel today only if necessary or in the case of an emergency. Those traveling in bad conditions should keep a flashlight, food and water in the vehicle in case of an emergency, according to the warning.
Travel will become difficult in the warned area. Visibilities will be reduced, warned the weather service.
Local fire and rescue organizations received the warning via Surry County Communications which advised departments to check all emergency generators and to be ready to prepare vehicles for snow and ice covered roads.
Also, area school officials were putting together plans to make sure if school needs to be let out early the news would be out to parents in plenty of time. Surry County Schools already had a scheduled early release today with students going home around 11 a.m., but Mount Airy City Schools officials said they will post any early releases on their Twitter page as soon as the decision is made as well as use the systems call system to let parents know of any changes in release time.
In addition to the accumulation, temperatures arent expected to get much above freezing today or Saturday, with highs reaching the mid-30s and lows dropping into the mid- to low-20s.
The detailed forecast on the National Weather Services Web site for Surry County late Thursday night called for rain and snow to start before 11 a.m., then turning to just snow. The chance of precipitation was listed at 100 percent, and accumulation of 2 to 4 inches during the day.
For Friday night, more 100 percent chances of snow were expected with wind gusts reaching 26 miles per hour, and new snow accumulation of 8 to 10 inches possible.
The snow showers are expected to taper off around lunchtime Saturday, according to the Web site forecast. The chances of snow lessen as the day progresses.
For more information, visit www.nws.noaa.gov.