Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:39 PM
Snow, sleet, ice could hit today
Many schools opt to close early
By Jon Jimison | Times Editor
Wilson County and the rest of the region will be under a winter weather advisory today from noon until midnight.
Although precipitation amounts are expected to be light, snow, freezing rain, rain, freezing drizzle and a little sleet are all possible, according to the National Weather Service.
Ice accumulations could reach a tenth of an inch and snow accumulations could reach half an inch. Temperatures are expected to be around freezing and travel could be affected, officials said.
Wilson County public schools will close three hours early today. Elementary schools will dismiss at noon, middle schools will dismiss at 12:30 p.m. and high schools at 11:30 a.m. Lunch will be served. All after-school activities have been cancelled. Early College Academy will be closed.
Beyond the early release already announced, any changes to the school schedule would be assessed and announced if conditions warrant, school officials noted.
Wilson isn’t alone in schools closing early. Many schools in eastern North Carolina and beyond opted to announce early closings due to the threat of inclement weather.
Wilson County Emergency Management Director Gordon Deno noted the timing of the winter weather coincided with when school buses would be on the road and that concerned school officials.
Even though Wilson isn’t expected to received a lot of precipitation, the problem is the temperatures have been so cold and the ground temperature is cold, Deno said.
"When it falls, it will stay,” Deno said.
"Wilson County is in an area where it’s looking at more ice than sleet and snow,” said Gail Hartfield, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
The precipitation is expected to start as snow or a snow and sleet mixture, possibly starting by 1 p.m., Hartfield said.
Any precipitation will change over to all freezing rain by after 5 p.m. and moved out by 9.
It’s a fast-moving front and shouldn’t provide more than 4 hours of precipitation, Hartfield said.
Other area schools are also closing early today:
Greenfield School is closing at noon.
Wilson Christian Academy is closing at 11:30 a.m.
Wayne County Schools will close three hours early.
Greene County Schools close at noon.
Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools will close two hours early.
The Wilson Parks and Recreation Department reported that all Friday practices were cancelled and Recreation Centers would close at 5 p.m.
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