The National Weather Service says the current arctic blast will bring two to four inches of snow to the region. While the rare snowfall in southeastern North Carolina usually leaves a dusting of snow on rooftops and trees, meteorologists say the already-frozen ground and continuing arctic air will make roadways treacherous almost as soon as the precipitation begins.
It’ll be one of the longest stretches of cold weather the Cape Fear region has seen in many years as measured by the number of nights that are 20 degrees or lower and the number of days the highs stay stuck in the 20s and 30s. That’s according to Tim Armstrong, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington. And that’s part of the reason, he says, the roads will be a mess Wednesday afternoon.
"If it begins with ice, as we are expecting, during the early to mid-afternoon hours, we could see road conditions become treacherous almost immediately – almost as soon as the precipitation begins."
When folks wake up Thursday morning, Armstrong says they’ll likely see a winter wonderland from the overnight accumulation of snow. Temperatures will be around 20.
"And the highs on Thursday afternoon -- just above freezing for a few hours... I would say you have through Wednesday morning to run to the store if you need to get some food or supplies before the storm. But then once the precipitation begins on Wednesday afternoon, don’t try to get out until the road crews have been able to get the roads completely cleared up sometime either Thursday or maybe Friday for some of the secondary roads."
Brunswick and New Hanover County Schools are closed Wednesday for staff and students. Check with your local school system or work place before heading out.
Our CoastLine discussion on Religion in America planned for Wednesday is also cancelled.
The Brunswick County Courthouse will be open Wednesday until noon.
The Town of Leland will close its offices, including the Leland Cultural Arts Center, at 11 AM.
The City of Wilmington has cancelled its Planning Commission meetings scheduled for January 3rd at 4 and 6 PM.