Wintry mix could halt weekend plans

  • Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 12:30 a.m.

SALISBURY — The National Weather Service expects Rowan County to get a wintry mix Friday.

But don’t get your sleds out yet.

Freezing rain is expected to pour into the area around daybreak Friday, said John Tomko, a meteorologist at the Weather Service’s Greenville, S.C., station.

Precipitation will then change into snow briefly Friday morning, he said.

The snow will be “mixing with sleet and then changing back to freezing rain by afternoon,” Tomko said. “The freezing rain should end Friday evening.”

The forecast has already affected some local events.

A basketball game between East Rowan and Carson high schools has been moved to today. Rowan-Salisbury School System spokeswoman Rita Foil said that, as of Wednesday evening, other Friday games were expected to go on as scheduled.

Organizers of other events are keeping a watchful eye on the weather.

Salisbury Rowan Runners is scheduled to host the 30th Winter Flight 8K on Saturday morning. David Freeze, one of the race organizers, said if conditions aren’t good for running Saturday morning, the race could be delayed a few hours. If the weather is bad enough, it could be put off for weeks.

“These races are pretty much done if at all possible,” Freeze said. “The only thing that would keep us from doing it is ice or a significant snow.”

That could have a big effect on participation in the race, which draws runners from several states.

“It’s kind of a big deal. We want to give them every opportunity to run this while they’re here,” Freeze said.

Tomko said the region will probably see less than an inch of snow.

But roadways could also get a coating of ice.

Tomko said the forecast wouldn’t be enough to issue an ice warning — which is issued at a quarter of an inch — it can still be dangerous.

“A quarter of an inch is when you start losing trees and tree limbs,” he said. “On the highway, all it takes is a trace of ice and you can start having problems.”

Temperatures could make conditions tricky Friday night. According to the weather bureau’s website, Salisbury is expected to see a high of 32 degrees Friday and a low of 24 Friday night.

But temperatures will rise across the next few days with highs of 40 degrees Saturday and Sunday, 50 degrees Monday and 61 Tuesday.

The Rowan-Salisbury School System closed classes last Friday as a winter storm dumped snow across the state. Foil, the school system spokeswoman, said Wednesday no makeup date had been set.

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