Wintry mix expected
Caldwell County Schools will be on early dismissal today due to the predicted freezing rain and sleet expected before 2 p.m.
Schools are expected to let out at 11:30 a.m. The make-up day scheduled for Saturday has also been cancelled.
According to the National Weather Service, the wintry mix is expected across the northern foothills and northwest piedmont of North Carolina, with some snow thrown in for good measure in the higher elevations. Expect accumulations of one or two-tenths of an inch of freezing rain or sleet, and temperatures to climb no higher than 29 degrees.
Freezing rain and sleet are likely before 2 p.m., then sleet.
Friday night may see sleet likely before 2 a.m., then a slight chance of snow between 2 and 3 a.m.
Sleet comes in the form of small ice pellets that bounce when they hit car windshields and the ground. Freezing rain is actually liquid rain that freezes on contact with sub-freezing surfaces on the ground, trees, power lines and cars. Sleet and freezing rain happens when we have a layer of above-freezing air in the clouds and temperatures below freezing again near the ground.
The N.C. Highway Patrol advises not to drive under these conditions unless absolutely necessary. According to First Sgt. G.W. McClelland, drivers should increase following distance and decrease their speed. If you have to drive and come across an accident, prepare to slow down long before you get to the accident.
McClelland also advises to keep supplies in your car, such as blankets, a flashlight, reflectors or signal flares, in case of a breakdown.