LAURINBURG — In the next installment of what meteorologists are calling an “abnormally active winter for this neck of the woods,” freezing rain began falling Monday night — and could continue until Thursday afternoon.
According to Kathleen Carroll, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh, the forecast remains unclear for accumulation but at least an inch of snow and ice is expected with this week’s storm.
Laurinburg is “on the edge” of the service’s models for where rain might change over to frozen participation, she said, but with Monday’s low temperature of about 31 degrees and both high and low temperatures hovering around the freezing point today and Wednesday, at least one key ingredient for snow and ice is in place.
The Scotland County School Board at Monday’s monthly board meeting canceled school on Tuesday. It will mark the fourth day students will have missed this year because of inclement weather.
Carroll predicted the county would not see any precipitation until noon Tuesday, but freezing rain had begun to fall sporadically at about 8 p.m. Monday. A winter storm watch for Laurinburg, set into place by The National Weather Service Monday, did not start until noon today.
Temperatures today are expected to reach 34 degrees, with a chance of snow and sleet, and tonight’s low will drop to 27 degrees. On Wednesday, the high is again set for 34 degrees, rain and freezing rain are expected to fall and a northeast wind could blow at 15 miles per hour.
“Snow and sleet will probably go all the way through overnight and Wednesday morning we’ll start to see changeover or mix from all snow to snow, sleet or freezing rain and then that’s expected to continue all the way through Wednesday night,” Carroll said.
“It’ll probably get pretty nasty Wednesday night and the first part of Thursday,” she said.
Thursday will bring a warmer high temperature of around 43 degrees, but a chance of snow, rain and sleet remains until that afternoon.
Crews from the North Carolina Department of Transportation were working Monday to distribute brine on U.S. 74 and other main roads in an effort to prevent a slippery drive.
“We actually have 10 employees out in four trucks in Scotland County putting out brine on the major roads,” said Hollie Allen, spokesperson for the department.
It will be the second time this year the department has layered roads with the salt mixture, but this time, Allen said, a more serious accumulation is expected, with more ice accumulation and the possibility of high winds.
“I think this is going to be a completely different storm,” she said.
Scotland Health Care System Monday afternoon released a notice that outpatient services, laboratory and rehabilitation services may close early on Tuesday and remain closed through Wednesday if the weather stays true to the forecast.
Following the same schedule would be Harris Family Practice, Scotland Urgent Care Center and Scotland Surgical in Laurinburg, Scotland Health Care Center and Marlboro Ob/Gyn in Bennettsville, Maxton Family Practice Center in Maxton, Pembroke Family Practice Center in Pembroke and Wagram Family Practice Center in Wagram.
The health care system advised patients with appointments at those clinics to call prior to their scheduled visit to make sure the clinic is open.
Carroll ventured to say Monday that with school closings and other delays that came with last month’s storm that dumped up to 3 inches of snow on Scotland County, “very few people are excited about snow at this point.”
“It seems like one storm after another,” she said. “I think we’re all anticipating spring at this point.”
Abbi Overfelt can be reached at 276-2311, ext. 12. Follow her on Twitter @aoinscotco.