Heavy rains turned into more than a dusting of snow last Thursday evening as temperatures in Stokes County dropped into the lower 30s.
Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., said that an upper-level trough combined with a stalled-out front on Thursday night, Jan. 17. Cold air pulled in behind the front, which dropped the temperature in northwest North Carolina.
Early snowfall reports show that Stokes County received 1-2 inches of snow Thursday evening and into early Friday morning.
Patrick Wilson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, said that a warm ground and the quick-moving nature of the system allowed Stokes County to dodge a serious snowfall. Wilson noted that parts of southwest Virginia had received a foot of snow in the same system.
The light snow system that quickly passed through Stokes County and then into Virginia did not cause many problems within the county. Local energy providers were reporting minimal outages.
Stokes County EMS Director Greg Collins said that EMS responded to a few minor accident calls just after dark when the snow started.
“It wasn’t a bad night,” he said.
The light snowfall and slick roads helped to close schools on Friday. Stokes County Schools officials made the decision to close schools as snow began to fall across the Piedmont. On Thursday, county schools let out two hours early due to the impending winter weather. Heavy rains began to transition to snow in the evening across the county and region.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for southern Virginia and northwest North Carolina, including Stokes County, early Thursday. The warning was in effect until 1 a.m. Friday. Forecasts called for accumulations of up to 6 inches of snow across the region, but most areas saw much less.
Economic development officials decided Thursday morning to postpone the popular Stokes County Business Extravaganza at Camp Hanes until Tuesday, Jan. 22 due to the weather.