Winter Storm Database | Event Details

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Snow, Sleet, Freezing Rain
Started: February 2, 1996 at 2 am EST
Ended: February 3, 1996 at 11 pm EST
"Please Note...this description applies to all central North Carolina counties during the February 2 and 3 Ice Storm. Freezing rain spread across central North Carolina during the early morning hours of the 2nd. The freezing rain tapered off during the late afternoon but another round of heavy freezing rain and sleet moved back over central sections of the state during the evening of the 2nd and continued until around daybreak on the 3rd. Freezing rain accumulated on trees and power lines, causing numerous trees to fall. Power was disrupted to over 300,000 homes with the most extensive outages in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill areas, extending west to Winston-Salem and Greensboro. Up to 1 inch of glaze accumulated on exposed objects. To the south of this region, from Stanly and Anson counties, eastward to Fayetteville, Clinton and Goldsboro, glaze accumulated between 1/4 and 3/4 of an inch. As even colder air moved into the storm area during the evening of the 2nd, the freezing rain changed to sleet. Sleet accumulations averaged 1/4 to 1/2 inch. The sleet caused travel to come to a stand still. There were several traffic deaths and injuries. The storm clean-up costs for the city of Raleigh totaled $175,000 alone. Estimated costs for the storm area totaled over one million dollars.

A major ice storm occurred across northwest and north-central North Carolina from the late evening hours on the 1st into the early evening hours on the 2nd. Snow mixed with the sleet and freezing rain fell at the higher elevations in Ashe, Watauga, and Alleghany Counties with freezing rain and some sleet occurring elsewhere. The precipitation changed to all snow during the evening hours on the 2nd and continued until the early morning hours on the 3rd. Light snow accumulated to 1 to 3 inches on top of the ice. Travel problems worsened in some places. Major accumulations of ice brought down trees, tree limbs, power lines, and some power poles across much of northwest and north-central North Carolina. Fallen trees and tree limbs blocked roads and damaged homes and businesses. Numerous power outages occurred across the area. In Rockingham County, 23,000 homes were without power for several days. In Wilkes County, nearly 20,000 homes were without power for a time. Hazardous road conditions, especially on bridges and overpasses resulted in numerous traffic accidents and some injuries. Wilkes, Surry and Yadkin Counties were declared federal disaster areas.
Injuriesnot availableDeathsnot available
Property Damagenot availableCrop Damagenot available
Atmospheric MapsLarge-scale maps of 500 mb Heights, Jet Stream Winds, and Sea Level Pressure from this event
Weather Station Data

Freezing Rain