|An ice storm began during the afternoon of 12/23/98 and continued through the early morning hours on 12/25/98. Most of the precipitation fell in the form of freezing rain across central North Carolina causing power outages to approximately 500,000 people sometime during the period. Nearly 90,000 people were without power in Wake County alone at 2 pm on Christmas Eve. The most severe ice accumulations were found in a southwest to northeast band across central North Carolina. This band extended from near Albemarle in Stanly county, northeast through the Asheboro area in Randolph county, and continued northeast to Raleigh/Durham and Halifax. Accumulations from 1/2 to 1 inch of ice occurred in these areas. To the northwest, over the Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point areas, the precipitation began as sleet and then turned to freezing rain. Accumulations of sleet ranged nearly an inch in some areas before changing to glaze. With temperatures in the mid 20s, this made travel conditions nearly impossible on the night of the 23rd. From Fayetteville to Goldsboro including most of the eastern Sandhills and Coastal Plain region of the state, rain was mixed with freezing rain. Some locations saw 1/4 inch accumulations of glaze on trees and power lines which caused numerous power outages. Travel conditions were not as severe as in the Piedmont region due to the mix with rain and temperatures ranging between 31and 35 degrees. Early on Christmas morning, the freezing rain changed to a period of light snow over the eastern Piedmont. The snow accumulated 1 to 2 inches in spotty locations centered from Pinehurst in Moore county to Fuquay-Varina in Wake county.
A prolonged period of freezing rain and sleet resulted in ice accumulations of one quarter inch /0.25/ to one half inch / 0.50/ in some locations. Northampton County was affected the most by this storm. The ice accumulations on trees and power lines caused power outages across portions of the region. Sleet and freezing rain developed during the morning hours on the 23rd and continued into late afternoon hours. Freezing rain redeveloped overnight and continued into the late morning and early afternoon hours on the 24th. Ice accumulated from 1/4 to 1/2 inch on exposed objects in most areas. However, there was some ice accumulations around one inch. The weight of the ice downed trees limbs and power lines which resulted in numerous power outages. Some people were without power for a few days. Ice covered roads and bridges resulted in numerous traffic accidents and some injuries. A traffic accident on interstate 77 in western Yadkin County resulted in two fatalities.