When will it end?

By Keith Strange

March 17, 2014

While winter weather continued to plague the region throughout much of the day Monday, Surry County was largely spared problems associated with the latest icy blast during what could be called the winter that would not end.

Although localities to the north were subjected to much more trouble associated with Sunday night’s ice event, county officials said the county skated through the glazing of ice.

“We were lucky,” said John Shelton, director of the county’s emergency services department. “We did just fine.”

Shelton said officials were alerted to a few small patches of black ice, but there were no problems associated with the winter weather.

“We did real well,” he said again. “There were no accidents at all as a result of the icy conditions.”

Shelton said county officials were also spared having to deal with power outages, fires and other problems commonly associated with frozen precipitation.

“We had no fallen trees and no power outages were reported,” he said.

While a spokesman for Duke Energy could not be reached, a website listing all power outages associated with the storm reported no problems in Surry County.

Shelton’s assessment of the county impact was echoed by officials at the National Weather Service.

“Surry County didn’t get hardly anything at all,” said Dave Wert, meteorologist. “Now farther north it was a different story.”

According to Wert, Surry County received what he described as a “very, very light glazing.”

“Fortunately, at this time of the year the ground temperatures are warming, so even though you may get this light glazing, it’s restricted to elevated surfaces because the ground temperatures are above freezing. That keeps you from getting the big ice events you get throughout the winter.”

The National Weather Service meteorologist said the major impact of this latest round of winter weather was restricted to the north.

“The teeth of the storm was in places like the Alleghany highlands and the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and on up into D.C.,” he said.

As for the much-anticipated spring weather?

Wert laughed.

“Normally at this time of the year we’re looking at a battle between cold and warm weather, but there is a more fickle pattern change this year,” he said. “You’re looking at an eventual warming trend, but there are still going to be days where the warming air is interspersed with cold.”

For the next week-and-a-half to two weeks, Wert said there will be cold air coming into the area from Canada that will keep the temperatures in check.

“The arctic air is refusing to give up the fight just yet,” he said.

As for his perspective, Shelton said what everyone seems to be feeling.

“We’re sure looking forward to spring,” he said.

Keith Strange can be reached at 336-719-1929 or via Twitter @strangereporter.