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Will Mother Nature cry wolf again?

Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 11:10 am

LOGO Winter StormThe winter that seemingly won’t quit, took another shot at Tennessee this week. But with forecasts calling for snow, sleet and road difficulties, most of Winter Storm Pax slid to the east, hitting Georgia and North Carolina rather than Middle Tennessee like expected earlier in the week.

Incidentally, the name “Pax” is Latin, meaning, “calm or peaceful.”

In anticipation of the weather, school systems across the state canceled classes Wednesday. Roads were expected to be icy and snow-packed in some areas, creating dangerous driving conditions.

In Lynchburg, it was the snow day that wasn’t.

Moore County, Bedford County, Lincoln County, Coffee County and Franklin County schools were among the systems closed on Wednesday in anticipation of the latest round of winter weather. But at noon Wednesday, roads were still easily passable and any student looking for a snowball fight was sorely out of luck.

At press time Wednesday, Moore County school officials had not determined whether school would be open or closed on Thursday, and Moore County Director of Schools Chad Moorehead said the decision probably wouldn’t come too soon.

“After today, I will not likely make a decision until early in the morning unless the snow (or) ice is on the ground before 10 a.m. Weather forecasts are not reliable data,” said Moorehead.

He added that the school system here has five more “snow days” at its disposal this school year.

At 11 a.m. Wednesday, temperatures in Lynchburg were hovering around 40 degrees, and the precipitation falling was primarily rain with a small mixture of sleet.

The National Weather Service said East Tennessee was under a winter storm warning with up to 8 inches of snow expected by Wednesday evening.

A winter weather advisory was issued for southern and eastern Middle Tennessee, where between 1 and 5 inches of snow was still an outside possibility, along with some freezing rain.

The forecast for West Tennessee called for between 1 and 2 inches of snow and a trace amount of sleet and ice by late afternoon Wednesday.

According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, they are prepared for the latest round of winter weather either way.

TDOT says the state has not experienced a shortage of salt or brine used to keep roads and highways from becoming icy and dangerous, as storms have dropped freezing rain, sleet and snow in many parts of Tennessee this winter.

Department spokeswoman B.J. Doughty says the state ordered 235,000 tons of salt ahead of this winter season. In the period from Dec. 1 to Jan. 28, about 57,000 tons of salt was used in the state.

Doughty said the department has salt bins in all 95 counties and has two companies on standby to replenish the stock if necessary.