DISCUSSION: Winter storms can have numerous direct and indirect impacts on communities. For example, winter weather can directly make travel more difficult and dangerous. This, in turn, can make getting to an event such as a basketball game unecessarily risky. Thus, the scheduled basketball game between the University of North Carolina (UNC) and North Carolina State originally sceduled for last night (1/7/2017) was rescheduled for today (1/8/2016; an indirect impact of the winter storm). As can be seen in the above graphic, the Chapel Hill area (near Durham) received ~3-5 inches of snow/sleet as of last night in an area that only receives about 4 inches of snow on average per year. Thus, central North Carolina may not be as used to dealing with this type of weather as other areas which have to deal with it on a more regular basis. This probably played a role in UNC's decision to err on the side of caution and postpone the game. This provides a good lesson for everyone, especially in communities not used to this type of weather - Be very careful if you must travel or go out in a winter storm, and if at all possible try to avoid the risk and stay in. This is especially relevant to states along the West Coast over the next several days as a series of storms impact the region.
To learn more about other high -mpact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!
~Meteorologist Dr. Ken Leppert