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Cold air returns to Charlotte; some black ice reported

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/16/08/59/Q9hTi.Em.138.jpg|199
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Vehicles try to navigate an icy patch on Statesville Road at Old Statesville Road Thursday January 16, 2014. A slag was called for to help alleviate the icy conditions.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/16/08/59/16d8In.Em.138.jpg|201
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Vehicles try to navigate an icy patch on Statesville Road at Old Statesville Road Thursday January 16, 2014. A slag was called for to help alleviate the icy conditions.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/16/08/59/O726z.Em.138.jpg|191
    John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Vehicles try to navigate an icy patch on Statesville Road at Old Statesville Road Thursday January 16, 2014. A slag was called for to help alleviate the icy conditions.

A moisture-starved cold front crossed the Charlotte region Wednesday night, bringing a return of frigid weather but no snowfall.

But although the front produced little in the way of precipitation, streets were wet enough in spots to produce a few patches of black ice Thursday morning.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and city road crews were dispatched around 6:30 a.m. to deal with at least two reports of ice -- on Mallard Creek Road at Mallard Forest Drive, and on Statesville Road at Old Statesville Road.

For the most part, however, streets appear to be in good shape. With little precipitation falling as the front passed through the area, streets were able to dry out quickly. That minimized the problems with black ice Thursday morning.

Snow fell in the mountains, however, and snow also was falling at 6 a.m. in Raleigh and Durham.

Road crews had prepared for the possibility of ice forming, as city and state trucks spread brine on major highways. Temperatures fell below freezing Thursday morning and were in the upper 20s shortly before daybreak.

High temperatures are only expected to reach the lower 40s Thursday afternoon, despite plenty of sunshine.

A brief return to the lower 50s for highs is forecast Friday, but another cold front will cross the area, and that will mean chilly temperatures again Saturday.

While Charlotte managed to escape most of the wintry weather, other parts of North Carolina saw snow. Between 1 and 2 inches accumulated in several mountain counties, and higher elevations got up to 3 inches.

Slippery roads have caused school systems in Ashe, Avery, Watauga and Wilkes counties to open on a two-hour delay Thursday morning. Also opening late are Caldwell Community College’s Watauga campus and Wilkes Community College.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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