Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — As the current forecast shows the potential for snow to impact much of North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper is encouraging the public to prepare.
Winter weather will start affecting the state Thursday afternoon into Friday morning outside of the mountains.
“Predictions are changing quickly, so I urge everyone to be prepared and continue to monitor their local forecast. Now is the time to prepare while the roads are drivable. If snow falls, roads and bridges can quickly become dangerous, so be careful,” Gov. Cooper said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, a Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for portions of Western and Central North Carolina through Friday morning where 1 to 3 inches of snow accumulations are possible. Additionally, a Winter Storm Watch has been issued for portions of northeast North Carolina through Friday morning where 2 to 3 inches of snow accumulations are possible.
It is important to monitor local weather forecasts closely as the forecast becomes more refined in the coming hours. As rain develops across the state Thursday morning, a transition to snow is expected early Thursday afternoon from north to south.
As a transition from rain to snow occurs, a wintry mix will be possible in some areas. Hazardous road conditions could impact the afternoon/evening commute Thursday as well as the morning commute Friday where higher snow accumulations occur. Saturated soils, accumulating snowfall and breezy conditions could lead to possible power outages.
State transportation crews have made advanced preparations. Salt stocks, supplies and equipment, such as snowplows and salt spreaders, are ready to prepare and respond to snow and ice.
Additionally, crew schedules are being adjusted to meet local needs; however, NCDOT crews will not begin pretreating the roads due to rain on Thursday morning.
Emergency Management and State Highway Patrol staff and partner agencies also are preparing for inclement weather by adjusting schedules and coordinating resources.
Gov. Cooper and officials from Emergency Management urge you to be ready for the storm with these tips:
• Keep enough non-perishable food in your home for 3 days.
• Keep fresh batteries on hand for weather radios and flashlights.
• Dress warmly. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
• Properly vent kerosene heaters and keep any electric generators outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Never burn charcoal or operate grills indoors.
• Monitor changing forecasts and weather conditions closely.
• Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include ice scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first aid kit and road map.
For more information on how to prepare for winter storms, visit www.readync.org. For the latest road conditions, visit www.DriveNC.gov.