Cold high pressure along the East Coast will interact with a moist low pressure system moving out of the Gulf of Mexico Saturday night into Sunday. Snow and sleet are expected to start falling in western counties just after midnight Sunday and then spread across the central part of the state, with the highest accumulations falling north of Interstate 85. Moderate to heavy precipitation will fall as a mixture of snow, sleet, and freezing rain across the region this weekend, and possibly linger into the early part of next week. Accumulations are expected to be greatest in western North Carolina. Heavy mixed precipitation expected.
Gov. Roy Cooper stated that state officials are planning on the worst by activating a full array of emergency precautions, including some National Guardsmen. “This is not just a winter snow and ice event,” Cooper said. “It’s also going to be a heavy freezing rain and storm event.” Total snow and sleet accumulations of 10 to 16 inches, mostly falling as snow, with ice accumulations from freezing rain around one tenth of an inch expected.
Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Road conditions could deteriorate as early as Saturday evening, with highway travel continuing to be impacted through early next week. Visibility may drop to less than a half mile during periods of heavy snow.
Widespread, prolonged power outages are possible.