9:55 a.m. *** The National Weather Service, on Wednesday morning, issued a special weather statement for Chatham, Durham, Wake and Franklin Counties calling for a slow moving band of accumulating snow moving across the area with snow falling at a rate of one inch per hour into the late afternoon with heavy accumulation across the affected area. Impacted locations include Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Pittsboro, Louisburg, Wake Forest, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Zebulon and Franklinton.***
Winter weather is expected to return to the state late Tuesday bringing snow to the piedmont region, with expected accumulation of between 1 to 3 inches, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) projections.
The weather advisory will be in effect from 11 pm Tuesday night until 7 pm Wednesday and covers Alamance, Anson, Chatham, Cumberland, Davidson, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Granville, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, Orange, Person, Randolph, Richmond, Sampson, Scotland, Stanly, Vance, Wake, Warren, Wayne and Wilson counties.
The winter weather is being brought to the state by a high altitude arctic cold front moving in from the west pushing through the region over the next day bringing the snow and cold temperatures to the area.
Lows in Raleigh are expected to fall into the teens on Wednesday.
Gov. Roy Cooper warned residents to make preparations for the cold weather ahead of the snow and said that his administration is watching the forecasts to best prepare to handle the snow.
“We are watching this forecast closely,” Cooper said. “Much of our state could see one to two inches of snow, and everyone needs be ready for that.”
The latest forecasts show that the winter weather could begin as a rain/snow mix before changing over to snow as the temperature drops.
In central and eastern North Carolina, accumulations of one to three inches are possible across northern portions of the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, with small amounts of snow possible in areas south and east of the Triangle.
According to Cooper’s release, no icing is expected but hazardous travel conditions are likely Tuesday night into Wednesday in many areas.
State Emergency Management meteorologists are tracking the forecast and the state Emergency Response Team is prepared to activate if necessary, Cooper said.
The State Highway Patrol is also prepared for the potentially dangerous travel conditions the weather could create.
Brining operations have already been underway in the state to prepare interstates, other major roads, bridges and overpasses for the winter weather.
The brine and salt is meant to help keep snow and ice from adhering to roadways and to aid in clearing efforts.
In the Triangle and Triad areas brining began Monday morning but in the western part of the state where the forecast is less clear state transportation crews are monitoring the forecast with a decision on whether to brine the roads expected Tuesday.
To be ready for winter weather, North Carolina Emergency Management officials urge you to:
· Dress warmly for the cold. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
· Keep alternative heating sources and fire extinguishers on hand. Be sure your family knows how to use them.
· Properly vent kerosene heaters and keep electric generators outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
· Do not burn charcoal or use a grill indoors.
· Use a NOAA Weather Radio or monitor local news media for changing weather conditions.
· Keep fresh batteries on hand for weather radios and flashlights.
· If your pipes are uninsulated, keep faucets open to a slow drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
· Keep pets inside, out of the cold. · Download the ReadyNC app for more winter weather preparedness information.
The State Highway Patrol offers these tips for travel during winter weather:
· Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include a windshield scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first aid kit and road map.
· Keep your cell phone charged.
· Monitor fuel levels.
· Clear your windshield and other windows of snow and ice before traveling.
· Use headlamps and windshield wipers.
· Plan for delays and longer than usual travel times.
· Increase your following distance and decrease your speed.
· Choose several routes as some roadways may be closed.
· Share your travel plans/routes with others.
· Always be aware of your location in case you become stranded.
· If your vehicle becomes disabled, stay inside the vehicle until assistance arrives. · Contact 911 or *HP in emergency situations only. Visit DriveNC.gov for roadway conditions.