Winter Weather Returns to North Carolina this Weekend Greatest Impacts Expected in Northwest Mountains


The state is preparing for another round of winter weather, with snow and ice expected to impact western North Carolina this weekend.

“The forecast calls for our mountains to see small amounts of snow and ice but we’ve seen before that more can fall than predicted,” Governor Cooper said. “We’re prepared for whatever comes and urge people to keep a close eye on the weather.”

A wintry mix is expected to move into western counties overnight Saturday before changing to rain as temperatures rise during the day Sunday. Precipitation will likely begin as snow on Saturday before transitioning to a mix of sleet and freezing rain early Sunday morning with temperatures in the upper 20s. 

Accumulations of 1 - 3” of snow and a trace to 0.15” of ice will likely cause very hazardous driving conditions in western counties Sunday morning, with conditions expected to improve later in the day. No widespread power issues are expected with this storm, although isolated outages may occur. Slick road conditions will be possible again Monday morning. Additional mountain snow showers are possible late Sunday night and Monday morning, with light accumulations expected. 

North Carolina Department of Transportation crews are brining interstates and primary roads in the foothills as well as other locations in the western part of the state. Mountain counties that received snow earlier on Thursday already have salt on the roadways. NCDOT crews in all counties are ready to respond as needed.

North Carolina Emergency Management experts are monitoring the forecast and standing by to support counties with any weather-related needs and the State Highway Patrol has resources committed to respond where needed. 

The same weather system is expected to bring central North Carolina freezing rain and very light snow on Sunday morning, which could cause slick roads. Forecasts call for temperatures to climb above freezing for all of central North Carolina by late Sunday morning, with rainfall throughout the day. Slick spots on roads will be possible again on Monday morning. Only rain is expected in eastern North Carolina. 

State officials will continue to monitor the forecast closely for the entire state.