RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) — For the third weekend in a row, North Carolina is preparing for a winter storm and Governor Cooper and state leaders are reminding residents to be ready for winter weather.

“Today is the day to get the essentials you need, so you can stay off the roads tonight and Saturday if conditions are dangerous in your area,” said Cooper.

State emergency leaders remind people to pay close attention to their local forecast.  Accumulating snow could lead to hazardous travel Friday night through midday Saturday. 

Winter Weather Advisories have been issued for much of the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, where 1-2 inches of snow is expected, with localized totals up to 3 inches possible.  A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for Currituck County, where 2-4 inches of snow is expected.  Along the North Carolina/Tennessee border, Winter Storm Warnings remain in effect for areas above 3,500 feet with expected snow totals of 2-5 inches, and 6-8 inches at elevations above 5,000 feet. Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for those areas below 3,500 feet, where 1-4 inches of snow is expected.

Gusty winds are expected statewide tonight and Saturday, which will bring very cold wind chill values, and could lead to isolated power outages and minor coastal flooding.

NC DOT crews are preparing equipment for the response, and have been pre-treating roads with brine where possible.  If you must drive in winter conditions, the State Highway Patrol advises reducing speed significantly, increasing distance between other vehicles, and clearing all snow and ice from your vehicle before traveling. 

To keep safe during winter weather, North Carolina Emergency Management advises residents and visitors to follow these tips:

  • Pay close attention to your local forecast and be prepared for what’s expected in your area.
  • Keep cell phones, mobile devices and spare batteries charged.
  • Use a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio or a weather alert app on your phone to receive emergency weather alerts.
  • Dress warmly. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
  • Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first-aid kit and road map.
  • Gather emergency supplies for your pet including leash and feeding supplies, enough food for several days and a pet travel carrier.
  • Do not leave pets outside for long periods of time during freezing weather.
  • Look out for your friends, neighbors and the elderly during winter weather.

If your power goes out:

  • Ensure generators are operated outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. 
  • Never burn charcoal indoors or use a gas grill indoors.
  • Properly vent kerosene heaters.
  • Use battery-powered sources for light, instead of candles, to reduce the risk of fire.

Visit ReadyNC.gov for more information on winter weather safety and preparation.  For information on road conditions visit DriveNC.gov