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Winter storm to bring snow to North Carolina, blizzard conditions to East Coast

A salt truck spreads brine on the road as a winter storm moves through the area near Durham, N.C., Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022.
Gerry Broome
A salt truck spreads brine on the road as a winter storm moves through the area near Durham, N.C., Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022.

The National Weather Service says central and eastern North Carolina are in for a third straight weekend of snow.

Forecasters are calling for one to two inches in the Triangle and Sandhills, and up to three inches in the Triad and the northern Outer Banks.

Meteorologist Nick Petro expects snowfall to begin in the Triad area during the evening commute on Friday.

“That snow band progresses eastward right through the evening and continues to just slowly meander eastward overnight tonight,” Petro said. “And most of the snow rate in that wide band will be pretty light.”

Petro says the storm will have passed by Saturday morning, but he expects wind gusts of around 30 miles per-hour Saturday, which could bring trees or power lines down. On Saturday night, the wind chill will make temperatures feel like 10 degrees, according to Petro.

The winter storm is expected to impact the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, as far north as Boston.

Heavy snow and strong winds were forecasted to begin in parts of the Carolinas and Appalachia on Friday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

The system will then intensify as a nor’easter and bring snowy conditions up the East Coast to New England, where forecasters warned of localized snowfall totals of up to 20 inches and wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph.

In Virginia, where a blizzard earlier this month stranded hundreds of motorists along a major interstate highway for hours, Gov. Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency and said officials have already begun to position its resources in anticipation of downed trees, electrical outages and major impacts to travel.

Virginia’s Eastern Shore faces possible blizzard conditions that could bring winds as high as 50 mph, up to a foot of heavy and wet snow and possibly tidal flooding.

Airlines braced for the highest single-day total of cancellations in three weeks. By midday Friday, airlines had canceled more than 1,000 flights in the U.S., and they had already scrubbed about 2,500 scheduled for Saturday, according to tracking service FlightAware. The hardest-hit airports included those in Chicago, the New York City area and Boston.

Copyright 2022 North Carolina Public Radio

Will Michaels started his professional radio career at WUNC.
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