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Cold From West, Hurricane In East Affect N.C.

The unusual collision of weather systems in the eastern third of the country is bringing alerts and cancelations, including here in the Carolinas.  We’re feeling the effects of a cold front from the west, and Hurricane Sandy from the east.

There’s a high-wind watch for the North Carolina foothills and upstate South Carolina from late Sunday night through Tuesday. Forecasters say winds will be 25 to 30 miles per hour, with gusts up to 60 miles per hour.   Temperatures in the mountains also are falling, with lows in the next couple of days in the 30s.  The forecast for Monday calls for a chance of snow showers, with accumulation of an inch or so in some areas.

The bad weather forced Jill Biden, the wife of vice president Joe Biden, to call off campaigning in N.C., including a planned appearance today in Asheville.

Out at the coast, state transportation officials have prepared for Hurricane Sandy by suspending ferry service to Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks, and other coastal locations until weather improves. Gov. Beverly Perdue on Friday declared a state of emergency for 40 counties east of Interstate 95.

That big storm off the coast could put a dent in early voting in the election. The weather forced elections officials in some counties on the North Carolina coast to close early voting locations this weekend

Here in the Charlotte area, we’ll see increasing winds and falling temperatures. Today’s forecast calls for cloudy skies and a high of 67, with winds of 10-15 miles per hour. The winds will pick up overnight, and by Monday should be 15 to 20 miles per hour, with gusts up to 35 miles per hour. Monday won’t be as warm, with highs only around 55. And that cold front overnight Monday could send temperatures into the high 30s. See the National Weather Service hazardous weather outlook.

EARLY VOTERS TOP 1 MILLION

Early voting continues this weekend. As of Saturday, more than 1.3 million people had voted statewide, including 148,000 in Mecklenburg County.  Of the votes cast so far, about half have come from Democrats, about 31 percent from Republicans, and 19 percent from unaffiliated voters. That’s according to the state board of elections.  

You can find out more about early voting locations at WFAE.org

EDUCATION LOTTERY MAKES A PAYMENT

The N.C. Education Lottery has made its first payment for education in this fiscal year, which began July 1. The state announced that $121.3 million has been transferred to the education programs the lottery was designed to help. That’s about 5 percent more than a transfer made at the same time a year ago.

State officials said sales of lottery tickets were up 5 percent in the first three months of the fiscal year, mainly because of a $320 million Powerball jackpot in August. They also pointed to a new set of instant games.