Winter Weather Hits North Carolina; CMS Closed Friday
Updated 9:45 p.m.
Snow fell Thursday afternoon in the Charlotte area, providing slick roads just in time for evening rush hour as winter weather moved into North Carolina. Gov. Roy Cooper urged residents to prepare for the inclement weather, and several Charlotte-area school districts, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and early voting sites shut down early.
“The entire state is either under a winter storm advisory or warning through tomorrow morning,” Cooper said Thursday. “This winter storm will affect most parts of North Carolina.”
The National Weather Service reported that snowflakes began falling in Charlotte at 4:10 p.m.
CMS sent students home three hours early, and all after-school activities were canceled. CMS announced late Thursday evening that schools would be closed Friday
Mecklenburg County was one of many counties in North Carolina that closed early voting sites prematurely Thursday.
The heaviest snow accumulation was expected in the northeastern part of the state. In all, Charlotte was expected to get less than an inch of snow and sleet accumulation, according to the National Weather Service, with an overnight low of 27 degrees.
“Roads will initially be warm and wet, but with slippery conditions developing as temperatures fall through the day,” according to a weather bulletin from the NWS. “The hazardous conditions could impact the evening commute.”
Thursday, Feb 20, 2020 8AM: Here's our best estimate of snow/sleet onset timing right now. Please note that exactly when the cold air will arrive is VERY uncertain outside of the mountains, so please use this as a general guide only! #ncwx #scwx #gawx pic.twitter.com/t5q6ylDI2Y— NWS GSP (@NWSGSP) February 20, 2020
N.C. State Highway Patrol Col. Glenn McNeill Jr. asked people to avoid driving during the storm.
“Motorists should also clear snow and ice from their vehicles prior to departing their locations to prevent flying debris,” McNeil said, also advising people who get in minor wrecks to move their vehicles off the roadway if feasible.
The low overnight temperatures could lead to icy driving conditions in the morning.
North Carolina Department of Transportation Chief Engineer Tim Little said crews have been preparing for the storm and are ready to begin de-icing roadways once it passes.
“Significant icing is not expected, and that’s good news,” Cooper said. “There shouldn’t be any major issues with power outages, although gusty winds tonight and tomorrow could cause some outages.”
He also warned people not to use generators or grills inside.
Cooper said nearly 30 school districts had closed as of midmorning Thursday. Many others – including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and UNC Charlotte – are releasing students early. Here’s a list of area school closings from WSOC-TV.
People can go to drivenc.gov for the latest traffic information.