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News In Brief

4-6 Inches Of Snow Could Fall This Weekend; Southeast Drought Conditions See Improvement

Crews are treating roads with salt brine and attaching snowplows to trucks ahead of what could be the region's first snowstorm of 2017. As of Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service (NWS) predicts between four to six inches of snow could fall between Friday night and Saturday morning, though that could change.

"Snowfall amounts are notoriously tricky to forecast over this area from these systems," said Jeffery Taylor, a forecaster with the NWS, "Just a little bit of change in moisture predicted will change the snowfall amount, or can change it, pretty drastically."

The winter weather is expected to begin sometime after 7 p.m. Friday night after rain and warmer temperatures carry through the afternoon and early evening.

The heaviest snow will likely fall roughly along the I-85 corridor from Upstate South Carolina into the southern Piedmont of North Carolina.

Forecasters predict snow will continue falling through early Saturday afternoon. Temperatures on Saturday are expected to remain just below freezing, then dropping into the mid-teens Saturday night, raising the fear of ice on Sunday. Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing Sunday and Monday.

Rains Douse Worst Of Drought Conditions In Southeast

Weeks of rain have eliminated the worst drought conditions in the Southeast, but nearly three-quarters of the region remains well below normal in rainfall.

An analysis released Thursday by the National Drought Mitigation Center shows none of the Southeast is classified as being in an exceptional drought anymore. The improvement follows storms and showers that have moved through the region since early December.

Still, more than 18 million people in the South remain in drought conditions, with 73 percent of the region still abnormally dry. Northern Alabama and Georgia are still in an extreme drought, as are slivers of southeastern Tennessee, and the western tips of the Carolinas.

The drought has been blamed for thousands of wildfires, plus crop losses.

Middle School Plans Candlelight Vigil For Slain Student

A candlelight vigil is planned Thursday night for the slain son of a Kannapolis police officer.

Police say 14-year-old Anthony Frazier was fatally shot while sitting in the backseat of a car with family Monday night. The shooting happened in a neighborhood in northeast Charlotte. Police are continuing to search for two men they say are responsible.

Kannapolis Middle School, where Frazier was a student and member of the basketball team, says it will hold a vigil for him at 6 p.m. Thursday on the track.