Winter storm slams South with heavy snow, power outages

- A storm system that's bringing heavy snow and freezing rain across a large section of the South is leaving thousands without power Sunday as wintry precipitation blasts the region.

Over 200,000 customers in North Carolina are without power as of 5 p.m. ET Sunday as snow and freezing precipitation continue to fall, according to North Carolina Emergency Management.

"North Carolina is in the cold, icy grip of a mammoth winter storm," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said at a news conference. "Enjoy the beauty but respect the danger. Don't be fooled. This storm is treacherous."

The majority of the power outages are in North Carolina, where the highest amounts of snowfall are expected to fall. The National Weather Service said that more than a foot of snow is possible from North Carolina into south-central Virginia.

"Travel will be severely affected across much of these areas, and some power outages are likely," the NWS said in its advisory.

RELATED: Over 1,000 flights canceled out of Charlotte as winter storm blasts region

North Carolina Emergency Management said that the threat of ice and freezing rain increased Sunday, especially along the Interstate 85 corridor. There is now a "high probability" of widespread power outages.

[PHOTO GALLERY: Winter Storm hits the Carolinas]

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for most of the region for the weekend through Monday afternoon.

[SCHOOL CLOSINGS AND DELAYS]

As of Sunday morning, these are the predicted snow/sleet accumulations:

•    12”-18” for the Mountains and Foothills
•    8”-12” across Morganton, Hickory, & Statesville
•    4"- 8" for Lincolnton, Salisbury & Shelby
•    2"- 4" near Uptown Charlotte, Concord, & Gastonia
•    A dusting to 2" from South Charlotte to Chester, Monroe, Wadesboro

Northern South Carolina counties up to the Charlotte metro area will have more of a threat for icy accumulation and slick roads during the winter storm rather than snow, so be careful if driving around through Monday. Even further south and east, there is higher likelihood for cold rain. 

RELATED: Winter storm creates mess on area roads

The northern and western counties of our area will see more snow than ice, but the Charlotte metro area is expected to see a mix of both. 

Road conditions will continue to be bad across the area as the winter storm pushes through, so take the necessary precautions to stay safe over the weekend and into the start of next week.

“We’re preparing for days of impact, not hours,” Gov. Roy Cooper said, urging caution. “This weekend isn’t the time to head out to see the winter wonderland. Stay safe where you are. Getting out on dangerous roads could put your life at risk.”

STAY WEATHER AWARE: 

•    Snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain for most places.
•    Plan now for difficult travel and power outages, mainly Sunday through Tuesday morning.
•    Keep checking in with the Neighborhood Storm Watch team for the latest! 

FOX News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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