Pinehurst Resort after a light snow on January 23, 2022 (David Sinclair | For the North State Journal)
RALEIGH — Residents and officials across North Carolina are bracing for a powerful winter storm expected to produce snow and high winds Friday and Saturday.
Heavy snow and strong winds were forecasted to begin in parts of N.C. 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.
On Friday, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the southern and western Piedmont and western Sandhills of central N.C. The NWS advisory predicted hazardous travel conditions from slippery or snow-covered roads and said scattered power outages can be expected.
Two weeks ago snow and ice left over 16,000 across Moore County without power, according to N.C. Emergency Management totals from Duke Energy.
To the North, states declared snow emergencies and imposed parking bans, warning that wind-blown snow could make travel nearly impossible and colder temperatures could mean dangerous wind chills after the storm passes Saturday night.
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.
The state’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.
“The key message for all Virginians is to stay aware of the weather conditions and to stay off the roads if possible,” the governor said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.