Snow to blanket the South this weekend in major winter storm

A winter storm in Atlanta

A winter storm in Atlanta

Snow should spread into southwestern Virginia late Saturday night into Sunday morning. "I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure localities and communities have appropriate assistance and to coordinate state response to possible snow and ice accumulations, transportation issues, and potential power outages".

"There is still going to be a pretty good storm affecting the area over the weekend, but the question is how far North does the heavy precipitation get", said Mike Rusnak of the National Weather Service. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 8 inches combined with ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch are possible.

After bringing snow and rain to Southern California and the southern Rockies on Thursday, the heaviest amounts of snow and ice are set to be unleashed from the Southern Plains into the Southeast, the Weather Channel reported. Across the Virginia border counties, mountains and foothills, there's a chance they could remain all snow, especially the mountains.

Very heavy snow is forecast for the Appalachian Mountains, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said, with Asheville, North Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia, predicted to get 12-18 inches. There will be a pretty sharp cutoff on who will see accumulating snow and who will just see rain. "But this time, the real thing is headed our way and North Carolina is getting prepared", Cooper, the North Carolina governor, said, according to WSOC in Charlotte.

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Clouds will begin to thicken across the Triangle ahead of the storm on Saturday and a wintery mix of rain, snow and sleet is expected to arrive late Saturday, continuing on Sunday and possibly into Monday.

Most of Arkansas won't feel the precipitation until later Friday, with some rain early in the south and central portions of the state.

Areas under the winter weather advisory like Sussex, Surry, Southampton County and the city of Franklin could see 1-3 inches. Highest snow accumulations are expected at high elevations around the Balsams. The all-time record for a December snow in Raleigh is 9 inches in 1958. It all depends on a regional weather phenomenon called "cold-air damming" - when cold air is forced from the northeast and pushes against the Appalachians. But here we are December 7th, and we are talking about more than a foot of snow in many parts of our state. Up to 2 inches are possible hourly in coastal towns, including the Houston area, where flash flooding is a concern.

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