Storm system producing near-blizzard conditions headed for Carol - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Storm system producing near-blizzard conditions headed for Carolinas

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A massive storm system is producing near blizzard conditions in parts of the Midwest, tornadoes and thunderstorms in Louisiana, and is now heading for the Carolinas.   

While sunshine will remain plentiful through Thursday afternoon, showers will move in overnight with winter weather likely in the High Country where sleet, snow and freezing rain may make travel difficult Friday morning. 

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through Friday afternoon.

As temperatures in the mountains warm, the winter weather will change back to cold rain.

One to two inches can be expected before rain chances end late Saturday.

As the storm system approaches, the N.C. Department of Transportation is preparing its crews and equipment to respond to any ice or snow that may accumulate on North Carolina roads and bridges overnight and into Friday morning.

NCDOT encourages drivers to use extreme caution overnight and during the Friday morning commute.

Because the storm is predicted to begin as rain in most areas late tonight, NCDOT will not pretreat the roads in most parts of the state with a salt-water mixture called brine. Because of this, motorists should be aware of the potential for ice on roadways and especially on bridges and overpasses, which freeze first. 

 Remember these safety tips: 

  • Slow down;
  • Bridges and overpasses freeze first;
  • Put down the cell phone and focus on the road;
  • Use only gentle pressure on both the accelerator and the brakes to avoid skidding; and
  • Give other motorists plenty of room in case you or other drivers begin to slide.

 Crews across the state will be on alert and ready to respond if snow or ice begins to accumulate overnight or on Friday morning. They have attached plows and spreaders to their trucks, and topped off their fuel tanks to ensure they are prepared.

NCDOT has produced several videos explaining how maintenance crews gear up for winter weather months in advance, how they determine when to use salt and sand, and how they decide which roads to clear first. These videos and many others are available on the NCDOT YouTube page.

Check conditions before you go. Motorists can access real-time information about changing road conditions across the state in a number of ways:

  • Call 511, the department's toll-free travel information line;
  • Visit NCDOT's travel webpage to see live traffic camera images and access road conditions by region, route or county;
  • Use NCDOT Mobile, the mobile version of the department's website, to know before you go about road conditions. Just type "m.ncdot.gov" into your smartphone's browser;
  • Like" NCDOT on Facebook; and
  • Follow one of NCDOT's many Twitter feeds.

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