UPDATED: 3:20 P.M.
The Winter Weather Advisory has been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning. A Winter Storm Warning for wet snow means severe winter weather conditions are occurring. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
The National Weather Service is now forecasting wet snow accumulations into Saturday morning of up to nine inches in the mountains around Boone, and up to five inches in the Triad. The accumulations will be mostly on elevated and grassy surfaces, however, the NWS is alerting motorists to plan for some slushy and slick spots on rodaways that will create hazardous travel.
Utility officials are reporting more than 10,000 power outages in North Carolina as a winter storm blows in.
Duke Energy data showed that at least 10,800 customers were without electricity by early Friday afternoon.
Buncombe County in the western part of the state had about 2,900 outages, while Forsyth County to the had 2,300. In the mountains, Macon and Mitchell counties had about 1,000 outages each.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the Northwestern and Northern Piedmont, including the Triad area, due to periods of wintry precipitation that could cause travel issues. The National Weather Service is forecasting accumulation of up to two inches of wet, slushy snow for the area. The advisory will remain in effect until 4 P.M. Saturday.
Mount Airy City Schools, Surry, and Wilkes County Schools were closed at 12:30 P.M. Friday along with their after-school activities. Forsyth and Guilford County Schools remain open, but all Saturday WSFC activities have been cancelled.
This morning, the National Weather Service began tracking a few bands of snow moving across the WFDD listening area from Boone to the Triad. They were mostly flurries with occasional snow blasts occurring in the mountains, and some light accumulation reported on grassy surfaces in Ashe County.
Further east in the Triad, with warmer temperatures in the mid to upper 30s, large snowflakes were melting upon contact with the ground. That situation may change this afternoon, however. National Weather Service meteorologist Nick Fillo says he expects additional bands of snow to move across the Triad bringing some light accumulations.
"It'll be in different rounds," says Fillo. "So, we'll have one this afternoon, another one tonight, and by the time we wake up tomorrow morning we could have snowfall amounts ranging from 3-4 inches across the Boone area to maybe even up to 2 [inches] toward the Triad."
Fillo adds that the accompanying low temperatures this weekend will provide a taste of winter. He says Saturday and Sunday's highs will be just in the mid to upper 30s in the Triad, with overnight lows in the low 20s.