A winter storm was forecast to bring snow to portions of the Carolinas and Virginia on Thursday, and over 12 million people were under some form of winter weather alert, including the Charlotte and Raleigh metro areas.
AccuWeather predicted 1-3 inches of snow over a large part of North Carolina and southern Virginia; 3-6 inches was likely over the southern Appalachians and part of eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia.
The storm will bring dangerous conditions for drivers, CNN said, as black ice and snow accumulate on roads. Many school systems in North Carolina closed on Thursday in advance of the storm.
Keep up with news day and night: Get USA TODAY’s Daily Briefing in your inbox
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and state emergency management officials urged residents to be prepared and monitor local forecasts ahead of the developing storm system, which meteorologists said would begin as rain.
The National Weather Service in Raleigh tweeted that “the central NC snow drought should end at 437 days today.”
A warm winter record: What happened to winter? And where’s the polar vortex?
“Portions of North Carolina are forecast to get more snow today than Washington or Philadelphia have received all season,” CNN meteorologist Monica Garret said.
Winter snow totals in the I-95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic are way below normal – 0.6 of an inch in Washington, 0.3 of an inch in Philadelphia, and 4.7 inches in New York City thus far, AccuWeather said.
But the snow will be short-lived. After the storm concludes early Friday, temperatures will be ideal for melting as highs climb into the upper 40s on Saturday, 50s on Sunday and 60s on Monday, the Capital Weather Gang said.
While snow flies in North Carolina, much of the flood-ravaged Deep South was forecast to see a soaking rain on Thursday, adding to what has been one of the wettest winters on record in that region, the Weather Channel reported.
Up to 1.5 inches of additional rain was forecast to fall over parts of the Lower Mississippi Valley to the Southeast, the weather service said, which could lead to flash flooding in some areas.
Weeks of heavy rain have inundated a large portion of the southern U.S., bringing near-record flooding to portions of Mississippi and Tennessee. Jackson, Mississippi, was especially hard-hit as the Pearl River rose to its third-highest level on record, flooding hundreds of homes.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Southeast snow: Winter storm to slam Carolinas and Virginia