Winter storm watch issued in anticipation of mix

"It does appear that we are going to have a significant winter storm at the end of this week and into the weekend," WRAL chief meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for counties, including Chatham, Durham, Orange and Wake, from Friday afternoon through Saturday evening in anticipation of snow and a wintry-mix hitting the state.

The watch extends along and north of a line from Davidson to Wake to Warren counties.

“I can’t stress how unusual this is to have a winter storm watch post this far ahead,” WRAL chief meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

The Triangle and areas north are expected to see more snow, WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said. South of the Triangle, in areas like Fayetteville, there will likely be a mix of sleet and ice.

Areas that see snow could see several inches, Maze said. Places that see a wintry-mix have the "potential to see a half-inch of ice build-up" on roads.

“It does appear that we are going to have a significant winter storm at the end of this week and into the weekend,” Fishel said.

Should snow or ice fall, it is likely to impact high school sporting events. Some schools have already decided to move events from Friday to Thursday in hopes of getting them in before the storm hits. Read more on

"I’m not saying that everybody’s going to get snow, but it looks like some people may. Others may get more of a wintry mix depending on where you are," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

Wednesday was mostly sunny and cool, with highs reaching into the upper-40s. Thursday will be a warmer.

"(Thursday) the temperatures may even climb up close to 60 degrees, which is kind of ironic since the temperatures are going to crash on Friday," Gardner said.

The significant change should come Friday as a storm system moves into the Carolinas from the Deep South. Colder air arrives first, followed by an area of moisture that could bring wintry precipitation.

The moisture stays in the forecast through midday Saturday, and the forecast calls for a high temperatures only in the 30s both Friday and Saturday.

Crews get roads ready for wintry-mix

The state Department of Transportation and the city of Durham began laying down an anti-icing salt-brine mix on roadways Wednesday afternoon.

Raleigh crews will start treating roadways Thursday evening, while Cary plans to meet in the morning to discuss their plans.

“It (salt-brine mix) is good for up to three days providing no rain comes first and that's part of our decision. We want to make sure there's not going to be any rain first before we start brining the streets,” Cary's Public Works Director Scott Hecht said.

Meanwhile, some businesses are not looking forward to the approaching wintry weather.

“Snowing is bad for business. When it snows here in Cary, it's real slow,” said Said Boyleqcha, owner of Serendipity Deli.

For children, however, the snow can't come fast enough.

“I wish it would snow this year. It hasn't really snowed this year," 6-year-old Emory Leonhardt said.