FIRST ALERT: Ice, sleet and heavy rain hits Carolinas

WBTV Thursday morning weather forecast

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The WBTV First Alert weather team continues to track the most impactful winter storm of the season so far. A First Alert is in effect for the entire viewing area, but the impacts will vary depending on your locations.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories are in effect through Thursday evening as wintry mix consisting of mostly freezing rain and sleet will impact communities mainly north of I-85.
  • Freezing rain could create icy spots on surfaces and roadways. Some trees and power lines could also be impacted where temperatures fall to 32° or below throughout the day.
  • Heavy pockets of scattered rain will also spread across the area through the day, albeit mainly south of I-85. Continuous downpours will leave some areas vulnerable to flash flooding through Friday morning.

A Winter Storm Warning (Along & North of I-40) is in place for the following counties: Alexander, Avery, Ashe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Iredell and Rowan.

A Winter Weather Advisory (Between I-40 to the South & I-85 to the North) is in place for the following counties: Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg and Stanly,

A Flash Flood Watch (Mainly South U.S. 74 and East of I-77) is in place for Anson, Chesterfield and Lancaster County.

As of 4 a.m., York (SC), Chester (SC) and Union (NC) are the only counties in the WBTV viewing without active weather alerts.

A Winter Storm Warning is in place until 7 p.m. Thursday. Heavy mixed precipitation is expected. Total snow and sleet accumulations of up to one inch and ice accumulations of one tenth to four tenths of an inch.

At least scattered power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice. Travel could be difficult to nearly impossible. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in place until 7 p.m. Thursday. Mostly rain, but freezing rain is possible. Total ice accumulation from trace amounts to up to two tenths of an inch.

Difficult travel conditions are possible, especially on bridges and overpasses. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute. Isolated damage to trees and power lines could result in sporadic power outages.

A Flash Flood Watch is in place through Friday morning. Showers and scattered thunderstorms will move into the region Thursday morning bringing heavy rain and the potential for flash flooding. Additional rounds of heavy rain are possible later in the day and overnight.

Rises on streams and creeks may also lead to flash flooding. Rising floodwaters in low-lying areas.

Finally, a few lingering showers are possible through Friday morning, but drier air will move into the area by Friday afternoon as this system exits the Carolinas. This weekend, high pressure returns to the region calm conditions and cool temperatures.

- First Alert Meteorologist Jonathan Stacey

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