TRACKING: Worst of winter storm gone, leaves concern for black ice

TRACKING: Weekend winter storm gives Charlotte snowiest December in two decades

>> Our meteorologists have been tracking this system for days and are monitoring snow, sleet, and rain falling across the region. Watch the latest forecast update below:

[LINK: Check current delays and closings]

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[CLICK HERE for Saturday's winter weather coverage]

Forecast highlights:

  • The worst of the winter storm has passed through the area, piling up inches of snow and leaving behind freezing rain
  • The area still has some lingering effects, mainly on the roads
  • The main concern for drivers will be black ice as any melted snow/sleet refreezes
  • The strong winter storm arrived in the Carolinas late Saturday and will continue into Monday
  • A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg and Rowan counties until Monday at 2 p.m.
  • A State of Emergency has been declared for all 100 North Carolina counties
  • Snow began falling in neighborhoods around Matthews, York County and Charlotte just after midnight Sunday, and heavier snow fell later in morning, especially north of I-85 into the mountains
  • The first round of precipitation started to wind down Sunday afternoon, with a lighter round expected to move in Sunday night into Monday morning
  • Accumulations were the highest north of Charlotte and into the mountains Sunday. Linville saw 18 inches, Taylorsville saw 17 inches, Lenoir, Valdese, Hickory and Mooresville saw 14 inches, Lawndale saw 8 inches and Lincolnton saw 7 inches.
  • Charlotte had a snowfall total of 2.7 inches Sunday
  • The bottom line is that this significant winter storm -- especially for December standards -- is creating dangerous conditions, and the threats will continue in the days to come

>> Reading this story in our app? The new "Follow the Lead" feature allows you to tap the blue tag indicated with a '+' to subscribe to alerts on the very latest severe weather updates.

>> Download our WSOC-TV app and keep up with winter weather conditions wherever you go.

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Scroll below for minute-by-minute updates on the winter storm:

12:30 a.m.

As of 12:30 a.m. Monday, more than 25,000 Duke Energy customers in Mecklenburg County remain without power.


9:30 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said Sunday was the most snow Boone has seen from one storm in about five years. Boone accumulated nearly 18 inches of snow. More than two dozen plows were used to clear the major highways in Watauga County.


9:15 p.m.

Now that the heaviest snow threat is done, the main concern for drivers will be black ice as any melted snow/sleet refreezes. Black ice could remain an issue for the next few mornings.


9:05 p.m.

American Airlines, which is Charlotte's second-largest hub, say 1,200 flights nationwide were canceled on Sunday, and an additional 400 are canceled on Monday.


8:55 p.m.

MEDIC says it has responded to 80 crashes Mecklenburg County on Sunday. One of the crashes was deadly. Two other people have life-threatening injuries.


8:45 p.m.

As of 8:45 p.m., Duke Energy reports more than 27,000 customers without power in Mecklenburg County. Burke County has 2,300 power outages, Rowan County has 1,200 and Stanly County has 3,100.


7:45 p.m.

The 2.7 inches of snow in Charlotte on Sunday makes it the snowiest December for the city in more than 20 years. The last time we had a December with more snow was in 1997.


7:40 p.m.

Chester County Schools will be on a two-hour delay on Monday.


6:30 p.m.

MEDIC said it has responded to 75 crashes Sunday, including one deadly accident. Officials said two other people had life-threatening injuries.


6 p.m.

Caldwell County has issued a mandatory curfew lasting from 8 p.m. Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday.


5 p.m.

The Charlotte-Douglas International Airport remains open and operational, but officials say flight cancellations are scheduled for Sunday night and Monday morning.

Airport officials say crews de-iced about 60 planes Sunday.


4:40 p.m.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will be closed Monday.


4:30 p.m.

Officials confirm one person was killed after a tree fell on a vehicle on East John Street near Charles Buckley Way.

Matthews police say East John Street is shut down right now.


3:30 p.m.

Part of Providence Road in south Charlotte is shut down after trees toppled into the roadway.

Part of Providence Road in South Charlotte blocked because of trees down.

Posted by WSOC-TV on Sunday, December 9, 2018


3:30 p.m.

Union County Schools will be on a two-hour delay on Monday.


3:20 p.m.

MEDIC said it has responded to 70 accidents since midnight.


3 p.m.

Heavy snow causes roof collapse at the Moores Ferry Marina on Lake Hickory.


3 p.m.

Hickory Public Schools will be closed Monday.


2:15 p.m.

Kannapolis City Schools announced it will be closed for students and staff on Monday.


2:15 p.m.

Alexander County Schools will be closed for students and staff on Monday.


1:45 p.m.

Duke Energy said its crews are responding 240,000 power outages across the Carolinas, with 170,000 in North Carolina and 70,000 in South Carolina.


1:20 p.m.

Rowan-Salisbury Schools will be closed Monday for students. It will be an optional teacher work day for staff.


1:15 p.m.

Avery County Schools will be closed Monday.


12:50 p.m.

The city of Charlotte will operate on a 2-hour delay Monday, opening at 10 a.m.


12:45 p.m.

Duke Energy is reporting more than 26,000 customers without power in Mecklenburg County.


12:30 p.m.

Ashe County schools will be closed for students on Monday.



MEDIC has responded to 55 traffic accidents today, which surpasses the total for all of last Sunday (46).


11:50 a.m.

Due to continued icing, the LYNX Blue Line will discontinue service starting at noon for the remainder of the day. The bus bridge, currently in place, will also be discontinued.


11:45 a.m.

Iredell-Statesville schools will not have school on Monday.


11:20 a.m.

American Airlines, along with their regional partners, have canceled 1,100 flights Sunday and 320 flights Monday.

Due to the weather at the Charlotte hub, American has limited operations to and from Charlotte today; cancellations are expected through Monday morning.


11:15 a.m.

North Carolina troopers have responded to 509 crashes since midnight.


11 a.m.

Gov. Roy Cooper addressed the public this morning on the impact's this winter storm was having across the state.

"North Carolina is in the cold grip of a mammoth storm," he said. "Enjoy the beauty but be aware of the danger."

Cooper warned that more snow and ice are still to come and that travel conditions are treacherous. The National Guard has been activated to help.

"Stay home. Don't use gas-powered generators inside. Check on loved ones and neighbors. Stay off the roads," Cooper said.

WINTER WEATHER: As snow, sleet, and ice continue to pound North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper is updating the public about the impact this storm has had on the state. CLICK for minute-by-minute updates and the latest forecast -->

Posted by WSOC-TV on Sunday, December 9, 2018


10:25 a.m.

Lincoln, Gaston, Watauga and Cleveland counties have canceled school for Monday.


10:20 a.m.

Duke Energy reporting more than 16,000 power outages across Mecklenburg County.


9:50 a.m.

The Concord Regional Airport will be closed Sunday and all Allegiant flights have been canceled.


9:40 a.m.

Conditions are deteriorating in Statesville as snow continues to fall and winds pick up.


9:25 a.m.

Concord Mills will be closed today.


9:20 a.m.

As a result of current weather conditions, UNCC will be in Condition 2 suspended operations from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Sunday. All scheduled activities are canceled, including the men's basketball game. Non-mandatory employees must not report to work.

No decision has been made yet on Monday exams or commencement.


9:15 a.m.

In Kannapolis, streets are very treacherous. The city is experiencing a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Public Work crews began plowing primary streets that lead to critical facilities, such as hospitals, early this morning but weather conditions are hampering their efforts.

They will continue to plow and salt streets but do not expect travel conditions to improve today. No power outages are reported at this time.

Rider transit is closed. All parks and the Celebration of Lights are closed.


9:10 a.m.

Caldwell County schools will be closed Monday.


8:55 a.m.

A bus bridge has been implemented on the LYNX Blue Line from I-485 to New Bern because a train is stuck due to icing. Crews working to resume normal service ASAP.


8:45 a.m.

Burke County schools will be closed to students on Monday, officials have announced.


8:40 a.m.

Roads in Mooresville are covered in snow, and the city says the following roads are closed:

  • Bluefield Road at the entrance to BJs and Big Indian Loop
  • Connector Road
  • West Lowrance Avenue at Pinewood Circle
  • White Oaks Road at Fieldstone
  • White Oaks Road at Shearers Road
  • Timber Road at Commercial Drive
  • Rocky River Road at Bluffton


8:15 a.m.

Emergency crews are encountering a lot of vehicles that have stalled out or getting stuck in the snow.


7:55 a.m.

A jack-knifed tractor-trailer is causing traffic headaches on I-85 northbound near Sugar Creek Road.


7:50 a.m.

Police are blocking the Plaza at Eastway Drive due to a huge tree that has fallen.


7:45 a.m.

The Salvation Army had 370 people to stay in their Charlotte shelter last night. The Grady Cole Center had around 100.


7:30 a.m.

Troopers in the High Country were reporting nearly 30 crashes since midnight and 60 calls for service, which is well above normal call volume.


7:18 a.m.

Travel in Charlotte is very hazardous and will remain difficult today. The NCDOT is asking people to stay home if at all possible as crews plow, salt, and sand the roads.


7:05 a.m.

MEDIC says they have responded to 35 crashes along Independence, I-77 and I-85.


7 a.m.

Our meteorologists have revised predicted snowfall totals. Still expecting 10-18 inches in the mountains but just north of Charlotte will see 2-5 inches, while the metro area will see up to an inch of snow.

LIVE IN LINCOLNTON: Snow to sleet and back to snow again. Giving you a look WSOC-TV

Posted by Blaine Tolison on Sunday, December 9, 2018


6 a.m.

MEDIC is reporting they have responded to 28 crashes since midnight. For perspective, they only had five in that same time period Saturday.


5:35 a.m.

Sleet that was falling in Lincolnton and other surrounding counties has turned to large, wet snowflakes.


5:25 a.m.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol is dealing with more than 20 crashes across the Charlotte area. They are urging people NOT to drive if possible.


5:15 a.m.

Charlotte Douglas remains open and operational Sunday morning. Throughout the night, airport staff cleared the airfield, airport roadways, overpasses, and parking lots of snow and ice.

Deicing of aircraft began last night and will resume today when requested.


4:25 a.m.

Power outages reported in Gaston County have jumped from 500 to more than 1,500.


4 a.m.

Dozens of crashes being reported along I-77 and I-85.


3:20 a.m.

Snow continues to fall across the High County. Please be careful if you have to drive this morning. Winds also gusting pretty strong in northern foothills and mountains.


2:30 a.m.

Caldwell County has declared a State of Emergency. That allows the government entity to request and utilize operational resources to respond to the emergency and covers residual projects and repair costs stemming from the emergency.


2 a.m.

Though we were seeing snow in Charlotte, sleet and rain will be back before dawn.


1:25 a.m.

Snow was beginning to fall just outside the WSOC-TV studios north of uptown Charlotte.


12:30 a.m.

Residents in areas like York County, Fort Mill, and Matthews were reporting snow and sleet.

Snow falls in Charlotte as wintry mess moves into Carolinas

A storm spreading snow, sleet and freezing rain took aim at millions of people across a wide swath of the South, raising the threat of immobilizing snowfalls, icy roads and possible power outages.

The National Weather Service said a "prolonged period of snow is expected" starting Saturday and lasting until Monday, with the heaviest snow expected in northwest North Carolina and southern Virginia. Forecasters have said some mountainous areas of North Carolina could get up to 12 inches of snow or more.

The storm moving across the Southeast will bring a high likelihood of wintry precipitation and significant impacts to North Carolina. Just after midnight Sunday, rain turned to snowfall in Charlotte, before reverting back to rain around 2 a.m.


Heavy rains were expected elsewhere in other parts of the South, creating possible floods in coastal areas.

North Carolina's largest electric utility, Duke Energy, has said more there could more than 500,000 power outages.

Travel will be hazardous where the wintry precipitation is expected, especially on Sunday. There is also the threat of power outages as soggy soil, accumulation of snow and ice and gusty winds could bring down trees and take power lines with them.

Governors and local officials in several states declared emergencies ahead of the storm, freeing up funds and manpower to help mitigate its effect.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Saturday that residents in some parts of the state should be ready for a lengthy fight with the storm, which was beginning to dump sleet and snow across its western mountain areas Saturday night.

>> Our team of expert meteorologists is pinpointing which neighborhoods will see snow, rain and anything in between, on Eyewitness News Daybreak.

"We're preparing for days of impact, not hours," Cooper said, urging caution. "This weekend isn't the time to head out to see the winter wonderland. Stay safe where you are. Getting out on dangerous roads could put your life at risk."

The governor has activated the National Guard in case they are needed. He urged residents to update their emergency supplies at home and to use alternative energy sources safely to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

In a press conference Saturday afternoon, Cooper addressed the public on safety ahead of the storm making its way into the Carolinas.

>> Our team of meteorologists is tracking the system 24 hours a day, analyzing its path and the impact it will have on your neighborhood. Download our free weather app so you can be prepared and stay ahead of the storm.

Winter Weather Resources:

Cooper said residents should be prepared for days of impact, not hours and all of North Carolina will feel the impact of this storm.

“This storm comes at a time of year when North Carolinians are usually hearing carols about snow, not actually seeing it. But this time, the real thing is headed our way and North Carolina is getting prepared,” Cooper said. “A winter storm’s not a Christmas carol snow. It’s serious, and you need to take steps now to get your family ready.”

In Iredell County, the Salvation Army on Caldwell Street in Statesville opened as a cold weather emergency shelter on Saturday at 8 p.m. It would also serve as a warming shelter on Sunday into Monday.

The community can help by providing pillows, blankets, coats, hygiene items, coffee, and snacks. Monetary contributions to help heat homes will also be accepted.

Officials also warned to avoid driving on the roadways as snow and ice will make the roads treacherous.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol Col. McNeill said troopers are on standby when driving conditions start to diminish through the day Saturday and into Sunday.

City officials warned residents that if they do not have to be on the road during the storm to please stay home. If you must travel, make sure your vehicle is ready:

  • Completely defrost your windows before leaving
  • Remove snow and ice from vehicle roofs and windows
  • Make sure you have windshield washer fluid and functioning wipers
  • Do not pass brine trucks or follow too closely
  • Do not drive between plow trucks

WINTER WEATHER PREPS: As the Carolinas brace for a powerful winter storm, NC Gov. Roy Cooper is speaking to the public about the state's preparation plans. Watch LIVE now and turn to Channel 9 for our continuing coverage -->

Posted by WSOC-TV on Saturday, December 8, 2018

To get ready for winter weather, North Carolina Emergency Management officials urge you to:

  • Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first aid kit and road map
  • Always keep at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food in your home
  • Keep fresh batteries on hand for weather radios and flashlights
  • Properly vent kerosene heaters and keep electric generators outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not burn charcoal indoors
  • Use a NOAA Weather Radio or monitor local news media for changing weather conditions
  • Keep alternative heating sources and fire extinguishers on hand. Be sure your family knows how to use them
  • Download the ReadyNC app for more winter weather preparedness information

For more winter weather preparation tips, follow North Carolina Emergency Management or South Carolina Emergency Management on Twitter.

Charlotte Douglas airport prepares for winter storm

The Charlotte Douglas International Airport is closely monitoring the weather and is prepared to implement winter weather preparations if and when needed.

Passengers are encouraged to follow CLT on Twitter to receive the latest updates.

American Airlines announced plans to reduce its operation at Charlotte's airport (American’s second-largest hub) starting Saturday evening.

Scattered cancellations are expected through Monday morning. The majority of these cancellations will be on smaller, regional aircraft.

American Airlines has issued a travel alert for 17 airports, including their Charlotte hub. The travel alert allows customers whose travel plans may be impacted by this inclement weather to rebook without change fees.

Officials said airport roadways, overpasses and parking lots were pre-treated Friday night.

As of 7:30 p.m. Saturday, American has canceled 225 flights for Saturday and 1,100 flights for Sunday across the region ahead of the winter storm.

In a release, officials said:

"Due to the anticipated winter weather at our Charlotte hub, American will reduce its operation at the airport starting Saturday evening. Scattered cancellations are expected through Monday morning. The majority of these cancellations will be on smaller, regional aircraft." 

CMS monitoring weather weather

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District said it’s monitoring the impending winter storm closely and coordinating with local and state emergency management.

All CMS special events, athletic events and community use events, including CMS events at Cato Middle College, scheduled in CMS facilities for Sunday are canceled.

District officials said schools are closed on Monday, but have not yet made a decision on Tuesday cancellations.

The district said ensuring safe campuses is one of the many considerations that goes into deciding whether to close schools. CMS also focuses on neighborhood roads that are not immediately cleared of snow because they have to worry about parents driving and all the school buses.