SHELBY -Snow and icy temperatures are moving into the mountains and foothills today, and N.C. Department of Transportation crews have already started preparing roads for any adverse weather.
A winter storm warning is in effect for parts of the North Carolina mountains until midnight tonight. Even after the winter storm warning ends, the National Weather Service is forecasting bitterly cold temperatures and windy conditions to continue throughout most of the region.
The rapidly falling temperatures have the potential to create slippery conditions on roads. Motorists are asked to slow down and stay alert as they're traveling through the area.
Here's how NCDOT crews are responding to winter weather in their areas:
Division 11 (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin counties):
Snowing is falling in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. The NCDOT will have overnight crews in these counties to continue with snow and ice removal.
Caldwell, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties don't have any snow, currently. NCDOT crews will be on standby tonight if conditions change.
Division 12 (Alexander, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell and Lincoln counties):
There are currently no snow/ice removal operations happening in Division 12, but crews are prepared should conditions change.
Division 13 (Buncombe, Burke, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey counties):
Parts of Division 13 started seeing snow at 4 a.m. today, and NCDOT crews in that division have already started snow and ice removal. Salt and sand are being distributed in the area, and crews are currently working to clear primary roads.
Division 13 crews will be working overnight as needed to clear any snow and ice accumulation on the roads.
Division 14 (Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Polk, Swain and Transylvania counties):
NCDOT crews are spreading salt in Macon, Clay, Graham, Cherokee, Swain, Jackson and Haywood counties. Schools are closed in those counties, and motorists are advised to avoid travel, if possible. Crews in those counties will be working overnight to clear ice and snow, as needed.
There is no snow currently in Henderson, Transylvania or Polk counties. However, there are a few icy spots in those counties from rain that froze on roads last night.
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type "m.ncdot.gov" into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference.