The National Weather Service is telling parts of North Carolina to expect a major winter storm during the weekend and last into next week.
Forecasters at the weather service office in Raleigh say the storm moving across the Southeast brings a high likelihood of wintry precipitation and significant impacts to central North Carolina.
According to the weather service, 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.
Roy Cooper is urging residents to get prepared today, and then to stay off the roads when the storm hits. He also says this large a storm is a rare occurrence in December.
"Particularly a storm of this magnitude," Cooper said. "This is the kind storm you usually think about after the first of the year. But here we are December 7th, and we are talking about more than a foot of snow in many parts of our state. That is unusual and significant but we have to be ready for it."
The western half of the state is expected to get hit the hardest. Snow totals in the Triangle could range from a dusting to more than 4 inches. The all-time record for a December snow in Raleigh is 9 inches in 1958.
The greatest snow amounts are expected in northwestern areas of the state. To the east, up to 2 inches of rain is possible and could lead to localized flooding.
Editor Dave DeWitt contributed to this report.