Governor Cooper and Emergency Management Officials Urge Caution During Severe Weather Event

RALEIGH, NC (January 12, 2024) ⇒ Governor Roy Cooper and Emergency Management Officials are urging North Carolinians to be safe and cautious as severe weather enters the state. The system is anticipated to bring strong storms, gusty winds, additional rainfall, and areas of minor coastal flooding. Damaging winds and saturated soils might also lead to blown down trees and power lines, causing possible power outages.

“North Carolinians should stay alert and informed as storms continue to impact our state,” said Governor Cooper. “It is critical for people to pay attention to local officials and forecasts and have supplies ready in case of an emergency.”

“Once again this week North Carolina is facing another round severe weather threats. Following the statewide impacts from Tuesday’s weather, the State Emergency Response Team has been placed at an enhanced watch to ensure we are ready to quickly respond to any needs from our counties as they continue the recovery process from Tuesday,” said Emergency Management Director Will Ray. “With saturated soil from the recent rainfall and more wind on the way, we could see power outages again. The State Emergency Response Team remains in contact with our energy partners to assist in expedient restoration of power.”

The Executive Order issued ahead of severe weather on January 9 declaring a State of Emergency has been extended in anticipation of this severe weather. The declaration waives truck weight, size and hours of service restrictions so that vehicles carrying essential supplies such as food, medicine or fuel or transporting livestock and crops can get their jobs done quickly.

This weather system will bring the potential for severe storms, gusty winds, periods of heavy rainfall, and localized flash flooding to much of North Carolina today. The Storm Prediction Center has maintained a Slight Risk (level 2 of 5) from the Charlotte Metro into the Triangle through much of eastern part of the state today. The potential for strong to severe storms will increase this afternoon across southern portions of the foothills, moving quickly eastward into the evening hours. Severe storms that develop today will be capable of producing damaging wind gusts and a few isolated tornadoes.

A Wind Advisory is also now in effect for much of the state through Saturday morning, and through midday Saturday across portions of the mountains. The strongest wind gusts are expected across the mountains (50-55mph) and along the coast (50 mph), with wind gusts 35-45 mph possible through early Saturday morning elsewhere. Gusty winds could also lead to minor coastal flooding along northern portions of the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

The heaviest rainfall is forecast across the mountains where 0.5-1 inches of rain is likely. Up to 1.5 inches of rainfall is possible across the Blue Ridge Escarpment into the northwest through this evening and a Flood Watch remains in effect for the northwest mountains through this afternoon. With saturated soils, periods of heavy rainfall ahead and along the frontal boundary will increase the threat for flash floods. Minor River Flooding will be possible Friday afternoon that may continue into the weekend, but additional areas of Moderate River flooding are not anticipated with this event.

Lingering moisture may changeover to snow across mountain areas near the Tennessee North Carolina border tonight, but significant accumulations are not expected with snow showers coming to an end by midday Saturday.

Residents are advised to stay aware and keep a watch on the forecast. State officials advise these tips to make sure your family is personally prepared:

• Have multiple ways to receive emergency info, including watches and warnings. Make sure emergency alerts are enabled on your cell phone and download a weather app.

• Have an emergency plan. Know where you would go if you need to evacuate. Make a plan to stay with family, friends or at a hotel. Public shelters should be a last resort.

• Gather some emergency supplies or refresh your emergency kit. Visit for info on how to build an emergency kit.

• Never drive through flooded roadways or around barricades.

• Make sure you know where to seek shelter if a tornado warning is issued for your area.

• Ensure that you have multiple ways to receive warnings.

• Check to see if your community offers emergency alert services for its residents.

• Avoid unnecessary travel.

The Council of State unanimously concurred with the Emergency Declaration. View that record here.

Read the State of Emergency.