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WATAUGA — The National Weather Service out of Blacksburg, Va. has issued a winter storm warning from 6 p.m. Jan. 27 to noon Jan. 28. The warning includes Watauga and Ashe counties. 

The storm could bring total snow accumulations to four to six inches of snow to parts of Watauga and Ashe counties with more in the higher elevations. 

The NWS also reports winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour causing wind chills of five degrees below zero. Heavy wind is expected to start late Wednesday night into Thursday. 

"Rain will change the snowfall beginning around 10pm and our Western counties," said North Carolina Director of Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry at a Jan. 27 press conference. "Our advice is for everyone to closely monitor the forecast for your area. We know that winter weather is very difficult to predict and can change abruptly."

Sprayberry said North Carolina Department of Transportation crews will not brine most highways leading up to this weather event as most of it would be washed away by rain. He also said crews are prepared to "quickly clear roads where snow or ice accumulates and to spread salt and sand where need." 

"Please take the time today to make sure your home, your family and your vehicles are prepared for winter weather and exercise caution if you must travel and hazardous conditions," Sprayberry said. 

NWS suggests that if someone must travel, they keep an extra flashlight, food and water in their vehicle in case of an emergency.

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