- Associated Press - Thursday, January 5, 2017

ATLANTA (AP) - The Latest on a winter storm threatening the South (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

A winter weather system is to cross Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas with 7 or more inches of snow and ice possible in some areas.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for parts of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles where the 5 to 7 inches of snow plus ice are expected Thursday night and Friday, making travel hazardous.

A winter weather advisory will be in effect Thursday night through Friday afternoon across the midsections of both Oklahoma and Arkansas with up to 4 inches of snow in central Oklahoma and 1 to 2 inches in western Arkansas.

Wind chill advisories have also been issued across the region as temperatures are forecast to fall well below freezing and wind chills could drop to 5 to 15 degrees below zero.

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4:45 p.m.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has issued a state of emergency because of the possibility of a winter weather headed toward the South.

The state will open its emergency operations center starting Friday morning, and the Alabama National Guard will activate 300 soldiers to help as needed.

Sone school systems in central Alabama also are shutting down in central Alabama because of the threat of as much as 3 inches of snow and sleet.

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4:30 p.m.

JACKSON, Ky. (AP) - Authorities say a Kentucky man has died after his truck slid off a snow-slickened roadway.

Breathitt County Coroner George Griffith said the motorist rounded a curve and his pickup truck slid off the road into a rail fence Thursday, about 14 miles south of Jackson in eastern Kentucky.

Griffith said Daniel Noble, a 55-year-old resident of that county, was pronounced dead at the scene. Griffith said about an inch of snow had fallen at the time, causing slick conditions.

Schools around the state canceled classes as the weather forecast called for 1 to 3 inches of snow across much of Kentucky, with higher accumulations in the northern part of the state.

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4:18 p.m.

A winter storm heading toward the South could spread freezing rain into Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and drop several inches of snow across parts of North Carolina and Virginia, forecasters said Thursday.

Winter storm watches covered large parts of Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas ahead of the expected arrival of a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow. Forecasters warned that even a thin layer of ice could make weekend travel treacherous on highways just north of the Gulf Coast all the way to the East Coast.

Mike Schichtel, lead forecaster at the federal government’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, said the threat of snow, ice and sleet is significant and had a potential to disrupt activities throughout the Southeast.

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3:45 p.m.

The Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, says light to moderate snow could extend from central Alabama into southeastern Virginia late Friday into early Saturday.

Some parts of North Carolina could receive 4 inches or more of snow and there’s a “slight risk” of 8 inches or more of snow in eastern North Carolina and southeast Virginia, according to the advisory.

By Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service had issued a winter storm warning for northeast Georgia, the Upstate of South Carolina and central and western North Carolina, effective from Friday evening to early Saturday afternoon.

The forecast called for up to 6 inches of snow for parts of Georgia, South Carolina and the piedmont and foothills of North Carolina. The warning for central North Carolina called for a mixture of snow and sleet with up to 5 inches locally and as much as 7 inches from the central piedmont to the northern coastal plain.

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Associated Press writers Tom Foreman Jr. in Charlotte, North Carolina, Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama, John Raby in Charleston, West Virginia, and Ken Miller in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.

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