- Associated Press - Friday, December 8, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on winter weather in North Carolina (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

Utility officials are reporting more than 10,000 power outages in North Carolina as a winter storm blows in.

Duke Energy data showed that at least 10,800 customers were without electricity by early Friday afternoon.

Buncombe County in the western part of the state had about 2,900 outages, while Forsyth County to the east had 2,300. In the mountains, Macon and Mitchell counties had about 1,000 outages each.

Up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of snow has been forecast for the western part of the state, while parts of central North Carolina could get 1-2 inches (2-5 centimeters) of frozen precipitation.

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12:40 p.m.

North Carolina’s governor is warning residents to keep a close eye on winter weather forecasts across the state.

Gov. Ray Cooper issued a news release Friday saying that state trucks took the precaution of brining roads in the western part of the state. He also noted that about a dozen school systems had closed. The impact was expected to be less for counties in the eastern and southern parts of the state, but he warned people to be vigilant.

Cooper said winter weather in the South is notoriously difficult to predict, and forecasts can change in a matter of hours.

The statement issued around noon said that current forecasts call for between 3 inches (8 centimeters) to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of snow in the western part of the state, and 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) to 2 inches (5 centimeters) in the western part of the Piedmont, a swath of land in the central part of the state.

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10:10 a.m.

Snowfall has forced North Carolina’s governor has postponed two events in the western part of the state.

Gov. Roy Cooper had been scheduled to discuss the opioid crisis and visit a nonprofit organization that operates a halfway house and soup kitchen in Waynesville, which is west of Asheville. Forecasters say the mountainous area could get as much as six inches of snow from a winter storm that was blowing in Friday.

A news release said the appearances are postponed and will be rescheduled because of the bad weather.

Cooper was originally scheduled to visit the Haywood Pathways Center, and then hold a round-table discussion on the opioid crisis at a nearby government building.

Henderson County announced that non-emergency offices including library branches and the solid waste department would be closing at noon Friday.

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8:55 a.m.

It’s snowing in North Carolina and some schools are closed.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for nine counties in western North Carolina effective through 7 a.m. Saturday.

Snow began falling early Friday and forecasters said 4 inches (10 centimeters) to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of snow was possible in Asheville.

Schools were closed in the Boone area, where between 2 inches (5 centimeters) and 4 inches (10 centimeters) of snow was expected.

A winter weather advisory was in effect in other parts of western North Carolina where 2 inches (5 centimeters) and 4 inches (10 centimeters) of snow was possible.

A winter weather advisory was also in effect for Durham, Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem. Forecasters expected 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) to 2 inches (5 centimeters) of snow.

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