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Deadly storm system moves through the Carolinas


A storm system moved quickly into the Carolinas Wednesday morning.

The same system dumped blinding snow and sleet around the nation’s midsection on Christmas. Tornadoes left a trail of damage across Louisiana and Alabama.

WBTV meteorologists say there could be another round of snow for the high country once the system moves through.

The Storm Prediction Center has increased the severe weather threat to moderate for parts of North and South Carolina on Wednesday.

Damaging winds and tornadoes are possible, primarily from the Sand hills to the coast, but severe weather cannot be ruled out elsewhere.

Rain pounded the area Wednesday morning.

The mountains are under a wind advisory until noon Wednesday. Winds will be from the southeast and are expected be blowing at 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts reaching 50 mph during this time.

WBTV Meteorologists Ashley Batey and Kelly Franson say with the ground soaked, this will likely cause downed trees and power outages.

Once the front moves through, winds will eventually become northwesterly for Wednesday night and the mountains will see a switch to snow.

In the piedmont, severe weather is possible, generally south and east of I-85.

Heavy rain is expected and there’s a lot of wind shear; that means if we get enough instability, thunderstorms with damaging winds and possible a tornado will form.

The most likely time for this in the western piedmont and metro Charlotte area would be during the morning hours.

As the rain moves east, instability expected to increase, which is why the threat for severe weather is stronger as you get into the Sandhills.

Our eastern counties will probably see the greatest threat for severe storms between noon and 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The storm system is blamed for three deaths and several injuries.

Outside the Carolinas, from Little Rock, Ark., to Cleveland, blizzard conditions are predicted for snow up to a foot deep.

Mobile, Alabama was the biggest city hit by a twister on Tuesday. The storms knocked down countless trees, blew the roofs off homes and left many Christmas celebrations in the dark.

Copyright 2012 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

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