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How much ice does it take to impact my driving?

Different ice accumulations mean different safety risks when a winter storm hits.

STATESVILLE, N.C. — Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories across parts of North Carolinas means residents should prepare for some significant ice accumulations.

For the past several days, these historic ice accumulations have been plaguing other states, but now the threat is targeting our area.

Truly any ice can make things slick on the roads, but these Winter Storm Warnings could cause anywhere from a 1/4-inch to nearly half-an-inch of ice.

How will that impact you?

< 0.1" of ice

Anything less than 0.1-inch is considered a light glaze of ice, but locally, any ice accumulation forecasts will trigger a Winter Weather Advisory, which is why Mecklenburg and surrounding counties are under one. 

With only 0.1-inch of ice, people will see ice accumulating on trees and slick spots will start popping up, especially on elevated surfaces.

Credit: WCNC

≤ 0.25" of ice

Up to a 1/4-inch  if ice is problematic. At this point, it is tough to stop when driving. Trees, branches and power lines will start to fall and most of the outdoors will be covered in a sheet of ice, including your car.

Credit: WCNC

≤ 0.5" of ice

As ice totals begin to approach 1/2-inch, the situation gets crippling. Roads are impassable. Tree and power line damage will be widespread for these areas causing power outages that could last days.

Watch for branches and hanging wires. Branches can still break several hours after the main event.

Credit: WCNC

In summary, you should stay home if you can during an ice storm, even if it doesn't appear like much accumulation.

RELATED: How to prepare before an ice event

Be safe everyone.

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