Forecasters said the storm started as rain from Mexico but has since turned into snow. Added to that, the governor's news release said almost "1,000 N.C. Department of Transportation workers are working to clear snow and ice in the western part of the state and the Triad".
Washington, where many federal government offices are closed due to the US government shutdown, is expected to receive 6 to 8 inches of snow from this storm, according to the National Weather Service.
Baltimore is also in the path of these heavier bands of snowfall, with 4 to 6 inches of snow predicted for Sunday.
"Winter Storm Warnings issued by the National Weather Service remain in effect through this evening for much of the mountains and northwestern piedmont", according to Cooper's news release.
It began to spread east into the Mid-Atlantic region, with between 5 and 10 inches of snow expected in the Washington area, including parts of northern and central Maryland, by Sunday. Sleet, snow and ice can will make traveling conditions hazardous if not impossible.
More heavy rain also will fall on the saturated South. It cited the National Weather Service as saying the 8.4 inches (21.3 centimeters) of snow that day in Springfield broke the previous record for a January 12 in 1964 of 6.6 inches (16.7 centimeters).
In Kansas, three people died Friday in traffic accidents, authorities said Saturday: A 62-year-old man in a vehicle that struck a barrier wall on the Kansas Turnpike, a semi-truck driver whose vehicle collided with another truck and a driver whose vehicle struck an oncoming vehicle and ran into a ditch.More news: Sheriff: Jayme Closs found alive
St. Louis recorded 10.4 inches of snow by 1:30 p.m. ET, with higher accumulations in other parts of Missouri.
In Kansas City, snow dusted the field at Arrowhead Stadium during Saturday's National Football League playoff game between the hometown Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts.
In Indiana, the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 were closed for hours Saturday after a semitrailer-truck jackknifed along the snow-covered highway near Lafayette, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis.
The Missouri Department of Transportation warned residents not to travel in the storm if it wasn't necessary.
Several of the major interstates, including I-44, were particularly challenging for crews to clear. But the patrol still encouraged people to stay off the roads.
Duke Energy tweeted that "trees and ice-laden branches on lines. are the main cause of. outages in this storm".