WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - An Arctic wave of wintry weather is expected to spread snow across the width of North Carolina, from the mountains to the coast.

Schools closed early Tuesday from the Tennessee border to Asheville ahead of the rush of snow and cold. Forecasters said up to 4 inches could fall in central North Carolina, with a couple of inches expected around Raleigh and father east.

Gov. Roy Cooper declared a statewide emergency Tuesday to allow him to deploy resources ahead of trouble.

The cold front was expected to enter the state from the west Tuesday evening and cross central North Carolina through Wednesday morning. Skies should be clear but frigid Wednesday, making driving hazardous until temperatures rise above freezing Thursday.