So here in North Carolina we get 2 seasons a year instead of the typical four that other states have. We have summer and winter and absolutely no in between, it goes from hot to freezing overnight. Spring and fall? Never seen them here for longer than a week or so. Winters in North Carolina are atypical, you can have a week of snow and ice and then the next week wear shorts and be sweating. To say the least winters in North Carolina are confusing and a total hassle.
You cannot prepare for winters in North Carolina; it doesn't matter if you've lived here all your life, it still manages to be a surprise when winter finally shows up. Down here you can begin to feel winter creep up as early as October or as late as January. North Carolina doesn't care about the official start of winter. We can have weeks of sunny 60 degree weather and then a cold snap can come and bring inches of snow that will melt in three days because it's hot again.
Also here in North Carolina every time there's even a hint of snow in the forecast a majority of it's citizens go into total panic mode. Grocery stores will be totally stripped of all milk, cheese and bread. Drivers will suddenly forget all the rules of the road and it will take three times as long to get anywhere. This is all before there's even a solid forecast of snow! It's absolutely exhausting when winter finally hits.