By Paul T. Choate
March 25, 2013. Spring arrived last week and brought with it a whole bunch of “unspringlike” weather. Now people are beginning to wonder if this pattern of cold weather, snow and ice late in the month of March is ever going to end. Well the short answer is: yes, but gradually.
According to Mike Sporer, meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Blacksburg, looking at the 14-day climate predictions the weather should turn to slightly-below normal to normal temperatures heading into early April.
As for the current snow, we can blame a low pressure system that is deepening over New England and causing northwest flow over the area for this persisting wintery spring weather.
“The way it’s setting up we’re going to be in a stagnant pattern the next couple of days,” Sporer said. “We’re not expecting any major snows, but over the course of a few hours you’ll wind up with an inch and another inch — and that adds up over time.”
The Weather Channel is currently cautioning that “blizzard conditions are occurring at times” in Boone.
“The wind is gusting to 38 knots [43.7 mph] and there is quarter-mile visibility, so it’s pretty nasty right now,” Sporer said, adding that calling it “blizzard conditions” might be a bit of a stretch although there could be some periods of heavy snow.
Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties are all currently under Winter Storm Warning through 2 p.m. on Tuesday, with five to eight inches of snowfall accumulation possible by the time it is all said and done. The warning also cautions that snow-covered roads will lead to hazardous travel.
The area should start to finally feel some relief around Saturday or Sunday, with temperatures getting back to around 50 degrees, and as of now it’s looking like mid- to upper 50s aren’t out of the question next week.
For more on current severe weather watches and warnings, visit erh.noaa.gov/rnk/emer/emer_winter.php.