By Harley Nefe
Residents across the High Country woke up to the first major snow of 2021, with most areas having received a few inches accumulated on the ground.
According to the latest local weather forecast from Ray’s Weather Center, snow developed after midnight, and snow showers are expected to continue through this afternoon and evening, then end as flurries before midnight in the High Country. For the majority of locations, the total accumulations will most likely be in the 4-7 inches range.
This winter storm is different from the weather experienced on Dec. 24, where that started as rain and led to icy road conditions. This snow is fresh and fluffier, making it easier to drive in and for the snow plows to remove from the roads. Main roads are beginning to get fairly clear, with secondary and back roads still covered but drivable. Roads going up to Beech Mountain are looking clear as well. Travel can still be difficult and hazardous, so drivers should still use caution as some areas will still be slippery. However, snow plows are out and about today as well as there being quite a few cars on the roads.
Due to the inclement weather, some businesses are opening with delays or are closed for the day. AppalCart is not operating today. In addition, Watauga County Schools is operating on an inclement weather remote learning day.
The winter storm warning from the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Virginia still remains in effect for Alleghany, Ashe, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin counties until Jan. 9 at 12 a.m.
Throughout this winter storm, temperatures today will be between 28 and 34 degrees across the region. In Boone, Blowing Rock and Banner Elk, the high today is around 33 with a low of about 23 degrees. In Sugar Mountain, the high today is 29 with a low of 21 degrees. In Beech Mountain, the high today is 24 with a low of 19 degrees. Looking ahead into the weekend and beginning of next week, the temperatures look like they are going to hover around the same cold range throughout the region. Skies will be clearing tomorrow, and it will be mostly cloudy Sunday before another round of snow or a wintry mix comes late Monday into Tuesday.
Pictures from around the Boone area around 9:30 Friday morning: