By Harley Nefe
Residents across the High Country have woken up to bitter cold temperatures and gusts of wind as additional snow showers and flurries continue through the day. These conditions are resulting in hazardous travel scenarios across the region.
Snow plows have been out working through the night and early morning, and as of Tuesday morning, the main roads have been clearing well; however, the rural and backroads continue to have slick areas as snow is blowing around. Drivers should use caution when traveling.
Watauga and Ashe counties are still under a Winter Storm Warning for elevations above 3500 feet and a Winter Weather Advisory for elevations below 3500 feet, as issued by the National Weather Service out of Blacksburg, Virginia. These alerts are effective until 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
According to the alert, the persisting snow showers will result in additional snow accumulations of 2 to 3 inches above 3500 feet and 1 to 2 inches below 3500 feet elevation.
The latest forecast from Ray’s Weather Center reports the snow should turn to flurries tonight and end Wednesday morning. The accumulated totals including what snow was received Monday will total between 2 to 5 inches for most of the region.
Watauga and Ashe counties will then be under a Wind Advisory from 1 p.m. Tuesday until 7 a.m. Wednesday, as winds are blowing around 25 to 35 MPH with gusts as high as 50 MPH.
According to the current weather conditions at Grandfather Mountain, the temperature is 11 degrees with a 38 MPH wind speed. Wind gusts are reaching 46 MPH, resulting in -15 degree wind chills.
Temperatures will remain cold Tuesday with the high being 28 degrees and the low 15 in Boone and Blowing Rock. In Sugar Mountain, the high temperature is 24 degrees with a low of 13. Beech Mountain’s high temperature is 19 degrees with a low of 11.
Looking ahead after the snow showers, Ray’s Weather Center reports the weather will be clearing Wednesday, but a wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet will be developing late Thursday night going into Friday.
Pictures from around the Boone area at 9:30 Tuesday morning: