By Harley Nefe
Residents across the High Country woke up to a winter wonderland this morning as the first flurries of the season fell just in time for the beginning of December.
Some higher elevations saw as much as three to five inches of snow, but areas like Boone and Blowing Rock received light snow with accumulations being anywhere from a dusting to around a couple of inches, leading to some slushy and slippery road conditions throughout the area.
The National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Virginia, issued a winter weather advisory that remains in effect for Watauga and Avery counties until 4 p.m. today due to the snow.
As a result, Watauga County Schools are operating on an inclement weather remote learning day today. This means that all students who would have been learning in-person or having direct instruction are joining their classes remotely from home.
The weather conditions are great for the local ski slopes, as both Beech Mountain Resort and Sugar Mountain Resort have snowmaking in progress. Sugar Mountain Resort is currently operating with one lift and five slopes open.
Sugar Mountain’s low temperature for the day was at 17 degrees, while Beech Mountain reached 13 degrees. The road going up Beech Mountain is clear of snow, and traffic is moving. Next to the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce building, the sledding hill is open for kids. The Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce said there is a good five inches on the ground, and at around 12 p.m. it was still snowing.
The wintry precipitation will become more intermittent as the day progresses, but cooler temperatures will stick around. According to the latest weather forecast from Ray’s Weather Center, today is dramatically colder with the low temperature being 22 degrees in Boone and 20 degrees in Blowing Rock. Wind has also picked up with gusts up to 40 MPH.
Skies will gradually clear overnight leading to a sunny and less cold Wednesday, with temperatures climbing and reaching the low 40s. Looking ahead into the week, the high on Thursday is forecasted at 50 degrees with clouds increasing into Friday bringing rain. The High Country has a chance of seeing more flurries Friday night and again on Sunday and Monday.
Snow scenes from around the Boone area Tuesday morning: