By Luke Weir
The High Country has already seen more snow this winter than last, and more is in the forecast for the end of January.
Ray’s Weather meteorologist David Still, said January 30 tends to be the statistical climatological halfway point of winter snowfall, and according to the forecast on raysweather.com, accumulating snowfall is expected Monday night in the Western North Carolina mountains.
“Accumulations by Tuesday morning will be a dusting to 1 inch right along the Blue Ridge, a swath of 1 inch to 3 inches for most of the Western North Carolina mountain region, but over 3 inches for higher elevations near the Tennessee/North Carolina border,” Ray’s forecast said.
The National Weather Service headquarters in Roanoake, Virginia, issued a winter weather advisory in Ashe and Watauga counties from 7 p.m. Monday until 10 a.m. Tuesday, January 30.
“Strong gusty winds will usher in much colder air and generate snow showers this evening into Tuesday morning,” the NWS advisory said. “Hazardous travel conditions will develop Monday night and continue through the morning commute Tuesday, before conditions gradually improve by later Tuesday afternoon.”
Winter weather advisories are also in effect in Avery, Mitchell, Madison, Yancey, Haywood, Grayson, and Johnson counties at the time of this post, according to Ray’s Weather.
Last snowfall in Boone was 4.5 inches on Jan. 17, causing business closings and school cancellations across Watauga County.
To date, Boone has already seen a total of 18.1 inches of snow this winter, good for an inch and a half more than last winter, according to Ray’s Weather. Ray said in his Fearless Forecast for winter 2017-18, published Oct. 20, to expect a total of 34 inches of snow and ice in Boone before spring.
According to the 10-year moving average provided by Ray’s Fearless Forecast, Boone has seen 35 inches of snow per year between 2007 and 2016.
The snow total on the slopes of Beech Mountain is 21.1 inches to date, according to Ray’s Weather. Meanwhile, on Sugar Mountain, Ray has recorded 29 inches of snow so far this winter.
For the warm-weather hopeful, Ray’s Monday forecast offers a rather bleak reminder.
“Tired of winter? You might as well suck it up and make the most of it,” he said. “We’re only about half way through.”