By Nathan Ham
The High Country saw its first real widespread snowfall on Tuesday morning with Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties all canceling school for students. Some higher elevations saw between three and four inches of snow while areas around Boone, West Jefferson and Banner Elk saw a couple of inches that led to some slushy road conditions throughout the area.
Classes at Appalachian State University were not affected by the weather, however, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Watauga Campus will delay its opening until noon today.
The wintry precipitation will leave the area this afternoon, but the bone-chilling temperatures are just now arriving. According to the latest weather forecast from Ray’s Weather Center, the low temperature in Boone tonight is expected to drop down to 14 degrees. Higher elevations such as Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain and areas around Grandfather Mountain will see low temperatures drop into the single digits. Winds will also pick up with gusts up to 45 MPH this evening and tonight, setting up potentially dangerous wind chill conditions.
On Wednesday, temperatures will slowly climb above freezing into the mid-30s with a low predicted to be 17 degrees. Thursday, Friday and Saturday will see high temperatures reach into the 40s with more sun than clouds. Low temperatures at night will not be nearly as bad as Tuesday and Wednesday with temperatures in the 20s and lower 30s.
A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 7 a.m. Wednesday morning. Gusty winds and wind chills below zero are the biggest threat for the rest of the evening and overnight hours.