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Snowstorm Pummels High Country in Late March

Yesterdays storm pummeled the High Country with some March Madness. Photos by Ken Ketchie
Yesterdays storm pummeled the High Country with some March Madness. Photos by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

March 26, 2014. Receiving a blizzard in late March, it was like we all went out to Dairy Queen for a sweet on Tuesday afternoon. 

At about p.m., motorists reported whiteout conditions across the High Country and sent snapshots of the blur to Watauga County Road Conditions. The storm caught folks by surprised because it dropped more than the two to four inches forecasted at dawn on Tuesday in short period of time. 

Sugar Mountain Resort reported that it received eight inches of snow during the last storm. RaysWeather.com archived that Beech Mountain had nine inches of snow and Boone had 7.5 inches of snow – when adding up the melted snow that covered the ground on Tuesday morning with what fell later on Tuesday. See the snow totals for the 2013-14 season below and compare it to previous years.  


  • 2013-14 – 37.5 inches (Ray’s Weather predicted 38 inches in its Fearless Forecast)
  • 2012-13 – 36.1 inches
  • 2011-12: 13.7 inches

Sugar Mountain

  • 2013-14: 84.5 inches (Ray’s Weather predicted 90 inches in its Fearless Forecast)
  • 2012-13: 120 inches
  • 2011-12: 48.5 inches

Beech Mountain

  • 2013-14: 74.2 inches (Ray’s Weather predicted 100 inches in its Fearless Forecast)
  • 2012-13: 104.9 inches
  • 2011-12: 48.7 inches


With gusty winds last night and this morning, the cold weather was numbing – especially for March. Yesterday, the National Weather Service warned of wind chill. According to RaysWeather.com data that doesn’t factor in wind chill, Blowing Rock had a low temperature of 15 degrees at 7:36 a.m.; Boone 16.5 degrees; Foscoe 17.7 degrees; Snake Mountain 7.1 degrees; Valle Crucis 19.1 degrees; Seven Devils 13.9 degrees; and Zionville 15.7 degrees.

All of those temperatures were registered around 7:30 a.m. or so on Wednesday and mark the coldest period in March.


Noting that the state’s counties bordering Tennessee – Avery, Ashe and Watauga – were “most affected” by the last storm, the N.C. Department of Transportation issued a release on Wednesday morning that crews have been “battling wind gusts and below-freezing temperatures” to clear snow and ice from the roads in the High Country.

The main roads are mostly fine, while the secondary roads are slick and covered with snow and ice. The NCDOT noted that once completion of the primary roads occurred, crews would move onto secondary roads most likely by this afternoon.

(For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visitwww.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter atwww.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter.  Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference.)

Schools Cancelled

While Appalachian State University elected to delay all classes before 10 a.m. and Caldwell Community College’s Watauga Campus is opening at noon, Watauga County Schools, Avery County Schools and Lees-McRae College all cancelled Wednesday class.

Weather Outlook

RaysWeather.com reports, “We are trying to round the corner” in its latest forecast discussion. While today will remain rather chilly, temperatures should hit the 50s for the foreseeable future and Ray even has Monday as a four golf ball day. 

The vehicles in Joe’s car lot, which is located on N.C. 105 in between Foscoe and Tynecastle are covered in snow Wednesday morning.

Wednesday has turned into a gorgeous yet chilly day.

The secondary roads are pretty slick.

A classic mountain landscape with a barn in the distance.

While it sure does seem late in spring to be plowing snow, it isn’t terribly unusual for the High Country.

More slick roads in the High Country.

Oh no. Snow is covering the flowers.

Snow covers the grounds.

Tynecastle Highway was very slick this morning.

Tynecastle Highway was very slick this morning.