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Watauga County Schools Close on Thursday in Preparation for Winter Weather Hitting the High Country

By Nathan Ham

Watauga County Schools were proactive with their decision to close school on Thursday as the National Weather Service expects snow to hit the High Country late this morning and continue through the afternoon. This is the eighth day of school missed in 2019-20 for Watauga County Schools.

“Due to forecasted incoming inclement weather and out of an abundance of caution for staff, student, bus and parent drivers there will be no school on Thursday, February 20. Schools in Watauga County will be closed for students, teachers and all 10-month employees. It will be an Annual Leave Day. All 11 and 12-month employees may report on a two-hour delay to ensure safe travels to work,” the school system announced.

The NWS issued a Winter Weather Advisory on Wednesday evening in preparation for this brief winter storm. The advisory will remain in place until 10 p.m. Thursday evening.

According to the latest forecast from Ray’s Weather Center, most areas in the High Country can expect to see 1-3 inches of snow with higher elevations receiving four inches of snow. The snow will be short-lived, however, as the system moves out overnight and cold temperatures return with clear skies over the next few days.

Friday will be mostly sunny but cold with lows in the teens and highs in the mid-30s. Saturday and Sunday will be a little warmer but will remain sunny with highs in the mid-40s on Saturday and a predicted high of 50 degrees on Sunday. Another weather front moves through with rain beginning late Sunday and continuing through Tuesday morning.

Coming into today’s snowfall, Boone has had only 4.3 inches of snow this winter according to date from Ray’s Weather Center. Higher elevations such as Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain haven’t had as much snow as predicted this winter, but still much more than the towns around 3,000 feet in elevation. Beech Mountain has received 26.9 inches of snow and Sugar Mountain has had 43.2 inches of snow.