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Weather Service: Get to Where You’re Going, ‘It’s Going to Be Nasty;’ Snow ‘Up to Two Inches Per Hour’ Coming

By Paul T. Choate

Courtesy of the National Weather Service. Click to enlarge.
Courtesy of the National Weather Service. Click to enlarge.

Jan. 17, 2013. Right now, it is 38 degrees and raining in Boone. Here at the office, we were beginning to scratch our heads about the big snow forecast. So, we decided to call someone “in the know.” Here’s what he had to say.

“Right now the composite radar pictures are showing that the main bulk of what will become the big system hasn’t even hit us yet,” said Dave Wert, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va. “It’s just beginning to move into the area right now.”

According to Wert, the rain may be a bit deceiving, but that the big snow is on it’s way. He even went as far as to call what is to come a “flash freeze” over the course of the next few hours. He said the higher elevations, around 4,000 feet and higher, could start seeing heavy snowfall as much as 90 minutes to 2 hours before it hits the lower elevations. 

“It’s still looking very, very good that you will end up with four to eight inches,” Wert said. “There’s going to be a big, big, quick hit from about 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It’s going to be nasty.”

Wert said that once the system hits, snow could fall at a rate of as much as two inches per hour and could limit visibility to the point where motorists would “be lucky to see 100 yards ahead of them.” He added that it is critically important for people on the roads to get to where they are going as soon as they can and stay there. 

“The next couple of hours are really important. People need to get to where they needed to go,” he said. “Everyone [in the Boone area] is going to be under the gun by 5 p.m.”

To stay on top of the storm, visit erh.noaa.gov/rnk/emer/emer.php