By Nathan Ham
Snow showers with heavy downpours at times have continued to pound the High Country on Wednesday morning.
Numerous wrecks from all ends of Watauga County have been reported and roads still remain snow-covered in many locations around noon.
A Facebook post by the Boone Police Department around 11:30 a.m. said, “Weather continues to degrade, roads are even more slick than usual. Use great caution or stay in place.”
This round of snow came as a bit of a surprise to the High County.
“Northwest flow snow showers, blustery winds, and cold temperatures are the issues today. Obviously this is more than what we thought at sunrise. No guidance I can find suggested this much snow; so, we’re in ‘seat of your pants’ mode now,” said the latest weather update from Ray’s Weather Center at 11:25 a.m.
When the snow wraps up this afternoon, most areas can expect to have anywhere from 2-5 inches of snowfall.
Watauga County Schools were originally slated to operate on a two-hour delay, however early this morning snow showers continued to pick up, forcing cancellation of school. Avery County and Ashe County also cancelled school today.
A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 3 p.m. this afternoon.
Several businesses and organizations have already closed for the day or will be closing soon. First Baptist Church Child Development Center will be closing at 3:30 p.m. The Children’s Playhouse will be closing at 2 p.m. Alliance Bible Fellowship, Howard’s Creek Baptist Church, Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church and Zion Hill Baptist Church have cancelled all activities for this evening. Art of Oil will be closing at 4 p.m. today, Rustic in Blowing Rock will be closing at 4 p.m. while Studio M Salon in Blowing Rock, Northwestern Studio and Antiques on Howard have already closed for the day.
This brief snowstorm is just a prelude for what could be a huge snowfall this weekend. While the storm is still roughly three days from arriving, initial forecasts believe that areas across the High Country could see at least a foot of snow.
Photos by Ken Ketchie