By Nathan Ham
We are 19 days from the first day of spring, but with temperatures in the 50s and more rain showers happening to close out the workweek, it might feel like spring is already here.
For those that want another burst of cold air, next week will provide weather more fitting of the winter season.
According to the upcoming weather forecast from Ray’s Weather Center, Saturday looks to be a nice day with a mix of sun and clouds and high temperatures reaching into the lower 50s. Rain returns to the forecast on Sundays and temperatures will begin dropping throughout the day before bottoming out in the upper 20s with rain changing to some snow flurries late.
Monday and Tuesday with have highs barely getting to freezing and low temperatures hanging around in the teens. The story remains the same for Wednesday and Thursday with high temperatures in the 30s and lows in the 20s. Snow flurries or snow showers are in the forecast for Monday through Thursday.
Snow accumulations likely will not amount to a whole lot, however the return of cold weather to the forecast for the first full week of March signals that winter isn’t quite giving up its hold on the High Country just yet.
Taking a look back at the 2018-19 Fearless Winter Forecast from Ray’s Weather Center, the prediction was for 42 inches of snow in Boone. As of right now, Boone has received 31 inches of snow. The bulk of that snow occurred December 8-10 with 18.5 inches of snow falling. In January, Boone received 4.6 inches of snow and just 2.5 inches of snow in February.
In Beech Mountain, barring a major set of snowstorms rolling through the area, the snow forecast will fall well short. As of the end of February, Beech Mountain has received 49.2 inches of snow. The winter forecast predicted 100 inches of snow. The mountain received just three inches of snow in February.
Sugar Mountain also had a snow prediction total of 100 inches. Sugar has received a little more snow than the rest of the High Country, but still quite a bit less than the forecast. After just three inches of snow fell in February, Sugar Mountain has received 63.3 inches of snow. 24 inches of that snow fell during the major snowstorm that took place in December.
Even if snow hasn’t been in the forecast a whole lot this winter, rain certainly has been. Boone received a total of 8.56 inches of rain in February and 4.24 inches in January for a total of 12.80 inches of rain to start this calendar year. Beech Mountain has had over eight inches of rain in the first two months of 2019. Sugar Mountain has had 10.68 inches of rain in the first two months of the year.
March has historically had some big snowfalls in the High Country, including the infamous Blizzard of 1993 from March 12-14 where three feet of snow fell in Boone and a whopping 57.3 inches of snow fell on Beech Mountain.