Cold times: Asheville tackles bitter temperatures ***UPDATED 10 A.M.***

Thanks to a “bitterly cold arctic air mass,” in the National Weather Service’s words, Ashevilleans are grappling with “the coldest temperatures in many years,” with temperatures hitting minus 2 and wind chill as low as minus 24. The NWS warns of bad roadway conditions due to ice and snow and “dangerous wind chills.” Both city and county school systems are closed today, Jan. 7, and the Red Cross has opened warming shelters in some counties.

Asheville area readies for winter storm ***UPDATED 9 a.m.***-attachment0

Asheville area readies for winter storm ***UPDATED 9 a.m.***

This morning, it’s icy rain in Asheville, while some mountain counties are reporting 6 inches of snow — one consequence of Sandy, the massive storm battering the East Coast. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Western North Carolina, including Buncombe County, until 6 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31. Gov. Bev Perdue has declared a state of emergency throughout WNC. (Photo by Bill Rhodes)