Twitter is abuzz with reports of increasingly icy conditions across Asheville and Western North Carolina, causing hazardous driving conditions and other problems.
The whole region is under an ice storm warning today, as the National Weather Service cautions residents about a “wintry mix” of ice and snow through this afternoon.
Winter can bring all kinds of challenges to the mountains — from cold and windy conditions like we’ve seen today to the threat for wintry weather. And, while snow can bring an almost festive vibe to our area, the threat of freezing rain or sleet is a whole other story.
The National Weather Service is cautioning Buncombe and Madison residents about potentially hazardous “wintry mix of precipitation across the area” Friday.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Asheville area until midnight tonight, predicting two to five inches in the lower valleys and six to 10 at higher elevations.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Buncombe, Haywood, and Madison counties starting tomorrow morning. The notice cautions residents about the possibility of a “significant winter storm” tomorrow.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the northern part of WNC, including Madison County. The NWS has also issued a wind advisory for the Asheville area, cautioning residents to watch out for downed trees and difficult driving conditions.
The National Weather Service has issued a “High Wind Warning” for much of Western North Carolina, including Buncombe County.
It was a cold, dark first night of winter for many in our region, as high winds took out power all over Western North Caroilna. (pictured: a Progress Energy lineman working to restore power in 2010; photo by Bill Rhodes)
With speculation rampant across the world over the possibility of a mysterious cataclysmic event occurring tomorrow, Dec. 21 in conjunction with the supposed end of the Mayan calendar, Xpress took a look at more realistic local threats this week in the story “Tomorrow Never Knows: WNC Disasters Past, Present and Future.” As part of our research for that story, we compiled several photos from one of the biggest natural disasters to strike our region in modern history – the floods of 2004.
Even as the holidays come barreling toward us, some folks around the globe fear the mythical planet Nibiru may be doing the same and will trigger some unspecified cataclysm on Dec. 21. Notwithstanding the supposed end of the Mayan calendar, however, local agencies seem focused on preparing for more realistic potential threats. Although it may not be the end of the world, Western North Carolina does remain vulnerable to a wide range of natural and human-made catastrophes, including floods, blizzards, fires and even nuclear accidents.
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)
The beginning of this week started with significant rainfall over the region thanks to a large weather system that dumped a record amount of rainfall in Asheville on Tuesday, Sept. 18, and provided more rain in two days than we usually expect during the entire month of September! Our area’s rivers and streams are doing their job of transporting that water downstream — but the evidence of all that moisture was still hanging around early this morning in the form of low clouds. I shot the image below earlier today as the clouds were beginning to break at 4000 feet — revealing the early fall color that is starting to appear on ridgetops.
The bright yellows of Goldenrod are now plentiful in fields and along roadways in Western North Carolina; last weekend’s cold front brought cooler and drier air into the region; and you may have noticed that some of the leaves on the trees are beginning to lose their deep green color. These first signs of the coming autumn are a welcome sight to many of us who claim fall to be our favorite season.
The forests that blanket Western North Carolina go through a yearly cycle of growth that can often occur unnoticed by most of us until we see the colorful displays of leaves in the fall … or have to fight the non-stop weeds of August. The ever-watchful eyes of NASA’s Earth Observing System makes it possible for us to appreciate this annual growth cycle from a new vantage point, thanks to the MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument aboard the Aqua and Terra satellites.
UPDATE: The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that a failed retention pond in the Serenity Forest area off New Leicester Highway “prompted the evacuation of three homes and damaged a nearby road.”
The stalled frontal boundary that is lingering over the Southeast U.S. has provided some much needed rainfall from Texas to the Atlantic Ocean — but some folks in Western North Carolina saw too much of a good thing on Wednesday, July 11, when more than 3 inches of rain fell in areas of both Buncombe and Madison Counties.
As the rain fell, Xpress reporter Caitlin Byrd aggregated tweets, photos and video taken of the July 11 rain in Asheville by using Storify. (photo by Bill Rhodes)
A-B Tech Community College’s Institute for Climate Education is sponsoring a free severe weather workshop that includes National Weather Service training for volunteers interested in becoming Skywarn spotters.
Last week: Western North Carolina enjoyed some beautiful weather since the rain moved out on Wednesday, May 9. Those mostly clear skies set the stage for a beautiful sunset on Thursday, evening, May 10 — with some atmospheric optics to boot!
While snow in April is not unheard of in Western North Carolina – this past weekend’s snow event seemed out of place, partly because
we had such a warm March this year.