Brace for snow, WNC — up to 8 inches of it

Prediction of area snow accumulation from Ray's Weather.

Don’t put away your coats just yet, Western North Carolina. The National Weather Service has once again issued a winter storm warning and a hazardous weather outlook for our region.

This time, rather than a pelting of ice, we’re in for some more snow — and lots of it, according to the NWS.

From 4 p.m. Wednesday evening to 7 a.m. Thursday, the warning is in effect for “most of WNC, Northeast Georgia and the South Carolina upstate,” blanketing the region with up to 8 inches of snow.

The City of Asheville reminded residents over Twitter to “please park downtown cars in city parking garages tonight,” which is free until 10 a.m., “to give plows and salt trucks room to work,” and assured that Public Works trucks are already out and pre-treating the roads.

The reason for this heavy snowfall, explains the NWS, is that a low pressure system from the Gulf of Mexico is expected to move quickly through the Deep South tonight. “At the same time,” the report continues, frigid air is expected to move into our region from the north, meeting with the warmer system and showering the mountains with significant rainfall. Rain will quickly turn to snow as the colder weather continues to seep into our area.

“The snow is likely to become heavy at times during the evening hours as the low pressure system makes its closest pass by our area,” the winter storm warning continues. “The heavy snow will move east and taper off early Thursday morning, as the [system] moves offshore.”

Local WNC meteorologists at Ray’s Weather predict the snowfall to begin around sunset, following “some brief morning sunshine” with gradually increasing cloud-cover throughout the afternoon.

“Tonight will be snowy, with a general 2 to 5 inches of accumulation for Greater Asheville, with 3 to 6 inches elsewhere (areas west and south of Downtown Asheville will receive the heavier amounts),” Ray’s Weather forecast reads.”Occasional snow flurries will continue into Friday morning, with partly or mostly cloudy skies to close out the workweek. Chilly conditions linger through much of the weekend, before a significant moderation in temperatures arrives for early next week.”

Though Ray’s Weather predicts 2 to 6 inches of snow, both the NWS and Weather Underground are predicting 5 to 8 inches — but either way, it’s safe to say we should expect quite the winter scene tomorrow morning.

The NWS warns that rapidly accumulating snow on highways late today and early Thursday could cause hazardous travel conditions, and the heavy sheet of snowfall that’s expected will reduce visibility to “less than one mile.”

Temperatures will be far warmer than last week, however — and the Asheville area is not predicted to reach the single-digits.

Today’s high is 41, with a low of 29 — Thursday’s will be 38 high, 24 low, and Friday is predicted to hit a high of 34 degrees, low of 20. These barely-freezing temperatures are a huge step up from last week’s record-breaking 3 degree low.

Stay safe, WNC, and remember to tweet or Instagram weather-related updates using #avlwx, #avlsnomg and #wncwx.


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About Hayley Benton
Current freelance journalist and artist. Former culture/entertainment reporter at the Asheville Citizen-Times and former news reporter at Mountain Xpress. Also a coffee drinker, bad photographer, teller of stupid jokes and maker-upper of words. I can be reached at hayleyebenton [at] Follow me @HayleyTweeet

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