The National Weather Service has issued winter weather advisories and warnings for eleven Western North Carolina counties, effective from Friday, Oct. 31 at 8 p.m., to Saturday, Nov. 1, 8 p.m.
What does this mean for tonight’s festivities?
Temperatures won’t drop low enough for snowfall until late Friday night, early Saturday morning. Today’s high in Asheville is 55 — low 31, and tomorrow’s high is 38, with a low of 26.
After 3 p.m., Asheville is predicted to have a 30 percent chance of rain, changing to 50 percent around 6 p.m., with temperatures dropping from mid-to-low-50s to the mid-40s around sunset (6:34 p.m.). A patchy fog will likely set in between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., with winds picking up, temperatures dropping as low as 28, and an 81 percent chance of snow by 6 a.m.
“Rain showers this evening will change over to snow overnight as snow levels drop to the valley floors by daybreak Saturday,” reads the report from NWS. “Scattered snow showers will likely linger through the day on Saturday before ending Saturday evening.”
The valley areas — Buncombe, northern Jackson and Graham — are under a winter weather advisory and are expected to receive an accumulation of 1-3 inches of snow and heavy winds (10-20 mph with gusts up to 45 mph), “with perhaps up to 5 inches on some ridgetops over 5,000 feet.” Residents are advised to use caution while driving, as “bridges and overpasses may become snow-covered and icy.”
Avery, Haywood, Madison, Mitchell, Swain and Yancey counties will be under a winter storm warning during the same time period, with heavy snowfall expected — 4-6 inches with a possibility of up to 10 inches on “west-facing peaks above 4,000 feet and along the immediate Tennessee border.” Residents should expect wind blowing from 15-25 mph, with gusts possibly reaching 45 mph.
Ashe and Watauga are also under winter storm warning, with an expected 3-6 inches of snow, with higher winds of up to 50 mph.
All counties, in addition to Southern Jackson and Transylvania, are under a freeze warning.
Stay safe and stay warm, WNC!