December makes its big entrance

The month of December had been off to a warm start in Western North Carolina, with the average temperature in Asheville for the first 10 days of the month reported at 10.2° F above normal.  However, Dec. 10’s nighttime cold front brought an end to the warmth. It is feeling like the holiday season has finally arrived — even bringing some light snow to the higher elevations in WNC. The image below shows a light dusting of fine snow on a white pine at 4,000 ft in Madison County on Tuesday morning, Dec. 11.

It’s the summer of the Haves and the Have Nots – with a meteor shower to boot

The story of this summer has certainly been that of climate extremes. In Western North Carolina, we’ve had quite a bit of rain, while well over half of the lower 48 states remain in drought. Our moist summer has produced jungle-like conditions in many of our yards (errr — maybe just mine), but has also produced some breathtaking sunsets with all the moisture in the air.

A stormy pattern – but so much better than the alternativ­e

It’s hard to overstate the importance of water to the Earth’s climate system. In its three phases — liquid, solid and gas — water helps to drive our local weather as well as our regional climate. Most of us don’t think about plain ol’ water too often, but it’s when we have too much or too little of this precious resource that we really pay attention to it.

Dry harvest

Editor’s note: Liz McCarthy, a UNCA senior from Crystal Lake, Ill., who’s majoring in photography, spent the past few months serving as a photo intern for Mountain Xpress. In June, she embarked on a mission to document the area’s small farms and how their products reach local markets. But as the summer wore on—and the […]

WNC News Roundup

The rain came down in bucket-loads this week, and so did the news. Along with a host of reports about the rainy storm’s effects, there was news this week about Haywood Regional Medical Center getting back on its financial feet; a land-transfer tax vote in Clay County; the end of window inspection stickers for autos; and a big celebration of apples in Henderson County.

Asheville City Council

Asheville water supply still OK City offices may move to Innsbruck Mall Despite earlier reports that an alternative bridge design produced by a local volunteer group was on track for consideration by the N.C. Department of Transportation, it’s actually still a step or two behind the other options, a DOT engineer told Asheville City Council […]

Water: wishes and wallets

When the mercury hit 90 in June, my green tin roof popped and pinged. The sound sent me reaching for a glass of ice-cold tea, though if I were more Southern belle and less teetotaler, I might have called for a fan and a mint julep. If I were more hip, I’d demand a mojito, […]