Frost coated some surfaces Thursday morning across the Charlotte region, which experienced its coldest temperatures in nearly seven months.
But moderating temperatures moved into the North Carolina mountains, allowing road crews to make considerable progress in clearing snow and ice that accumulated earlier this week in the circulation around Hurricane Sandy.
There were still some icy patches on secondary roads in the mountains, which means a number of school systems are opening on a two-hour delay -- Ashe, Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Watauga and Yancey counties. In addition, Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk wont open until 9:30 a.m.
Snowfall of up to 36 inches fell in the mountains, and forecasters say a few snow showers are possible Thursday morning before precipitation finally comes to an end.
The 36-inch snow came in Swain County, at Newfound Gap, but accumulations of 6 to 12 inches were common in elevations above 3,000 feet. The snow allowed record-early season openings for two ski resorts -- Sugar Mountain, in Banner Elk; and Cataloochee, in Maggie Valley.
On Thursday morning, temperatures moderated, and it was slightly above freezing at daybreak in Boone.
Temperatures were actually colder at some lower elevations.
The coldest reading shortly before sunrise was in Lancaster, S.C., where it was 30 degrees. Wadesboro was shivering at 32 degrees, and it was 33 in Albemarle. The coldest temperature unofficially at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport was 35 degrees, which is the coldest since a 34-degree morning April 14.
But in the Charlotte area, there were temperatures as low as 31 degrees in Weddington.
Some patchy frost was reported, especially on surfaces a few feet off the ground. Soil temperatures remain rather mild, and that probably prevented a wider outbreak of frost.
Forecasters say an ample supply of sunshine is expected today, with temperatures climbing into the upper 50s. After a morning low in the mid 30s Friday, afternoon readings are expected to reach the mid 60s. More of the same is forecast for Saturday.
Some temperatures at 7 a.m. across the Charlotte region:
30 -- Lancaster, S.C.
32 -- Wadesboro
33 -- Albemarle
34 -- Boone, Troy
35 -- New London, Salisbury
36 -- Charlotte, Concord, Lincolnton, Monroe
41 -- Gastonia, Rock Hill
44 -- Taylorsville
45 -- Hickory
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