A strong low pressure system along the East Coast brought gusty winds to the Charlotte region and snow to the mountains Wednesday.
The mountain snow closed schools and created slippery roads.
In the Piedmont and foothills, the story Wednesday was the wind. The strong counter-clockwise flow around the storm system off the coast brough northwest winds that gusted frequently over 30 mph in Charlotte and nearby locations.
Winds were even stronger in the mountains, reaching 60 mph in the Ashe County town of West Jefferson and 50 mph in Boone. Hendersonville recorded a 56 mph gust shortly before noon.
In the Charlotte area, winds reached 35 mph in Statesville and 32 mph in Charlotte.
The winds were not strong enough to cause widespread power outage problems. Duke Energy was reporting only a few thousand outages at mid-afternoon Wednesday. Most of those were in Alamance County, near the Virginia border.
Snow was the big storm in the mountains.
The National Weather Service reported 5 inches of new snow at Beech Mountain, and there were widespread reports of 2 to 3 inches in places like Banner Elk, Boone, West Jefferson and Little Switzerland. A little more than an inch fell in Asheville.
The snow closed schools in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Watauga and Yancey counties. At Appalachian State University, officials cancelled all classes starting before 11 a.m.
A winter storm warning remains in effect for the mountain counties, but forecasters expect only light additional accumulations later Wednesday afternoon and Thursday.
Conditions are worse to the north, and heavy snow has caused numerous flight cancellations in places like Washington and Baltimore.
Much better conditions are expected in the next few days. High temperatures will reach the middle 50s Thursday, upper 50s Friday, then reach seasonal averages (low 60s) Saturday and Sunday.