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Arctic air surges into Charlotte region

Don’t expect to see any major changes to the chilly weather in the immediate future.

Clouds will increase Friday, forecasters say, as the first of several low pressure systems approaches the area. Highs are expected to be in the lower 50s, and rain is predicted to arrive Friday evening. The rain is expected to end Saturday morning, then resume at night. Highs over the weekend will be in the low and mid 50s, forecasters say.

A continuation of temperatures about 10 to 15 degrees below average is expected next week, leading up to what might be a very chilly Easter weekend.

Arctic air began pouring into the Carolinas early Thursday, setting the stage for a potentially lengthy period of unseasonably cold weather in the region.

The cold air arrived with snow in North Carolina’s northwest mountains, where the combination of snow and very cold air will serve to keep the state’s ski resorts operating much later than usual.

Schools closed Thursday in Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties, where 1 to 2 inches of snow fell. Some of that precipitation froze on the roads, and there were several reports Thursday morning of black ice.

Bryan McAvoy, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s office in Greer, S.C., said the temperature early Thursday morning atop Beech Mountain was near 10 degrees.

In the immediate Charlotte area, a freeze watch was in effect for Thursday night, with lows expected to tumble into the middle 20s. That would threaten the record low for Friday in Charlotte, of 25 degrees. Lows were expected to reach the lower 20s in the foothills.

Lyttle: 704 358-6107
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