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N.C. mountains get snow, while Charlotte dips to nightly freezing

A big spring snowstorm pummeling the Midwest and parts of the East is sending heavy snow into North Carolina’s mountains and freezing temperatures to the Charlotte area.

A winter storm warning was posted for about a dozen mountain counties, where a number of school systems were closed Monday. Forecasters say up to 10 inches of snow could fall in higher elevations by Tuesday night.

In the Piedmont, a freeze warning was posted for Monday night and Tuesday morning.

“Get used to frost and freeze warnings outside of the mountains this week,” said Bryan McAvoy of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C. He said the coldest temperatures are possible Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

This is all the result of a storm system moving eastward through Pennsylvania and West Virginia, toward the East Coast.

Counter-clockwise winds around the storm and weak areas of low pressure are causing snow showers in the mountains. A National Weather Service observer in Linville, at the base of Grandfather Mountain, reported 3 inches of snow fell late Sunday and early Monday. A 3-inch total also was reported at Beech Mountain. About 1.5 inches was reported at West Jefferson in Ashe County.

Schools were closed Monday in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Watauga and Yancey counties. Additional systems were closed in mountain counties west of Asheville. In the northern part of the state, schools in Stokes and Surry counties opened on a two-hour delay Monday.

More school closings are expected Tuesday.

Areas such as Boone, West Jefferson and Banner Elk were expected to get from 3 to 5 inches of new snow Monday and Tuesday..

In the Piedmont, snow is not an issue, but winds and far-below-average temperatures are.

The average high in Charlotte at this time of year is 66 degrees, but it only reached 50 on Monday.

Not much improvement is forecast Tuesday. Partly cloudy skies, a possible afternoon shower, and highs in the lower 50s are predicted. And overnight temperatures could fall below freezing Tuesday and Wednesday.

Temperatures gradually are expected to return to seasonal averages by the end of the weekend.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107
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