by: John Ahrens Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The top weather story is the major arctic blast moving into the Charlotte area.
Colder air arrived overnight and a few snowflakes flew, mainly to the east of Charlotte.
Temperatures plummeted overnight to around 20 degrees.
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The sunshine will return Wednesday but it will not help with highs barely getting above freezing. Wind chills will fall to 15-20 below zero in the High Country and the duration of this cold blast will be longer than what the area experienced two weeks ago -- but the cold itself is not as bad.
Another arctic blast will be pushing through by Thursday. This will keep every morning at least in the teens all the way into Saturday.
The last time there was a stretch like this was back in 2010.
The weekend forecast looks fairly quiet, but more clouds will bring another cold blast for next week.
Ashe, Avery and Watauga county schools are closed Wednesday. For the full list of school closings, click here.
Road crews ready for cold temperatures
The arctic chill is forcing road crews to take action Wednesday to protect motorists where crews started treating the roads.
The plan is to have 12 trucks to treat areas of concern so people don't wake up to any surprises in the morning.
Major roads and interstates were treated with a brine solution by state crews.
Major road conditions Tuesday night were in good condition, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation website.
Snow causes major problems in mountains
Snow caused major problems for residents in the mountains.
The temperature dropped quickly Tuesday. At 9 a.m., it was 40 degrees and a few hours later it dropped below freezing.
The snow and frigid weather proved to be too much for some drivers near Banner Elk who had trouble going anywhere Tuesday afternoon.
One group of skiers spent nearly 30 minutes trying to get unstuck on an icy hillside.
"We've been sliding. We did a 180 earlier. We got behind a scraper who let us go for a little bit but of didn't work after that," said skier Jack Denning.
Not far away, Channel 9 reporter Dave Faherty saw several accidents as the snow fell hard at times throughout the day in Avery County.
SLIDESHOW: Snow falls in NC Mountains
Isabella Oates got off work early in hopes of beating the bad conditions, but never made it to her home.
"It hit within five minutes. I looked outside, there was kind of a flurry when I left for work this morning. Nothing on the roads and within five minutes it became so icy," Oates said.
On Beech Mountain, Faherty saw some families enjoyed the change of weather where the temperature plunged more than 25 degrees in 24 hours.
"All of a sudden we woke up and it was still sunshiny outside and then, 'boom,' snow everywhere, crazy," said visitor Natalie Stover.
In some parts of the mountains it may be this weekend before we see readings above freezing again.
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