Winter weather closes schools in mountains early

by: Dave Faherty Updated:


AVERY COUNTY, N.C. - The North Carolina mountains are under a winter storm advisory Thursday night.

Most areas began the day with rain, but that quickly turned into snow.

Check out the latest closings

Channel 9 reporter Dave Faherty has seen a little bit of everything from rain, freezing rain and snow in the higher elevations.

The temperature started falling quickly in the late afternoon.

By lunchtime, school was called off across Avery County as the strong cold front began to move across the High Country.

Thursday was Allison Potter’s son’s first day of school. She was glad the district wasn’t taking any chances.

“(There’s) a lot of black ice. You got to be careful with higher elevations like side roads and secondary roads and things like that. It is really tough up here,” Potter said.

Faherty was on Beech Mountain where it was mostly rain through the afternoon.  That didn’t keep people away from the sledding slope.

“Snow is going to start snowing at 4 p.m. today,” one young visitor said.

Wind chills below zero, snow falling in mountains

“The weather forecast says it is supposed to be 8 degrees below zero. I think with the wind chill so that is definitely winter weather,” said visitor Thomas Brooks.

The roads in the mountains are wet and Department of Transportation officials are concerned about re-freezing Thursday night after reports of black ice Thursday morning.

As the temperature fell and the winds picked up, Faherty could see the weather change in a matter of minutes.

"It looks like right now it is starting to change to sleet.  It changes really quickly, especially up here," said safety officer Hunter Hicks.
Some area of the mountains could see the temperature drop 30 degrees overnight, meaning some will wake up Friday with temperature in the single digits.