Strong winds, snow return to North Carolina mountains

by: Dave Faherty Updated:

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BOONE - The temperature in the North Carolina mountains dropped a degree every 15 minutes Tuesday afternoon. The howling wind shifted out of the north, bringing snow showers to the high country.

Appalachian State University’s campus saw the weather transition from rain to sleet to snow in the span of 30 minutes. The sleet bounced off students and the pavement. Although the calendar says “spring,” it felt like winter.

“The key thing is to be prepared, still be prepared for anything at this point. You don’t know what to expect,” said student Mona Harris.

“The other day we had 70-degree weather and I was out hiking, worried about getting a sunburn and now I'm worried about getting sleet in the face,” said Rachel Howell, another student.

The cold front has farmers in the foothills and Piedmont keeping an eye on their strawberry crops Tuesday night. The temperature is expected to plunge into the 30s and a freeze warning is in effect. Some of the plants have already started to bloom.
 
L.J. Bowman with Triple Oaks Farm plans on covering her strawberry field, and possibly spraying water on the plants before sunrise Wednesday.

“It’s a big worry, because last I heard it’s supposed to drop to like 30 so it is a big deal. It could wipe out a whole crop,” Bowman said.

She plans on getting up around 3 a.m. Wednesday to check the temperature, and then most likely go to work. The mountains have already reached the freezing point.