The first significant accumulating snowfall of the year is expected for parts of the mountains, which will cause dangerous travel tonight into early Tuesday, a Winter Storm Warning has been posted. A robust cold front will pass through the state today, leaving behind a strong northwest snow event for the North Carolina Mountains. Temperatures will be hovering just near to slightly below freezing, this will lead to accumulating snow from tonight to late Monday night. Wind blowing snow expected due to high wind gusts.
Accumulation: 1-2 to 2-4 inches expected for anyone below 3,500ft to about 2,000ft a dusting possible for some of the valleys (Asheville) The big winners for snow are above 3,500ft into the Smokies and along the North Carolina Tennesse border 2-4inches to 6-12" like along the highest peaks, for example, the Smokies mountains, Mount Mitchell the western facing ski resorts and Blue Ridge Parkways. A few ridgetop locations will exceed 12 inches, especially in the Smokies. Snowfall amounts are highly dependent on elevation, the higher you are the better. The lower you are in the valleys little to no amounts. Winter Storm Warning issued for the entire mountains Ashe-Avery-Madison-Yancey-Mitchell-Haywood-Graham-Buncombe- (Above 3,500ft) Swain-Watauga County until 7AM Tuesday, this means severe impacts to travel expected.
Here's a breakdown of expected snowfall amounts, as you can see it is highly location-dependent.
IMPACTS: Travel will become hazardous to impossible across a good portion of the highest elevations of the mountains. The Hazardous conditions could impact both the morning and evening commutes on Monday. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches and produce scattered power outages. Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel...have a winter survival kit with you.
Stay tuned to North Carolina's Weather Authority for updates throughout the storm.