WATAUGA — High Country residents are sledding, snowballing and hunkering down through a winter storm that dumped about a foot of snow on Watauga County over the weekend.
The snow has finished falling, but recorded wind gusts of up to 68 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., created snow drifts and whiteout conditions.
At Blowing Rock, NWS Blacksburg recorded a gust of wind reaching 75 miles per hour.
According to NWS Blacksburg, between Jan. 16 and 17, a total of 12.8 to 13 inches of snow fell in Boone, with 9.5 and 11 inches recorded in more southern portions of Watauga County.
The snow arrived later than originally expected, with Saturday avoiding the onset of the storm and snowfall accelerating early Sunday morning and falling through Monday morning.
The melt and refreeze will take place after the storm with temperatures reaching 30 and 40 degrees throughout the week and dropping back into the 20 degrees in the evening, which may affect road conditions.
More rainfall is heading for the High Country overnight from Thursday January 20th to Friday January 21st. According to NWS Blacksburg, Thursday evening is likely to receive an inch of rain and through Friday there is a chance of up to 3 inches of snow falling throughout the day and night.
Marisa Mecke is a member of the Report for America body that covers the environment for Mountain Times Publications. Report for America is a national, nonprofit service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to report on underreported issues.