Front brings bone chilling air to Carolinas heading into weekend - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Front brings bone chilling air to Carolinas heading into weekend

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A cold front moving into the Carolinas on Wednesday sent temperatures below freezing and will be firmly in place for the weekend with high temperatures barely climbing out of the 30s.

A Winter Weather Advisory was posted for the mountain counties on Wednesday for 2-4 inches of snow in the higher elevations, an inch or so around Boone, Jefferson and Blowing Rock.

Snow began falling in the North Carolina Mountains Wednesday morning and continued for most of the day. Snowfall amounts were not very deep, ranging from a dusting to two inches.

Main roads stayed clear for  most of the day with secondary roads starting to get covered by late afternoon. Still, highway crews do not anticipate any major problems. Trucks were seen spreading salt and plowing snow where it was deep enough.

The tourist industry says the timing could not be better. "Perfect" said Sonya Garland at the Highland Ski shop near Sugar Mountain.  This weekend is the all important Martin Luther King Holiday Weekend.

For the winter tourist industry it is one of the three big weekends of the season.  Les Broussard, who owns two restaurants in Banner Elk, expects this be a successful weekend.

"We are looking at a very busy time," he said. The snowfall, he said, helps to attract tourists and because it is not deep, and temperatures not too low, road crews should not have any issues keeping highways clear. Some holiday weekend travelers have already made it to North

Carolina's high country. One couple from Destin, Florida said they came up early because they heard it might snow. "This is what we came for" they shouted as they pointed to the falling flakes Wednesday afternoon.

Snowfall amounts are expected to be less than two inches in most places, possibly a little more on the highest peaks, but not enough to cause major problems, said officials. Though with cold weather in place for the next few days, at least, they expect the snow to stay around for awhile.

WBTV Chief Meteorologist Eric Thomas said showers will continue to roll through, ending during the late-evening hours, and some wet snow may mix in as the rain winds down in areas around and north of I-85. 

The biggest concern, Thomas said, will be toward the morning hours when temperatures go below freezing.

Some slick spots are likely on secondary roads, and drivers should exercise caution.

Cold air will be firmly in place around the Carolinas through the weekend, but rebounding Monday and Tuesday.

A series of upper level disturbances will produce two more rounds of snow for the mountains setting up a great holiday weekend of skiing.  Expect another burst of snow Friday and again Saturday night. 

Lows will be consistently in the 20s through the period with below-normal afternoon temperatures only running in the 40s.

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