Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 12, 2014

From noon today to midnight, we are under a wind advisory, with southwest winds strengthening and shifting to the northwest as a cold front pushes into our area.
Winds will be sustained at 15 to 25 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph likely. This could lead to downed trees and difficulty driving high-profile vehicles, such as trucks, vans and SUVs.
Along with the winds, we have a chance of severe thunderstorms this afternoon.
Our chance for precipitation is 80 percent today, with rain and thunderstorms expected due to the cold front. Tonight will clear out and the temperature will plummet to 29 degrees, with wind gusts continuing to be a problem.
Thursday will be sunny, but much cooler, with a high near 45 and wind around 14 to 17 mph and gusts as high as 26 mph. Thursday night will be another cold one, with a low around 26, but the winds will calm.
Friday should be sunny with a high near 59 and more wind, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Friday night, expect a chilly low of 38.
Saturday looks mostly cloudy with a high near 62; Saturday night’s low will be around 40.
Sunday brings another chance of rain, but only 30 percent. Look for partly sunny skies with a high near 59. Sunday night the chance for precipitation goes up to 40 percent, with a low around 37.
It cools off a little Monday with a 40 percent chance of rain and a high near 50. We’ll dip down to 31 for a low. Tuesday should be mostly sunny with a high near 54.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for portions of the mountains of western North Carolina.
The advisory is in effect from 6 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday in Avery, Graham, Madison, Mitchell, Swain, Haywood and Yancey counties.
Up to 3 inches of snow is expected across the region near the Tennessee state line.
Teams of local and state emergency managers are assessing damages from last week’s storm to see if there is enough destruction to seek federal recovery funds for North Carolina.
That storm dumped up to 4 inches of snow throughout the Triad and along the Virginia border. Ice accumulations up to a half inch toppled trees and knocked out power in much of central North Carolina.
Crews expect to finish the initial assessments by the end of the week.
Duke Energy reports it is making good progress in restoring service to customers who lost electricity in last week’s storm. Duke said fewer than 1,900 customers were still without electricity Wednesday morning.
The biggest problems continue to be in Alamance and Guilford counties. Service was expected to be restored by Wednesday night.