We interrupt spring-like weather to bring you … snow?
Staff and wire reports
Winter is not done with North Carolina yet.
The National Weather Service is calling for at least an inch of snow in the region that includes Rowan County — the northwest Piedmont and foothills — today and early Sunday.
Snow is expected to begin late this evening, intensify overnight and taper off by noon Sunday. With it will come lows in the lower 30s tonight.
Snow accumulations could reach 3 inches in the region, with the highest amounts along and north of Interstate 40. The North Carolina mountains could see as much as 8 inches in higher elevations.
The Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the foothills and northwest Piedmont from 7 p.m. today to 11 a.m. Sunday.
One model shows a possibility of wet snow or cold rain in Rowan County about 7 a.m. Sunday, according to Rowan County Weather. Because soil temperatures are expected to remain warm, the snow is expected to evaporate or melt as it falls, the service’s website says. Cold rain with some snow mixed in is likely, it says.
“We’ve had a lot of people say, ‘I’ve missed my winter this year.’ Well, you’re going to get it,” said Lauren Pisin, meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Greer, South Carolina.
The snow is a prelude to a retreat from the springlike conditions which has brought flowers out of the ground and led to an early pollen season for allergy sufferers.
Once the storm passes, highs across the state next week will reach only in the 50s in most places, with lows at or below freezing through the end of next week. Pisin added that another storm may bring additional snow to the North Carolina mountains early next week.
North Carolina’s peach crop is sure to be affected by the cold weather. Ben Williams, an equipment operator at Kalawi Farms in Eagle Springs, says the farm is on the verge of losing a third straight peach crop. Last weekend, overnight temperatures fell to 27 degrees, but the combination of wind machines circulating warm air and the short duration of the cold saved the crop. This weekend, Williams says it’s not looking as promising.
“We’re not feeling too hopeful right now,” Williams said. “We’re going to gas up our wind machines and stay up all night and monitor the temperature and wind and everything. That’s all you can do, pretty much.”
Gina Fernandez, extension specialist at North Carolina State University, said the strawberry crop should survive because farmers can take special precautions to protect it.
“They just know that they have to keep the blankets on the plants, and pull them off during the day when it gets warm enough and then they put them back on at night,” Fernandez said. “It’s something they deal with year after year.”
In South Carolina, Pisin said any snow that falls in the Upstate shouldn’t accumulate.
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