Expectant snow

Avery County and surrounding mountain areas may pick up a couple of inches of snow overnight Christmas Eve, as a Winter Storm Warning has been issued for the area.

GREENVILLE/SPARTANBURG, SC — Avery County may be bracing for a white Christmas as 2020 enters its final week.

On Wednesday evening, Dec. 23, the National Weather Service office in Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C. issued a Winter Storm Warning for the mountains of Western North Carolina from 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, to 6 a.m. Christmas morning, Dec. 25.

According to the NWS GSP office, snow can be expected for the warning area which includes Avery, Mitchell, Yancey and Madison counties, with total snow accumulations of 2 to 5 inches, with isolated 6 inches on mountain peaks, along with winds gusting as high as 40 miles per hour.

According to the NWS narrative, a moist cold front will bring moderate to heavy rain across the area on Thursday. Localized flooding is possible with a higher chance across southern-facing slopes. Light snow showers will develop across the mountains Thursday night and continue into Friday. Roadways could become slick and impact travel.

"Temperatures will drop rapidly late Thursday afternoon below freezing, possibly resulting in a flash freeze of any remaining runoff of earlier rain on area roads," NWS reports. "The snow will taper off toward the Tennessee border after midnight. Temperatures will drop low enough to raise concerns for dangerous wind chills by daybreak on Christmas Day."

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