Snow total map

Forecasters are predicting widespread accumulating snowfall for Avery and surrounding mountain counties, with precipitation beginning Thursday night, Jan. 7, and into most of Friday, Jan. 8.

GREENVILLE/SPARTANBURG, SC — The first major winter storm of 2021 is poised to blanket Avery County and the surrounding area with several inches of snow.

On Thursday morning, Jan. 7, the National Weather Service office in Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C. issued a Winter Storm Warning for the mountains of Western North Carolina from 7 p.m. on Thursday evening through midnight on Friday night.

According to the narrative from the NWS GSP office, "A storm system moving from the Deep South through the coastal plain of Georgia and South Carolina will spread precipitation into the region from late Thursday evening through Friday morning before tapering off Friday afternoon and evening. Sufficient cold air will be in place for mainly snow to fall across much of the mountains. While precipitation is expected to initially fall as rain across the foothills and Piedmont, cooling temperatures will support a transition to snow Friday morning, roughly along and north of Interstate 40. Heavy snow accumulations will be possible in these areas before the precipitation tapers off, or changes back to rain Friday afternoon."

Travel could be very difficult to impossible, according to NWS, as hazardous conditions could impact the Friday commute. The weight of heavy, wet snow could bring down power lines, causing scattered power outages.

Temperatures falling into the 20s on Friday night will cause slippery road conditions to persist well into the weekend following the storm, according to NWS, with snow accumulations ranging from four to nine inches, with localized higher amounts.

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