The National Weather Service (NWS) said a winter storm warning calling for significant snow accumulation is in effect through 7 a.m. Tuesday at elevations above 3,500 feet in Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties. Public schools in these three and some other western N.C. counties are closed today in anticipation of hazardous driving conditions.

The forecast is for total snow accumulation of 4 to 10 inches in these higher mountain counties, with more at elevations above 4,500 feet. Winds gusts as high as 45 to 50 mph are possible. Wind chills will drop to the single digits and teens Tuesday night at these higher elevations.

“Plan on slippery road conditions. Travel could be very difficult to impossible. The hazardous conditions will impact the morning and evening commute. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches. Some power outages may occur” in these higher mountain counties, the NWS said.

No snow is in the forecast in Wilkes, Surry and Alleghany counties this week, but the NWS said a wind advisory is in effect from 10 a.m. this (Monday) morning through noon Tuesday. Northwest winds 15 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph are expected in these counties. The NWS said tree limbs could be blown down and power outages may result. Partly cloudy skies with highs around 45 and lows around 28 are expected today in Wilkes.

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