Up to 2 inches of snow fell in Asheville in 1st snowstorm of the winter

The new year is off to a snowy start in Asheville.

An overnight storm system Jan. 3 brought up to 2 inches of snow in Buncombe County, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Robbie Munroe. Higher elevations near the Tennessee border saw as much as 5 inches.

The flakes stopped midmorning Jan. 3, but the snow is expected to stick as temperatures remained low.

As of noon Jan. 3, the N.C. Department of Transportation reported 75 roadways had been impacted by the snowstorm. Most were in the central part of the state; Chunns Cove Road in East Asheville was the only closure in Buncombe County.

A map of the snowfall Jan. 3 in Western North Carolina.
A map of the snowfall Jan. 3 in Western North Carolina.

Duke Energy reported 206 active power outages in Buncombe County, or 4,694 customers without power, as of 1 p.m. Jan. 3.

Asheville City and Buncombe County schools moved to virtual instruction Jan. 3, and all county buildings had delayed openings.

Previous weather coverage: New Year's weekend forecast in Western North Carolina: Rainy then cold weather expected

With the storm having passed, meteorologists are now cautioning people of the chance of black ice.

“If there's any remaining water on roadways from melting snow, we will likely see black ice across some of those wetter roads,” Munroe said.

Snowfall in Asheville on January 3, 2022.
Snowfall in Asheville on January 3, 2022.

Monday’s snowfall ushers in a period of cold weather through at least Jan. 6 — the coldest of which will hit during the night of Jan. 3 when the temperature could be as low as 14 degrees, the weather service reports.

“We’ll probably see some of the coldest temperatures of the season,” Munroe said.

Previous weather coverage: Will Asheville have a White Christmas this year? Meteorologists say no chance

This is the first snow of the season in Western North Carolina’s lower elevations, which National Weather Service meteorologist Doug Outlaw said is normal. The majority of snow falls in January and February.

However, Asheville typically sees about 1.5 inches of snow by late December, Outlaw said.

That wasn’t the case this season, when winter has been slightly warmer than average.

“We're running just a bit above normal for the year for Asheville,” Munroe said, adding that the last time the area had a winter this warm was in 2015.

Shelby Harris is a reporter covering breaking news, education and other topics. She can be reached at sharris@citizentimes.com or on Twitter @_shelbyharris.

This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Asheville sees about 2 inches of snow in 1st snow storm of winter