Winter sneaks in with surprise snow blanketing area

Published 7:15 pm Monday, December 11, 2017

POLK COUNTY – In what was a surprise entry into winter, the foothills area received from a couple of inches of snow in the lower elevations on Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9 to up to 10 inches or more in the Saluda area.

The entire South was hit with a rare, early winter storm with up to seven inches of snow in Mississippi and 10 inches of snow in parts of Georgia. Hundreds of thousands were without power in the South, with some being without power in the foothills as well.

The forecast before the storm was that the foothills area could receive a dusting, with most of the snow not sticking and the mountains getting a few inches.

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The Asheville area received 8.6 inches of snow on Friday and another 1.2 inches on Saturday for a total of 9.8 inches over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Tryon received 2.1 inches of snow on Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Saturday’s totals were not available. The snow began on Friday and continued through Saturday around noon in the area.

Saluda totals were not known as of press time, but some residents reported 8-10 inches of snow.

Tryon normally receives an average of 0.1 inches of snow in the month of December, according to national weather service data.

On Friday, Dec. 8 around noon, the snow began to fall in the lower elevations of Polk County and Landrum and the higher elevations began receiving snow in the morning. By 1 p.m. Polk County Schools were closed and also on Friday, Polk County Board of Commissioner chair Jake Johnson declared a state of emergency. Saluda School as well as all of Henderson County Schools were closed on Friday.

Saluda saw the most snow in the foothills area, with many families traveling to the Saluda School for sledding down its hills on Saturday morning.

Most main roads in the county were clear throughout the weekend and Polk County Schools were reopened on Monday, but on a two-hour delay in Saluda. Lake Lure Classical Academy was on a three-hour delay Monday.

The area had seen high temperatures the past few weeks in the 60s but cold temperatures began last week and are to continue this week. Some roads experienced black ice Monday morning following the snow melting and low temperatures in the 20s the past couple of days.

Temperatures will continue to be frigid throughout this week with Tuesday’s high temperature of 46 and low of 22. Next week the high temperatures will get back to the 50s and 60s with the low temperatures above freezing.

The mountain area could see another snow blast on Tuesday, with the high temperature in Asheville forecast at 36 degrees and the low at 15 degrees.