Get ready for weekend snow
The warm weather recently could have fooled some into thinking that winter weather was over for Western North Carolina, but it’s not time to pack away the snow shovels or sleds quite yet. Snow is in the forecast this weekend for Swain County with 3-6 inches possible overnight Saturday into Sunday morning.
The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory in effect until 9 p.m. Friday. A winter storm watch is in effect Saturday night into Sunday with an 80 percent chance of snow.
Snow is anticipated to begin at the higher elevations as early as Saturday afternoon with total accumulations of 3-6 inches. Local Yokel Weather forecasts the highest snowfall for the area to be near the Tennessee line.
Temperatures are forecast for highs in the 40s over the weekend, with a low of 30 on Saturday night and 24 on Sunday night.
There is a chance for more snow on Tuesday into Wednesday with another few inches possible.
Will cold hurt budding plants?
Cold weather is not uncommon for the mountains in March, and neither is snow. But with the warm weather over the past few weeks has made some wonder about the impact cold temperatures will have on plants that have already budded or bloomed.
Most plants should survive the cold snap without too many problems, said Christine Bredenkamp, NCSU Horticulture Extension agent for Swain and Jackson counties.
“There’s buds on the trees and shrubs and flowering things up and down the branches; the ones reaching for the sky are plumper, and they will be more impacted by the cold, but there is always going to be more dormant buds lower down,” she said. “Even though it gets really cold usually those would open up and flower.”
Just how cold it gets can determine how much people can do to protect their fruit or berry trees. Bredenkamp said if it’s in the 30s, people can cover them, but if it gets 28 degrees or below there isn’t much they can do.
Most gardeners won’t have warm season vegetables planted until May. Most cold season vegetables should survive any cold weather this spring. For example, kale and a lot of greens can withstand temperatures of 8-10 degrees, Bredenkamp said. More common lettuces won’t see damage when temperatures get between 22 and 28 degrees.