Boone's 11th October snow since 1929
by Anna Oakes
But snow in October -- measurable snow, at least -- is not as common in Boone as the past few seasons would lead you to believe.
Appalachian State University geography professor Baker Perry noted that the National Weather Service cooperative observer station in Boone has reported measurable snowfall (which is a tenth of an inch or more) in October for 11 of the 85 years since 1929.
"That is approximately 13 percent of the years," Perry said.
Measurable snow has fallen in Boone in three of the last six Octobers, he noted, including a tenth of an inch on Oct. 28, 2008, last year's "Frankenstorm" and this year's event.
The earliest measurable snow recorded in Boone was on Oct. 17, 1977, when two inches fell, said Robert Stonefield, meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg, Va.
Of course, October snows are undoubtedly more common in the High Country's higher-elevated communities, including Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain and others.
Friday's snow ushered in a frigid drop in temperatures, bottoming out at 19 degrees at Watauga Medical Center between 5:30 and 7:30 a.m. Saturday, according to National Weather Service data.
Icy conditions caused a few slick spots on the roads Friday morning, contributing to a handful of vehicle accidents, staff at the Watauga County Communications Center said. In Avery County, schools were on a two-hour delay.
Since 1975, Watauga County Schools have closed for inclement weather on five October days, according to the school system's website, but the data does not indicate if the closings were because of snow or because of other types of weather.
Temperatures are forecasted to rebound this week, with highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s and lows in the 40s, according to NWS.