Winter comes early to the Carolinas with snow and cold - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Winter comes early to the Carolinas with snow and cold

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NEWLAND, NC (WBTV) -

A week ago, temperatures across the mountains in North Carolina were in the 60's in some places. Warm weather had invaded into November. That invasion ended Tuesday morning as temperatures plummeted and the first snowflakes of the season came down.

"It's really nice," said Chris Goodson as he washed windows in Banner Elk. "But it is cold, my hands are freezing," he said.

At mid-morning, temperatures in many areas were still in the 40's but that didn't last long. By mid-afternoon, temperatures were in the 20's and still falling. That combined with the snow and breezy conditions made it feel especially cold to many.

"I'm not ready for this," said one woman as she walked across a Newland Street. This is not the earliest snowfall in the North Carolina Mountains but the temperatures could come close to records for this date.

At area ski resorts, snow guns were turned on as temperatures dipped below the freezing mark.  Sugar Mountain Resort hopes to open soon. "Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday," said Kim Jochl. "It all depends on the weather." The ski areas do not need the natural snow to cover the slopes. The machines can put a couple of feet down overnight in the right conditions. 

As the snow fell, highway crews prepared to survey the roads overnight for icy conditions. Not enough snow fell to create problems on the road during the day but some spots were still wet at nightfall as temperatures sank into the low 20's and officials want to be sure roads stay cleared of trouble.

Drivers are being advised to carry emergency supplies with them if they plan to drive in the bitter cold conditions. A blanket, some extra food, and a flashlight are recommended as just the basics one should have.

Police will be watching for stranded motorists.

The cold snap is not expected to be an extended one. Warmer temperatures should be back by the weekend. 

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