LAURINBURG – This weekend’s snow event came and went quickly, but frigid temperatures are expected to hang around a little longer.
The weather front moved into Scotland County as rain early Sunday morning before changing over to snow. Flakes came down steadily enough to cover the ground and bring some accumulation but surface temperatures were still too warm to allow for coverage on any surface other than grass.
By late afternoon the snowfall had tapered off and was totally gone by Sunday evening.
“We received anywhere from a dusting to as much as an inch and a half across the Piedmont and Sandhills, with only a trace reported in Scotland County” said Mike Strickler, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh.
Up to four inches of snow fell in western North Carolina on Sunday while northwestern South Carolina got almost two inches. Another inch of snow was possible Monday night in the mountains of western North Carolina. Up to 6 inches of snow could fall in upper elevations by Wednesday morning.
Weather for the rest of the week for Scotland residents will be colder than what locals have grown accustomed to, according to Strickler.
“It will be dry for the rest of the week. The precipitation will move out overnight [Monday] and we’ll have a very cold week,” he said.
In spite of cold temperatures overnight Sunday, local schools opened as usual, according to Meredith Bounds, public information officer for Scotland County Schools who said the snow had melted well before a decision about schools even needed to be made.
The only hitch, according to Bounds, was a mistaken report of school delays that made the rounds on social media. In their anxiety or excitement over the coming snow, someone posted a story from WBTW News 13’s website which was from January’s winter storm.
“We ended up having to post that schools were on a regular schedule because of that old post,” Bounds said.
Bounds warned parents and students to be careful and “double check” the dates on information seen on social media.
“Check the Scotland County Schools website or Facebook page, and we will always send out connect five messages,” Bounds said.
Roylin Hammond, director of the county emergency operations center, said Sunday was a “very calm day” with no snow-related calls for assistance.
States farther north may not be so lucky.
Meteorologists say much of the northeast could see snowfall totals of as much as 22 inches from the storm that began Monday. The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for the New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. Winds were expected to be high with gusts up to 55 mph.
Airlines canceled around 4,000 flights on Monday afternoon, and Amtrak canceled or changed services along its Northeast Corridor. Authorities strongly encouraged drivers to stay off the roads.
The cold will not be confined to the north, forecasters said. Temperatures will be from 10 to 20 degrees below normal all the way into central Florida. Midweek could feel more like the middle of winter with places such as Nashville, Tennessee; and Birmingham, Alabama; challenging record lows.
Highs will be in the 50s today in Scotland County and fall to the upper 20s tonight. Wednesday’s high will only reach the low 40s and dip into the lower 20s overnight. Thursday’s temperatures will be much the same with a high in the upper 40s and a low in the mid-20s, according to Strickler.
By Friday, temperatures should begin to return to average with highs in the 50s.
Strickler warns of possible crop damage due to extreme temperatures. The higher than average temperatures in February caused plants to bloom early.
“A lot of vegetation and crops have started to come out so folks should take preventative measures to protect crops and vegetation,” he said.
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169