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Snow storm socks South! Earliest Southern snow ever?

Social media early Saturday showed the Greenville, S.C., metro area being socked by a snowstorm. Sugar Mountain, N.C., was getting hammered, too. Mt. Le Conte, in Sevier County, Tenn., got a foot and a half of snow.

“It’s snowin’ & blowin’ on top of Sugar Mt. this morning. 22 degrees/wind chill 5 degrees & gusts to 40 MPH,” writes The Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel, on Twitter.

“A surreal #snow photo from Berea, S.C. (Greenville metro) this morning, thx to Facebook friend Vall Verde,” The Weather Channel noted.

A fist of Arctic air jammed quickly down the western flank of the Appalachians into Saturday, turning wet and warmer air ahead of it into brief snatches of hail, even driving snow.

“Two inches was reported in Asheville, North Carolina, and 2.5 inches was measured in Boone, North Carolina. Light accumulations were reported east of Ellijay, Georgia, and flurries fell in parts of the Atlanta metro area,” according to The Weather Channel.

More snow is expected today through the Southern Appalachians on up into northern New England.

For parts of the South, it’s the earliest snow in 46 years. Up to six inches may fall in some places. Parts of north Georgia is included in a wide swath of the Eastern Seaboard under winter weather advisories from the National Weather Service.

Boone, N.C., the place many Southern skiers head to for their slope fix, usually starts seeing snow around Thanksgiving, while Asheville, N.C., which is 1,000 feet lower, usually has to wait until Christmas for snow. Asheville, however, once received snow as early as Oct. 1. That was in 1952.

The Weather Channel points out that Maine’s first snow is a bit late.

The Farmer’s Almanac has predicted an early and cold Winter 2014, with the South, as it has for the past few years, being confronted with below-average temperatures and more winter storms, at least early in the season.

“Colder is just almost too familiar a term” for the upcoming winter, Farmer’s Almanac editor Janice Stillman writes. “Think of it as refriger-nation.”

Saturday morning’s wake-up snowstorm certainly supports that theory.

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Royce Christyn
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