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ASHEVILLE, NC (AP) — After weeks of warm winter weather, bitterly cold air and snow is spilling into the North Carolina mountains.

Winter storm warnings and advisories are out for a number of mountain counties. The National Weather Service says up to 4 inches of snow could fall in the higher elevations. Gusty winds are bringing in the snow. Areas around Asheville are reporting wind gusts of up to 36 mph blowing around a half-inch of snow. In Boone, the gusty winds are making it feel like it’s less than 10 degrees Saturday afternoon.

The cold air will spread across North Carolina Saturday, and forecasters predict two nights of hard freezes before the weather begins to warm next week.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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