Good Afternoon Folks! We have enjoyed some much needed sunshine today (Tuesday) and we'll experience another round tomorrow, with clouds filling in late Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning, ahead of the next rainmaker which is slated to arrive Thursday evening. Showers will move quickly across the region, clearing out Friday and setting up a brief period of sunshine before more clouds develop late Friday night. Showers break out once again late Saturday and peak in coverage overnight into Sunday, with a rain/snow elevation dependent setup occurring on Sunday as NW flow cranks up across the mountains. Precip should wind down Sunday night and then a deep cold settles across the nation, pushing east through next week and for us that means temps roughly 10 - 15 degrees below average Monday through Wednesday.
Temps Wednesday will rise to the upper 30's along the ridgelines to the low - mid 50's for the valleys as sunny skies sit overhead, creating a very ideal mid January day. Temps settle back into the upper 20's - low 30's Wednesday night under partly cloudy skies.
As moisture creeps into the region from the west, clouds will develop as the day moves along Thursday, however the southwesterly pull ahead of the incoming front will bring temps into the low 40's - low 50's depending upon elevation. Initially, there may be some light freezing rain for the highest elevations, but we expect all rain to fall overnight into Friday with rainfall totals under a quarter of an inch (a very light event); overnight lows in the upper 30's - low 40's.
Showers clear out quickly Friday morning and sunny skies will take most of the morning to return to the region, however temps will respond as they push into the low 40's for the ridgelines and mid 50's across the valleys. Overnight lows Friday night will settle into the mid - upper 30's for most of the region.
Saturday and Sunday will feature the majority of the action for the forecast period as showers develop Saturday afternoon and ramp up in coverage and intensities Saturday night into Sunday morning. Temps Saturday continue to be on the warm side of normal as they push into the upper 40's - mid 50's, however as NW flow becomes established closer to sunrise, temps will crash to the upper 20's - mid 30's. This will kick over rain to snow for the TN line and the usual locations during a NW flow snow event, with snow expected to fall throughout the day on Sunday for places like the Smokies, Great Balsams, Cataloochee Ski Area and so on, while the rest of us in the valleys deal with a cold rain. Temps Sunday will only make it to the low - mid 30's for the ridgelines and low 40's for the valleys, plummeting to the upper single digits to lower teens Sunday night!!! This will mark the beginning of the deep cold setup, with highs on Monday only hitting the upper 20's - mid 30's (a perfect ski setup for Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday).
We'll provide another update Thursday and go into much more detail about the upcoming NW flow snow event this weekend. Till then, stay dry and enjoy the sunshine Wednesday and late Friday!