Good Afternoon Folks! Thank you for patiently waiting for the latest update regarding the incoming snow storm. We took longer than normal to update the site as the models this morning showed a reduction in totals, but the overall trend is still the same, which is why not much has changed from our previous forecast. We are still going with a region wide event, with the valleys picking up light amounts of snow and the higher elevations racking up anywhere from 3 - 6" depending upon location. Snow winds down Tuesday afternoon and the coldest temps of the year follow in its wake, with blustery conditions extending through the day on Wednesday, calming down Thursday morning. Sub freezing temps will be in place from late tonight into Friday or Saturday depending upon your elevation and numerous high elevation sites will dip into the single digits, with wind chill values below zero at times. Sunny skies return Wednesday and linger into the weekend, with a chance for high clouds on Friday as a disturbance passes nearby. All in all, this event will be impactful even though totals will be lower and this is due to fast dropping temps on the back-end of the front, allowing snow and ice to linger well into Wednesday or Thursday.
The event unfolds tonight with light precip moving in from the southwest ahead of the incoming front off to our west. Locations above 3500 - 4000' will see all snow during the event, however the valleys may experience a bit of rain sometime shortly before or after midnight, but quickly transition to snow before sunrise. The bulk of the snow swings through from 7 - 11am with an hour or two of heavy snow possible, followed by light snow showers that will wind down around the 3 - 6pm time frame. Temps tonight will dip into the mid 20's - low 30's by the pre dawn hours and around 8 - 10am Tuesday morning they will begin to drop like a rock, settling into the teens for most of the region by sunset and eventually the mid single digits above 4000' to the low - mid teens across the valleys. Overall, we expect 1 - 3" for the valleys and the reason for such a high range is that we are dealing with a difference of 0.05" of liquid equivalent between totals, in addition to the convective nature of the system, which allows some snow showers to be stronger than others nearby (much like a pop up shower during summer, some pickup heavy rain while others only experience a few drops). Above 3500 - 4000' we expect anywhere from 3 - 5" of snow and the closer one is to the TN line the higher the totals will be, with the Smokies possibly picking up 6" or more in spots like Mt. LeConte or Clingsman Dome. For those deciding whether or not to stay home (if you have the option) we encourage you to do so as the roads will deteriorate fast, possibly becoming snow covered in a matter of 20 - 30 minutes.
Past this quick hitting snow event, the deep cold moves in with highs on Wednesday only reaching the low teens along the ridgelines to the mid - upper 20's across the valley floor; even with sunny skies overhead. Factor in NW winds around 10 - 20mph and gust up to 40mph and wind chill values dip to near zero at times, especially overnight as temps settle into the single digits - teens depending upon elevation.
Thursday keeps sunny skies going, while Friday may offer up high clouds from a passing disturbance. Temps Thursday climb to the mid - mid 30's and warm to the upper 30's - mid 40's on Friday; overnight lows fall into the 20's and 30's respectivley.
We'll provide another update Wednesday morning and as always, be sure to send us your observations and road condition updates to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay warm out there!!!