Forecast Fail; Warmer Temps Return
Good Morning Folks! Our forecast for the recent snow event failed with only those above 3800' - 4000' picking up decent accumulations, although there were a few locations in the lower elevations that picked up an inch. Mt LeConte didn't event come close to our 6" plus forecast, with only 3.5" falling. For those wondering what went wrong, the bulk of forecasters put all their chips on the anafront having a robust precip shield behind the actual front (never materialzied), which is normally the case, but of course the Southeast can redefine the word normal during the winter months. We are not down in the dumps for busting the forecast as its always a challenge for our part of the state, but we are never one to shy away from saying when things went wrong and this past event everything that could go wrong did.
Putting the busted forecast in the rear view mirror we are now focusing on the current deep cold setup, which should abate as the week moves along with above normal temps returning this weekend. Mt Mitchell this morning had a low temp of -1.6°F and a wind chill of -27°F, with numerous sites across the higher elevations in the single digits. We'll only warm to the low teens along the ridgelines to the low 30's across the valleys, however NW winds will make it feel much colder, with sub zero wind chills above 3000' as winds gust to 40mph. Sunshine today will lead to clear skies tonight and winds remain strong around 10 - 20mph, gusting to 35mph and when combined with lows in the mid single digits - low teens, we expect sub zero wind chills to continue.
Thursday and Friday keep sunny skies overhead with temps warming to the low 20's - upper 30's Thursday and upper 30's - upper 40's Friday. Overnight lows Thursday night settle into the upper teens - mid 20's under a few passing clouds, while Friday night caps temps to the upper 20's - mid 30's as mostly cloudy skies stream across the region, clearing out by Saturday mid morning.
The weekend ahead features sunny skies for Saturday and rain Sunday, with a possible window of snow for the higher elevations Saturday night (nothing major with no accumulations expected). Temps Saturday soar to the low 40's along the ridgelines to the mid - upper 50's in the valleys, dipping into the low - upper 30's overnight into Sunday! We'll hold off discussing any details about the rainmaker that arrives early Sunday, exiting sometime Monday or Tuesday, as the models continue to struggle to find a common solution.
Our next forecast discussion will come out Friday. Till then, stay warm and don't forget to drip the faucet tonight and Thursday night!