Ridgeline Snow; Cold Weekend Lies Ahead
Good afternoon folks! There is a reason we shifted to this timeline of releasing a new forecast discussion every other day or during boring/quiet weather stretches, every few days. The snow hype that has been propagating across social media brought us many emails, all of which we addressed, but sometimes it makes a difference to wait out the model chaos. It can snow this time of the year, but the overall back and forth among the models gave us enough whiplash to hold out till today (Tuesday) to announce this upcoming snow chance will only be for the TN line and nearby ridgelines, those typically impacted by NW flow events. All of this will come on the heels of the frontal passage late Thursday evening, which will bring us a half inch to an inch of rain and for the 99% of us who live below 5500', we'll only deal with crashing temps and clearing skies Friday morning. The real headline should be the drastically colder temps that will setup shop Friday into Saturday, not warming much Sunday into Monday. A second front is expected to arrive sometime next Tuesday, possibly reinforcing the ongoing cold snap. All in all, there is no need to worry about snow unless you are excited for Cataloochee Ski Area to make more and perhaps pick up an inch of natural snow most Friday morning.
Wednesday will pleasant as mostly sunny skies sit overhead, allowing temps to warm to the upper 40's - mid 60's depending upon elevation, which is right around normal for this time of year. Temps dip into the upper 30's - low 40's Wednesday night as clouds build in advance of the incoming front, mainly due to southerly flow ramping up, pushing additional moisture into the region.
Thursday will be an active day with clouds thickening before noon and light showers dotting the SC and TN state lines as soon mid morning, slowly expanding as the day moves along. The bulk of the rainfall will not arrive till late Thursday evening, exiting the region shortly before sunrise Friday. Temps Thursday will be able to push into the low 50's - low 60's but plummet to the low - upper 30's closer to sunrise Friday as colder air advects into the region from the NW. This is when we expect the changeover from rain to snow to occur and for now, we only expect a solid dusting up to an inch for the TN line and usual suspects during a NW flow event; Great Balsams, Plott Balsams, Cataloochee Divide, etc.
Friday and Saturday will be down right chilly with temps only making it to the mid 30's - low 40's along the ridgelines, not surpassing the upper 40's - low 50's across the lower elevations; this is roughly 14 - 18 degrees below normal. Add in NW winds around 10 - 20mph and it will feel even colder, with Cataloochee Ski Area likely to turn the snow guns back on sometime around 3 - 5am Friday, possibly not stopping till late Saturday afternoon. Overnight lows settle into the mid - upper 20's across the region each night, with partly cloudy skies overhead.
Sunday and Monday remain dry and temps warm to the mid 40's - upper 50's Sunday but cool back down to the low 40's - mid 50's by Veteran's Day on Monday. We'll stop here and circle back with a new discussion Thursday afternoon, focusing on the short term frontal passage and upcoming cold snap.