Good morning folks! It's Thursday and we are watching a large swath of rain move west to east across the Southeast this morning, slated to arrive during the afternoon hours, peaking in coverage and intensity this evening. A half inch of rain is likely, with an inch possible but this should be a quiet event with temps near normal this afternoon.
Looking ahead, we expect rain to kick over to snow tonight for the highest ridgelines (above 5500') closer to the TN line, with an inch at best, coupled with a decent coating of rime ice across the high country. Temps tonight plummet to the mid 20's - low 30's depending upon elevation and NW winds ramp up to 15 - 25mph above 4000'.
Clear and sunny skies should be overhead by sunrise, with sunshine dominating the forecast Friday into Monday. Temps will be below normal due to an infusion of colder air as the front exits to the east Friday morning, capping temps to the low - mid 30's along the ridgelines Friday afternoon, while the valleys warm to the upper 40's. Temps gradually warm to the low 40's - mid 50's Saturday and upper 40's - low 60's by Sunday and Monday. Overnight lows will dip into the low - upper 20's Friday night but warm to the low - upper 30's by Sunday night, each night under mostly clear skies.
Everyone is focusing on the next frontal passage sometime Monday night into Tuesday of next week, as it could bring us region wide snow but we are certain it will bring us our coldest temps of the season. So far we do not have enough information to guarantee region wide snow as this could be another moisture chasing the snow setup, which never pans out well for our region, but we are beginning to mention the possibility. We will have a better handle on the setup Saturday and we'll post another discussion that afternoon, but for now plan for temps anywhere from 18 - 22 degrees below normal Tuesday into Thursday! Afternoon highs Tuesday may not break above freezing above 4000', while the valleys struggle to reach the low 40's and this cold air should linger for several days. These temps are closer to January levels and if you haven't prepped for colder temps, we recommend taking this weekend to stockpile wood or seal off/insulate air leaks in the home.
Enjoy the sunny but chilly weekend and check back in Saturday late afternoon (around 4pm) for another update regarding the possibility for snow next week. For us, it's better to be accurate than the first to post a snowfall map or share models online and as always, email us with any location specific questions! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org