Good afternoon folks! Thank you to those who have waited for our take on this upcoming rain/snow event Monday night into Tuesday. We are glad we took the extra days to allow the models to come into sync and although it's still not a lock 48 - 60 hours out, we are confident we will see snow fall across the region late Monday night into Tuesday. As to how much is still up in the air, but we do feel this event will be dependent on location (how far south and east you are from the TN line) and of course elevation. Looking past the hyped up snow event, we expect a stretch of very cold days, with temps roughly 16 - 22 degrees below normal for mid November, taking till Friday or Saturday of next week to return to normal! All in all, this upcoming event will not be major, more of a nuisance, but do keep in mind the dangers of traveling during a rain to snow transition event as road conditions can go downhill very quickly early Tuesday morning.
Sunday and Monday will be pleasant by mid November standards as high pressure keeps sunny skies overhead Sunday, while clouds fill in across the region Monday in advance of the incoming cold/arctic front. Temps will push to seasonal levels as they reach the upper 40's - mid 60's depending upon elevation, however with clouds building on Monday it will feel a few degrees colder than Sunday. Overnight lows settle into the mid - upper 30's Sunday night under clear skies, but that will not be the case for Monday night as cold air advection brings unseasonably cold temps into the region starting just before midnight.
Scattered showers will start the event late Monday evening and we expect a changeover to snow above 5500' sometime between 7 - 11pm Monday night, taking till the pre dawn hours for the valleys to experience any snow. This frontal passage is not moisture rich but its not exactly starved either and with this in mind the ridgelines closest to the TN line will pick up much more rain/snow than locations closer to the SC state line. A few inches of snow is likely for the favored NW flow locations (think Mt LeConte, Great Balsams, Cataloochee Divide, etc.) while spotty light snow showers and a dusting is the best we can expect for the valleys. This may change but as of late Saturday afternoon the information/data available points to a light snow event. Temps will plummet to the low - mid 20's above 5000' by sunrise Tuesday, while the lower elevations dip to the low - mid 30's.
Tuesday will keep snow showers going along the TN line till the early afternoon hours, while coverage drops off elsewhere sometime around 8 - 10am. Clouds clear Tuesday night and then high pressure moves in, setting up another stretch of dry and colder weather that will last into Friday or Saturday. Temps Tuesday only make it to the mid 20's along the ridgelines and upper 30's for the valleys, with the high likely reached just before sunrise, slowly falling throughout the day and settling into to the low - upper teens just after midnight. Add into the mix breezy conditions out of the NW, with winds gusting to 30 - 40mph Tuesday morning along the ridgelines, while the valleys deal with a steady 10 - 15mph wind speed. All in all, Tuesday into Wednesday will be a brutal shock for most of us and will certainly require us of our heavy winter coats.
Wednesday into late next week features a slow warm-up, from the low 30's - mid 40's Wednesday to the low 40's - mid 50's Friday, each day under sunny skies. Cataloochee Ski Area is likely to begin making snow Monday night and not let off the gas till late Thursday afternoon as temps should remain under the mid 30's the entire time.
Circle back on Veteran's Day (Monday) for a last minute update to the snow forecast, coupled with a SNOWCAST Map coming out Monday mid morning. We'll also have a better handle on late next week and the likely return to seasonal temps.