Ridgeline Snow Early Monday; Sunny Tuesday
Good afternoon folks! I am slightly delayed in releasing this discussion, but as of the late afternoon hours on Saturday, the rain is just now beginning to move into the region. Showers will slowly propagate eastward and peak after midnight, with most of the region coming close to the 1" mark. A second cold front sweeps the region late Sunday evening and strong winds and spotty showers accompany the front, with rain kicking over to snow Sunday night. NW flow will develop in the front's wake and at the same time moisture will increase, resulting in scattered snow showers around sunrise Monday, accumulating along the TN line and nearby ridgelines. This will be a typical, but strong NW flow event, so the valleys will experience spotty snow showers while the ridgelines deal with strong winds and accumulating snow. This all winds down late Monday afternoon and a sunny setup moves in for Tuesday, hanging around through Thursday. Temps will be well below normal Monday, taking till the end of the week to return to normal levels.
Sunday features showers winding down during the morning hours, with a second round of rain returning later that evening. In between, clouds will give way to sunshine and temps will peak early, hitting the upper 40's - low 60's depending upon elevation, with a noticeable drop in temps just before sunset as cold air advection begins. At the same time, NW winds will ramp up to 20 - 30mph along the ridgelines, gusting to 45 - 55mph overnight into Monday, while the valleys experience wind speeds around 10 - 20mph. Overnight lows plummet to the mid 20's - low 30's, allowing any rain during the evening hours to kick over to snow above 4000' before midnight.
Any lingering rain will transition to snow across all of SW NC before sunrise on Monday, however accumulating snowfall looks to remain along the TN line and across nearby ridgelines. The favored NW flow locations will cash in, with Mt LeConte likely to pick up around 6 - 8", while Cataloochee Ski Area and the Great Balsams scrape together anywhere from 1- 3". Peak coverage and intensity should occur between 6 - 10am, with snow shower coverage waning back to just the TN line by the early afternoon hours and stopping all together just before sunset. Temps and strong NW winds across all of SW NC will make for a miserable day, regardless of whether or not you experience snow, as temps struggle to reach the upper 20's above 5000', climbing to the low 40's in the valleys; NW winds remain strong around 10 - 30mph. Overnight lows settle into the low - upper 20's under clearing skies.
Tuesday through Thursday will be sunny, although Tuesday night will feature passing clouds as a weak disturbance passes through the region. Temps go from the mid 30's - upper 40's Tuesday to the low 40's - mid 50's Thursday. Rain could possibly return by Friday, more on that in our next discussion which will come out Monday afternoon.