High Elevation Snow Friday

January 21, 2020

Good afternoon folks! We sure did drop the ball with the snow that fell yesterday morning into today, with the bulk of the action in Haywood County where several valley towns saw a dusting up to an inch and more as you moved closer to the TN line. Putting this forecasting mishap behind us, we'll focus on Wednesday into the weekend. Dry weather will continue into Wednesday and temps moderate a bit, followed by building clouds on Thursday and a frontal passage Friday morning. This front will bring us a round of snow and rain across the region, with minor accumulations for the higher elevations. The weekend starts out with more clouds than sun and lingering snowfall for the TN line, which may extend into Sunday but we are not expecting a significant event, more of the passing snow shower variety. Sunday keeps passing clouds overhead and cloud cover should clear out as we head into next week. 

 

Wednesday will be a welcome change as temps warm slightly to the upper 30's along the ridgelines, to near 50°F in the valleys, all under sunny skies. Temps will settle into the low - mid 20's for the valleys, while the ridgelines hold to the upper 20's due to radiational cooling, as clouds will hold off till the pre dawn hours on Thursday. 

 

Thursday will be another quiet day, with clouds slowly building as the day moves along but temps will return to the low 40's across the higher elevations (above 4000'), while the valleys push into the low 50's. Cloud cover thickens Thursday night and caps temps to the low - upper 30's across the region and isolated showers are likely after midnight. With the dry and somewhat cold air mass in place, we expect snow to fall above 4000' Thursday night for those that experience isolated showers, while the valleys get stuck with a cold rain (once again). 

 

Precip coverage increases as the morning moves along on Friday, with snow continuing above 4000' but warm air will advect into the region, causing a wintry mix between 3 - 4k feet in elevation; a wet snow above 5500'. There will be a window of time, perhaps during the early afternoon hours that all rain will fall no matter the elevation, however as the front pushes through during the early afternoon hours, colder air will wrap back into the region, kicking rain over to snow above 4500', sometime between 4 - 6pm; again, all rain for the valley. Temps Friday will not be pleasant as they only make it to the upper 30's - mid 40's depending upon elevation. Overnight lows will fall to the mid 20's - low 30's and NW winds pick up to 10 - 20mph, with a few flakes possible across the valley, but nothing to get excited about; minus the TN line, precip ends before midnight. 

 

Light snow continues into Saturday for the TN line, while the rest of SW NC experiences the an all too familar setup from a NW flow snow event, meaning areas south and east of Bryson City to Waynesville will experience more sun than clouds. Light accumulations are possible along the TN line Saturday morning, with a dusting possible for Cataloochee Ski Area (after an inch or two falls Friday into Friday night). Temps Saturday return to early week levels, only reaching the upper 20's - low 40's depending upon elevation. 

 

We'll warm up by a degree or two for Sunday under passing high clouds, with full sunshine returning on Monday. Our next discussion will come out Thursday and focus on the frontal passage and possible snow totals for specific locations. Enjoy the slight warmup on Wednesday and Thursday. 

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