Good afternoon folks! We certainly didn't hit the nail on the head with the snowfall this morning, but it wasn't a swing and miss either, we simply botched the timing of the event and could have gone into more detail pertaining to location. Regardless, the event seemed to affect the southern portions of Macon, Jackson and Haywood counties, although areas near and along the TN line also picked up accumulating snow; heck, even Brevard and Hendersonville got in on the action with an inch! As of the early afternoon hours, the highest total for our region is out of Highlands with 2.2"; this was the official report to the NWS, however some pictures make us wonder if they eclipsed the 3" mark.
Excuses aside, let's take a look at the remainder of the day and overnight hours. Precip is winding down as we speak and all of SW NC, minus the TN line will be dry tonight, while flurries pepper the TN line. Temps dip into the low - mid 30's and with moisture still quite high across the area, it will be a chilly night; clouds linger in SW flow.
Saturday kicks off the weekend but the weather will not be inviting as we deal with a passing upper level low that is tied to the coastal low pressure system riding along the eastern seaboard. This will fire up snow showers for the TN line and nearby ridgelines Saturday morning, with snow levels starting out around 5000', eventually falling to the 3000' - 3500' line by the mid afternoon hours. We expect another 1 - 3" for the ridgelines, in particular the Smokies as this will be a NW flow favored event and a dusting of snow is possible across the mountain gaps such as Soco, Cowee, and Balsam. Temps will reach near normal levels as they warm to the mid - upper 30's above 5000', while the majority of us experience temps in the upper 40's across the valleys. Overnight lows dip into the upper 20's - mid 30's depending upon elevation, with clearing skies south of Bryson City, Sylva, and Waynesville; flurries continue till about midnight for the TN line.
Sunny skies setup shop Sunday and hang around through Monday, with NW winds around 30mph above 4500' Sunday, leveling off to 10 - 15mph across the valleys. Winds calm down Monday but even with a windy day on tap for Sunday, temps will warm past normal levels reaching the mid 40's - upper 50's depending upon elevation! Temps peak for the week on Monday as they soar to the low 50's along the ridgelines and mid - upper 60's across the lower elevations!
Showers return Tuesday and heavy rain is likely to setup shop for several days from Wednesday into Friday. We need to mention that past Tuesday the modeling begins to split and our confidence drops, but the overall setup should leave to heavy rain, the main questions are how much, when and is there a chance for snow on the back-end of the system, which may occur sometime Friday. We'll circle back Sunday morning and focus on the upcoming heavy rain event, with a touch more detail regarding the possibility for snow late next week.