Good morning folks! Many of us woke up to snow falling, on the ground or both and although we called for snow to fall with light accumulations on the ridgelines, we did not expect the numerous reports of a light dusting up to a half inch; heck, even Highlands had accumulating snow! The snow is over as of the mid morning hours and we will be dealing with a cold yet sunny day, with a blustery setup that will make it feel much colder than what we see on the thermometer. Moisture moves back into the region early Friday morning, with light snow once again falling across the area. We only expect light accumulations for the favored NW flow locations, however another trace to a skiff of snow is possible for the valleys. Sunshine returns Saturday and it'll take till Sunday for temps to return to normal levels, with rain making a return on Monday. Temps next week will hit spring time levels as most of us enjoy afternoon highs in the 60's, but we'll also deal with several rounds of rain Monday through Wednesday.
We'll star out the forecast timeline with Friday morning, where enough moisture should be present across the region for light snow to be falling across the TN line and nearby ridgelines. Coverage will be similar to last night where scattered snow showers crossed the region, allowing for a hit and miss experience related to snow falling and/or accumulating. We are going with an inch or two in places like Cataloochee Ski Area, Soco Gap and the Great Balsams, while the Smokies along the TN line could see up to 2 - 4". Elsewhere across SW NC a light dusting of snow is possible and it's difficult to say exactly where this could occur, but your chances are higher for a light dusting the closer you are to the TN line. Temps Friday will hold to the mid 20's - low 40's across the region, coupled with westerly winds around 15mph, gusting to 30 - 40mph at times. Light snow will continue to fall overnight into Saturday and coverage will begin to scale back during the pre dawn hours, with all snow wrapping up by the mid morning hours on Saturday. Temps will dip into the low teens above 5500', while the valleys settle into the mid - upper 20's; windy conditions continue.
Saturday brings an end to the snow as sunny skies take over, however windy conditions will persist through most of the day with gust up to 40mph across the highest ridgelines. Temps will be very similar to Friday, only reaching the upper 20's - low 40's depending upon elevation, falling to the low - upper 20's overnight under clear skies.
Sunday looks gorgeous for late February with more sunshine overhead and temps warming to the low - mid 40's above 4500', while the valleys come close to the upper 50's. Moisture is slow to return to the region, but an uptick in cloud cover overnight into Monday will signal its return, capping temps to the mid - upper 30's across the region.
Monday features a passing cold front and we'll deal with another disturbance Wednesday, both of which will bring us region wide rainfall. The Wednesday event could feature heavy rainfall but this is not a lock this far out in time. Temps will warm to the mid 40's - upper 50's Monday and continue to climb Tuesday and Wednesday, reaching the low 50's - mid 60's by Wednesday! Not to forget Tuesday, the rain that moves in Monday will be scattered but coverage should become widespread early Tuesday morning, followed by a lull Tuesday night and picking back up on Wednesday to widespread coverage.
We'll stop here and circle back late Sunday evening with more details in regard to the upcoming warm-up and periods of rain Monday through Wednesday.