Good evening folks! It's May 7th and we are still talking about snow in the forecast! Yesterday's snowfall was gorgeous with half dollar sized flakes falling close to the TN line, where an official 1" was recorded on Beech Mountain, while we documented a skiff of snow atop Cataloochee Ski Area. We're in for a chilly night tonight with patchy frost possible for the valleys, followed by a frontal passage later in the day Friday that brings us region wide rain and eventually, another round of ridgeline snow. Temps will remain well below normal tomorrow and Saturday, taking till at least Sunday to return to the 60's, however the threat for frost sticks around all the way into Tuesday morning of next week! Tomorrow's rain event will kick over to snow by the evening hours and there is a decent chance for an inch or two of snow across the highest ridgelines along the TN line, with sunshine then taking over Saturday morning. Sunny and chilly conditions dominate the weekend however we're not talking winter-like temps, more like early spring but chilly enough to make you wonder what month it really is; as if the shutdowns and stay at home orders didn't already warp our sense of time. Temps eventually moderate to normal levels by Wednesday of next week, with fair weather expected this weekend all the way into late next week.
We'll kick off the timeline Friday morning with temps in the mid - upper 30's across the region, alongside clouds building from the west. Patchy frost is possible across the valleys and temps will eventually warm to the mid 40's - upper 50's depending upon elevation shortly after midday. Showers arrive by the late morning hours but take till the early afternoon to become scattered, peaking in coverage around 3 - 5pm as the front pushes across the area. Lingering moisture will coincide with dropping temps and its during the evening hours that potential snowfall and accumulations are possible, with precip winding down during the early morning hours; overnight lows dip into the low 20's - low 30's across the region, a hard freeze is likely by sunrise.
Saturday starts off frigid for early May and sunny skies will only be able to push temps to the low 40's - upper 50's depending upon elevation. Climb above 3000' and NW winds will become steady around 10 - 15mph, gusting to 30mph above 4500', making for a very chilly spring day across the high country. Winds should relax a bit Saturday night allowing temps to settle into the upper 20's - low 30's across the region; more frost likely.
Sunday into Tuesday of next week features more sunshine and temps warming to the low 50's - mid 60's Sunday, cooling down slightly on Monday by a degree or two but warming back up to the mid 50's - low 70's by Tuesday. Region wide frost is possible Monday morning (patchy) and the frost threat climbs in elevation Monday and Tuesday nights, with the valleys likely spared as temps settle into the low 40's below 3500'.
We'll stop here and circle back Saturday with a more detailed look on the gradually warming trend early next week, that could result in temps near 80°F by next Thursday or Friday!