60's Tues & Wed; Wintry Mix Fri AM
Good morning folks! The wintry weather played out as expected for most of the area, with a light glaze occurring along the Southern Highlands Plateau, prompting Jackson County schools to do a 2.5 hour delay for the Blue Ridge district. We should have stuck to our guns with our original 1 - 2" of snow for the highest elevations, because that is exactly how much has fallen for elevations above 5000', with Cataloochee Ski Area reporting just under 1" as of 11:15am, while other high elevation webcams show at least one inch on the ground. Goes to show how tough these forecasts can be when temps are so marginal (0.5° - 1° difference between rain, freezing rain, sleet and wet snow).
Looking ahead we expect precip to wind down by the early - mid afternoon hours today, followed by clouds clearing the region by the early - mid afternoon hours, and temps holding to the upper 30's - upper 40's across the region. Clear skies tonight will bring temps down into the mid - upper 20's across SW NC.
Tuesday and Wednesday will hands down be our best weather days this week and next, with sunshine overhead both days and temps warming to the low 60's Tuesday, climbing to the upper 60's Wednesday (lower elevations). Normal high temps for late February are in the low - mid 50's across the valleys (depending upon location), so this warm-up is certainly welcomed, however it will be short lived as showers and cooler weather return by the end of this week. Overnight lows settle into the upper 20's - upper 30's Tuesday night, warming to the low - upper 30's Wednesday night, both under mostly clear skies.
Fair weather extends into Thursday as a cold front swings across the region, however this front should be moisture starved and only produce high clouds at times. With this in mind, we'll start the day under mostly sunny skies and likely finish the day under high clouds, increasing overnight into Friday. Temps may not be as warm as Tuesday and Wednesday but they'll be plenty comfortable as they push into the mid 40's - upper 50's across the region. Clouds fill in Thursday night ahead a wave of moisture that is expected to swing through Friday morning and temps will bottom out to the upper 20's - mid 30's depending upon elevation.
Much like this morning we expect Friday morning to feature a cold rain in the valleys, while a wintry mix plays out across the higher elevations. Accumulations of sleet and snow are likely above 4500' and we'll hold off till our next discussion on Wednesday to go into any details. Temps will be noticeably colder Friday, only reaching the mid 30's - mid 40's depending upon elevation.
Taking a peak at the weekend it seems we'll continue to deal with spotty showers and a cold rain for most of the region and the models hint at a possible heavy round of rain Sunday into Monday, but again, we'll hold off till we circle back Wednesday morning.