Boring through Friday; Sunny & Warm
Good afternoon folks! For the most part our SNOWCAST Map verified with a few exceptions. Mt LeConte only picked up 2" and we expected at least 4", possibly 6", but true NW flow never really lined up well with the available moisture before sunset. This instead led to Haywood County being the winner for SW NC, with several sites north of Hwy 74 picking up a light coating of snow, including Cataloochee Ski Area which picked up 2" and also has been making snow since Monday afternoon. Sunshine will dominate the forecast today (Tuesday) through Thursday as an upper level ridge and high pressure move overhead as the week progresses. This upper level ridge will be replaced with an upper level trough by late weekend, producing a cold front passage early Sunday that will bring us rain on Saturday and early Sunday. One of the models is showing a second low developing south of the trough, possibly extending our rain event through the day on Sunday and into early next week. This second system is not a lock but we are having to contend with a partially split forecast for Sunday; drying out or continuing rainfall. Silver lining through all of this will be warmer temps as they push into the low 60's by Thursday, however they will eventually return to normal by Sunday (low 50's).
Sunshine on Wednesday will push temps to the low 40's - mid 50's depending upon elevation, which is a few degrees above normal for December but we'll take it after the blustery day where having today. Overnight lows dip into the mid 20's for the valleys and low - mid 30's for the higher elevations under clear skies, setting up a warm day on Thursday as temps climb to the low 50's - low 60's depending upon elevation under more sunshine. Temps Thursday night settle into the upper 20's - mid 30's with another temperature inversion likely; clear skies overhead.
Sunny skies start the day on Friday and partly - mostly cloudy skies will be filling in as the sun sets across the region, however temps will have another run at the low 50's - low 60's before cooler air arrives. Showers will break out across the during the afternoon hours on Saturday as the front approaches, with regionwide rainfall overnight into Sunday. Showers may dry up Sunday morning or they could enter a brief lull before picking up again later in the day. We'll stop here to give the models more time and circle back on Thursday with a new discussion and more details regarding Sunday.