Light Snow & Rain Sunday; Sunny Monday
Good morning folks! It's a chilly day across SW NC with temps only making it to the low - mid 30's above 4000', while the valleys push into mid 40's. We'll experience another temperature inversion tonight with the valleys dipping to the low - mid 20's, while the ridgelines hold to the upper 20's - low 30's as decent radiational cooling occurs. The forecast for Saturday has changed slightly with the addition of high clouds after midday, increasing during the evening hours, capped off with a round of light snow after midnight. This round will be very light but could result in a dusting across portions of the region, but not enough to produce a SNOWCAST Map. Sunday features mostly cloudy skies with periods of light rain after midday after temps warmup and coverage will be isolated so this will not be a washout but it will be a somewhat dreary day. A second round of light snow is possible Sunday night for the higher elevations, but this will again be a very light event. Monday through Wednesday are shaping up to be sunny, warmer days as upper level ridging briefly takes hold across the region, giving way to a late week cold front, coupled with a deep, cold airmass that could bring us a round of wintry precip on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For those jumping on the hype train for Christmas snow, we caution putting much stock into any forecast this far out in time, especially a setup that hinges on perfect timing for many of us to experience snow. If the forecast still calls for snow by Monday or Tuesday then lets get excited, but for now we are mentioning it and will hold off on details till our next discussion on Sunday.
Saturday will be a pleasant day to be outside, even with high clouds moving in and capping temps to the upper 30's - low 50's depending upon elevation. Light precip will begin to break out across the region after midnight and coverage will be isolated - scattered, with precip scaling back to isolated by midday on Sunday. If you live above 3000' there is a chance for a light coating of snow (trace - dusting) during the pre dawn hours, but even this chance is small and we wouldn't alter any plans because of these chances. Temps Saturday night settle into the upper 20's - low 30's across the region and rebound to the upper 30's - low 50's on Sunday, with a cold rain possible at times under mostly cloudy skies. A second round of precip is possible Sunday night and this looks even smaller than the first, with a chance for snow across the higher elevations along the TN line; a cold rain for the rest of us. Temps Sunday night dip into the low - upper 30's depending upon elevation.
Monday through Wednesday look ideal for late December with afternoon high temps hitting the low - mid 50's across the valleys under mostly sunny skies, followed by overnight lows in the low - mid 30's each night (for the valleys).
An upper level trough will bring us a cold snap later next week, setting the stage for a frigid Christmas Day but this colder air may be chasing the moisture and this is what gives us pause for snow potential on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. A NW flow event is possible on the backend, but again, this is not set in stone. If we had to give a chance for snow on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, its around a 20 - 30% at this point and we encourage everyone to be patient and wait till early next week to let the models hone in on more details.
The next discussion will be posted late Sunday morning.