NW Flow Snow Monday; COLD Tuesday
Good afternoon folks! The NW flow event is underway with snow falling above 3000' as of the early afternoon hours on Monday. We'll continue to see snow levels drop into the valleys this afternoon and coverage and intensities will peak this evening, taking most of the night to gradually scale back to the TN line. The Smokies will cash in with this event, with totals anywhere from 8 - 12" along the spine of the TN line and numerous locations nearby will pick up 3 - 6", while the remainder of the area experiences typical NW flow snow coverage (less as one moves away from the TN line). NW flow will continue overnight into Tuesday and even with sunshine overhead tomorrow temps will run 15 - 18 degrees below normal for early December! The upper level finally ejects late Tuesday and high pressure coupled with an upper level ridge will bring normal temps back to the region for Wednesday and Thursday, followed by afternoon highs a few degrees cooler on Friday and Saturday. The models are beginning to hone in on the late week disturbance but are still struggling with what happens this upcoming weekend, but we can worry about that another day. For now we are going with a disturbance bringing us rain and high elevation snow late Thursday night through Saturday morning, possibly followed by another round of elevation dependent rain/snow Sunday into next week. We do not recommend changing travel plans but keep in mind the likelihood for wintry precip across the higher elevations Friday into Saturday.
Most of the region will experience a burst of snow this evening as the best setup moves across the region and the NWS even mentioned the possibility for snow squalls, which have the potential to lay down accumulating snow very quickly, likely giving one location accumulating snow and a nearby location nothing. After the burst of snow this evening coverage will be slow to scale back to the TN line and we'll refer you to the SNOWCAST Map on the home page for accumulations at your location, but for the most part we expect warning level snowfall along the TN line, scaling back to flurries across the SC line. NW winds will remain steady tonight around 10 - 20mph, with gust up to 40mph above 4500' and temps will drop into the low teens - low 20's depending upon elevation. Snowmaking is underway at Cataloochee Ski Area and they'll be able to make snow today through midday Wednesday.
Tuesday will be blustery and cold with sunshine overhead by midday. Temps only reach the low 20's above 4500', while the valleys reach the low 30's, alongside NW winds around 10 - 15mph throughout the day. NW winds eventually wind down overnight into Wednesday and temps will respond to ideal radiational cooling conditions, bottoming out to the low - upper teens across the region.
Wednesday and Thursday both bring temps into the low - mid 50's for the valleys which is right around normal for early December. Sunny skies play out on Wednesday, while clouds increase after midday on Thursday. The models show precip developing as early as Thursday evening but the bulk of the action should occur Friday into Saturday morning, with high elevation snow (4500' +) a possibility. Temps Friday and Saturday will be held to the upper 40's - low 50's along the valley floor, while the ridgelines struggle to climb out of the mid - upper 30's.
We'll stop here and circle back on Wednesday with more details about Friday and Saturday and possibly a sneak peek into the late weekend event as well. ENJOY the SNOW!