Quiet Wed & Thur; Gloomy Friday
Good afternoon folks! It's a blustery, snowy day for a portion of the region while the majority is simply dealing with below normal temps, passing clouds, and strong winds. Snow totals are lining up with our SNOWCAST map for the most part, with the highest out of Yancey county along the TN line at 15", however Mt LeConte is reporting 12" with snow continuing to fall and another 2 - 4" are likely when its all said and done. Elsewhere, Madison county picked up quite a bit with numerous 5 - 8" reports from the northern section of the county and Haywood county also did quite well with numerous 3 - 5" totals in the northern section, down to 1 - 2" in the central part of the county. Closer to home we saw a dusting - 1" in many valley towns usually left out in typical NW flows, with Bryson City, Highlands, and higher elevation locations in Andrews and Franklin all picking up 1". The usual suspects like Balsam and Maggie Valley were left high and dry with totals less than 1".
Putting the snow behind us, we should mention the strong winds across the region today through tomorrow morning. NW winds around 15 - 25mph will be the norm for most of the lower elevations, while the higher elevations above 3500' experience wind speeds around 20 - 35mph, gusting to 50mph above 5000'. Temps today will only make it to the upper teens - low 30's depending upon elevation, plummeting to the low - upper teens tonight under clearing skies. As strong NW winds continue throughout the night, wind chill values above 3500' will drop to the -5°F - 0°F range.
Wind speeds relax Wednesday morning and sunshine will rule the day, however temps only warm to the upper 20's - mid 40's depending upon elevation, which is a few degrees shy of normal. Overnight lows drop to the mid teens - low 20's across the region under mostly clear skies.
Thursday features SW flow across the region and with the change in flow we will watch temps warm to the upper 30's - low 50's, even as clouds build throughout the day. A frontal system sweeps the region Friday but beforehand we will experience showers beginning Thursday evening, continuing into the morning hours on Friday. Overnight lows settle into the low - upper 30's, allowing snow to fall above 4500' for an hour or two Thursday evening before kicking over to all rain by the pre dawn hours.
Friday looks gloomy with high temps reaching the upper 30's - upper 40's depending upon elevation, alongside a cold rain into the early - mid afternoon hours. Most of SW NC will pick up 0.75" of rain from Thursday evening into Friday afternoon, with 1 - 1.5" possible across the Snowbird, Cheoah, and Cowee Mountains. On the backside of the front Friday evening rain will kick over to snow for the higher elevations and we do not expect any accumulations outside of a dusting - 1". Temps Friday night dip into the low - upper 20's with precip ending by midnight and clouds clearing by sunrise.
Saturday should be dry but there is a slight chance for rain before sunset. For a majority of the day we'll deal with a mixed bag of sun and clouds and temps rising to the upper 30's - upper 40's. A quick hitting round of rain/snow is possible Saturday night but this is not a lock as models struggle with the weekend setup, mainly the upcoming cold snap and how cold it will be Sunday into Monday. We will not throw out exact numbers just yet but this is likely to be our coldest snap of the season and regionwide single digits are possible Sunday and Monday nights.
We'll post a new discussion Thursday morning with much more detail regarding the Friday rainfall and upcoming cold snap.