Ridgeline Snow; Perfect Sun - Tues
Good morning folks! Its currently (10am) snowing across the highest ridgelines above 5500', with a dusting already reported from Mt Mitchell from Evan Fisher, who is worth a follow on Twitter, FB, or Instagram. Today (Saturday) will be a less than ideal day as cloudy skies and light scattered showers pepper the region through at least the mid afternoon hours, fizzling out and scaling back to the TN line by sunrise on Sunday. The highest elevations above 5500' should pick up a light dusting of snow before the day is done, so head on up to the Parkway to catch this season's second round of snow (1st flakes of the season occurred Thursday afternoon). After a damp and chilly Saturday we'll be treated to a sunny Sunday with temps near normal for Halloween and the overnight forecast looks perfect for those heading out to trick or treat, with clear skies and chilly temps. Sunshine spills over into Monday and Tuesday as high pressure sits overhead, possibly extending into Wednesday as well, however the modeling becomes a bit fuzzy starting Wednesday afternoon. Some of the models bring an upper level low to the region Thursday into Friday, while others an upper trough with a series of disturbances. Both scenarios set the table for a late week snow event across the typical NW flow locations (TN line, Cataloochee Divide, Unicoi Mountains, Great Balsams, etc.), while the valleys deal with a chilly setup as temps may never leave the 40's! We'll only mention the possibility for snow as of today, waiting till our next discussion on Monday to dive into the details.
The timeline starts on Sunday as we wrap up the month of October under sunny skies, with breezy conditions out of the NW throughout the day (5 - 15mph, gusting to 30mph above 4000'). Temps warm to the upper 40's above 5000', while the valleys hold to the low - mid 50's, which is roughly 8 - 10 degrees below normal for Halloween (in the valleys). Overnight lows bottom out to the low - upper 30's under clear skies with winds dying down a touch for the valleys, while the higher elevations above 3500' hold to a 5 - 10mph NW breeze. This will allow the valleys to generate frost while the ridgelines struggle to due to steady wind throughout the night.
Monday and Tuesday are picture perfect, literally, as we enter Peak Week across SW NC, with sunshine overhead and fall colors peaking between 3000 - 4000'; moderate colors along the valley floor. This should be the last week for peak color for most of the area, although we still expect color to linger into the second week of November across the valley floor. Temps Monday reach the low 50's - mid 60's, which is as normal as you can get for early November, dropping to the upper 40's - low 60's Tuesday (depending upon elevation). Overnight lows settle into the low - upper 30's each night under clear skies.
Confidence begins to wane starting Wednesday but we should start the day sunny, with clouds building as the day moves along, likely ending the day with mostly cloudy skies. Temps manage to reach the mid 40's - upper 50's, so another chilly day is in store and prepare for a cold end to the work and school week, with highs only reaching the upper 40's - low 50's Thursday and Friday. There is a chance for NW flow snow Thur/Fri but again, we are not entirely sold on the setup and will wait till Monday morning to go all in or discuss why the forecast has changed; its our unofficial rule to wait a few days before an ULL arrives before discussing details.