Ridgeline Snow Thursday; Dry this Wknd
Good morning folks! The forecast busted Tuesday morning with a line of moderate showers pushing through the region, which is another reminder that SW NC should generally lean towards precip when the models and other outlets forecast no rain; never stop learning. We are still a go for high elevation snow later tonight into Thursday morning but the timeline has shifted somewhat, with precip coming to end sooner than previously discussed, ending sometime around noon on Thursday as opposed to later that night. This does not mean Thursday will be warmer as we still expect a raw, chilly day across the region as cold air damming tries it's best to push over the Great Balsams. Friday features a mix of sun and high clouds, but the cold air damming/wedge setup does not look strong enough to fully infiltrate SW NC so we are leaning toward more sun than clouds being overhead. A disturbance swings nearby Friday evening and a light shower or two is possible; all the other outlets only mention an uptick in cloud cover, but we are leaning toward a slight rain chance after Tuesday's reminder/bust. High pressure battles a developing wave of low pressure Saturday along the SE coastline, but we should be far enough west to only see an uptick in cloud cover for a few hours, so a dry forecast continues for Saturday. Sunshine takes over Sunday and we'll enjoy a stretch of dry, sunny weather Sunday into Tuesday, with temps moderating to the upper 60's - low 70's by the middle of next week; a handful of degrees above normal. We will not produce a SNOWCAST map for this light snow event, mainly because it only affects the highest ridgelines above 5000', with an inch or two possible, however snow is possible as far down as 3000' closer to midnight; no accumulations expected below 4500'.
Kicking off the timeline Wednesday evening as this is when the precip fully begins to saturate the column, after falling into a dry airmass most of the day Wednesday. It's likely snow will begin to fall as soon as the mid - late afternoon hours for the highest peaks in the Smokies and Great Balsams, but accumulating snowfall will have to wait till the evening hours. Temps tonight will settle into the low - upper 30's, with the higher elevations above 5000' locking in a freezing wetbulb temp sometime around 5 - 7pm, allowing any precip that falls to be all snow, while the snow line gradually/painfully works its way down to 3000 - 3500' overnight. This means places like Highlands, Cashiers, Cowee Gap, Soco Gap, Balsam Gap, Utah Mountain and so on will see some flakes fly as you wake up Thursday morning, but not enough for anything to stick. Elsewhere across SW NC a cold rain will fall and continue into the morning hours on Thursday. 1 - 2" of snow is likely above 5000', favoring the Great Balsams and Smokies, with the Cowee, Snowbird, and Unicoi Mountains struggling to collect an inch.
Precip comes to an end around mid - late Thursday morning, however northwest flow will keep temps well below normal as they struggle to reach the upper 30's - upper 40's depending upon elevation. Think of tomorrow as being a raw, damp, and chilly day so dress to block the moist wind that tends to cut through sweatshirts and double layers, instead opting for a windbreak like a rain jacket or light jacket. Cloudy skies linger most of the day and spill over into the evening hours, with overnight lows settling into the upper 20's - mid 30's.
Friday will hold onto high clouds for several hours during the morning but sunshine should take over, followed by a slight uptick in cloud cover overnight into Saturday. A light shower or two is possible Friday evening but nothing that should keep folks from being outside if you have plans. Temps Friday warm to the mid 40's - mid 50's with a steady easterly wind around 5 - 10mph. Overnight lows settle into the upper 20's - mid 30's once again under a gradual decrease in cloud cover as we approach sunrise.
Saturday is not set in stone and may change but as of today the developing wave along the SE coast will be far enough to our east to only bring high clouds across the region for a few hours. The Upstate might see a few light showers and coverage increases as one heads toward the coast. Temps Saturday push into the upper 40's around 5500', while the valleys warm to the upper 50's - low 60's. If clear skies occur Saturday night its likely the valleys will be colder than the ridgelines, dipping into the mid 20's, while the ridgelines above 4500' settle into the low 30's.
Sunday through Tuesday features sunny skies as an upper level ridge influences the weather across the Southeast, allowing temps to warm from the upper 40's - low 60's Sunday to the upper 50's - low 70's Tuesday! Normal high for the valleys around November 9 - 11th is 62°F.
We'll stop here and circle back Friday mid morning, focusing on the upcoming stretch of dry weather and when temps may cool back down to normal. ENJOY!