Saturday - Sunday Snow Breakdown
Good morning folks! This will be a short discussion focusing on the upcoming snowfall Saturday and the models continue to show regionwide snowfall across SW NC, with impactful accumulations across the higher elevations. This is not a lock and we all have been burnt before (early January) but the confidence interval for at least a dusting to an inch across the region is rather high, even for the valleys. There remains several questions that need to be answered for us to increase the totals shown above in the SNOWCAST Map, but as of midday on Friday we feel confident enough to put out this call map. We should mention that we will likely make a second and final adjustment early tomorrow morning (before 9am) based on the next round of model runs today and tonight.
Disclaimers and hype dampening aside, lets focus on the timeline and when travel will be impacted. Precip will begin to move into the mountains around the midday mark and coverage will be isolated at first, quickly ramping up to regionwide coverage by the mid - late afternoon hours. This will be an overrunning event and temps will play a major factor as to whether you experience a mix of sleet and snow or all snow. For now it seems anyone above the 2000' line should experience all wintry precip, while those along the rivers or just off the mountains (GA or SC) may deal with rain trying to mix in with snow, undercutting chances for accumulating snow. If you live above 3000 - 3500' then precip will fall as snow, granted this will be a wet snow event with low ratios but perfect for making a snowman, not so much for driving. We have a higher confidence that the higher elevations across Swain, Macon, and Jackson counties will see accumulations higher than 1" and this confidence begins to erode as we move southwest toward N GA; warm nose develops late. On the flip side, Haywood and Transylvania counties will be the prime spots with 1 - 2" a good bet for the lowest elevations and much higher totals across the higher elevations in those two counties. Snowfall becomes widespread during the evening hours and accumulations should begin or ramp up just after sunset as temps go from the low - mid 30's above 4500' / low - mid 40's in the valleys Saturday afternoon to the mid 20's - low 30's overnight into Sunday. We strongly suggest being off the roads before sunset as travel will go downhill in a hurry once accumulations begin to increase.
This will be a quick hitting event so sunshine is expected to take over by midday Sunday and temps will warm back to the mid 30's - mid 40's depending upon elevation.
We'll stop here and circle back again Saturday early morning to cover any last minute adjustments or explain any changes made to the SNOWCAST Map.