Light Snow & Sunshine this Weekend
Saturday (12/5) Update:
Good afternoon folks! Thank for you the extra time regarding the possible snow event Sunday night into Monday evening. As of Saturday afternoon the models are trending in a direction that favors snow across SW NC late Sunday night into Monday evening and rates and amounts remain on the lower end, however there also exist a chance that higher amounts occur across our higher elevations. This is due to the overall setup, with light moisture overrunning already in place cold air/ (coupled with wet-bulbing), followed by a NW flow snow event for the TN line later Monday night. The setup is not a lock and could change, which is why we are going with a dumbed down version of the SNOWCAST Map, not providing actual numbers till closer to noon on Sunday. Past Monday the forecast remains the same with sunny skies overhead Tuesday into Friday, with temps warming from the mid - upper 40's Tuesday to the upper 50's Friday.
Not to be completely dismissive regarding snow totals, if you are located in the Lighter Accumulations area, a dusting to an inch is likely by the late afternoon hours on Monday, while the Moderate Accumulations area could see up to 1 - 3" with isolated higher amounts above 5500'. Again, this forecast is very fluid and we will post another full length discussion tomorrow mid morning with an updated SNOWCAST Map to match the latest adjustments.
Timeline: a round of light snow occurs early in the day Monday and then a lull takes place with coverage scaling back to the TN line, only to rebound to most of WNC during the mid - late afternoon hours, fizzling out overnight into Tuesday as flurries along the TN line.
Check back in Sunday morning for more details!
Friday 12/4 (original discussion):
Good afternoon folks! Rain is falling across the area at this time and we'll see a switch to snow later tonight as NW flow brings ushers in colder air, however this will be a light event, mainly impacting the TN line. We'll end up with sunny skies this weekend and we are still eyeing a possible rain to snow event Sunday night into Monday. This early week event is not set in stone and highly dependent upon a few factors that have yet to occur, but the models are pointing to a setup that could bring us either a light - moderate snowfall across all of SW NC or a NW flow only event that looks slightly stronger compared to the event later tonight. It's frustrating I know to not have any tangible details roughly 48 - 72 hours from an event, but this setup relies upon a number of things falling into place and we won't know more till tomorrow; we'll do a short update late Saturday afternoon to fill in the gaps. After the event Monday we'll return to a dry setup that brings us sunny skies Tuesday into Friday of next week, with temps a handful of degrees below normal Monday, warming to 8 - 10 degrees above normal by next Friday; sub freezing lows each night under clear skies.
We'll pick up an inch of rain across all of SW NC today into the pre dawn hours on Saturday, with higher amounts closer to 2" along the escarpment. This is likely to push Highlands past the 130" milestone and although it already broke its own annual rainfall record, this is still an astonishing feat and only 8 - 9" away from the NC state record. Temps tonight dip into the mid 20's - mid 30's depending upon elevation and rain will kick over to snow as we transition into a NW flow setup after midnight. The Smokies along the TN line will pick up 2 - 4" of snow, Cataloochee Ski Area around an inch and a dusting is possible in the lower valleys nearby; flurries for everyone else. Wind speeds out of the SW around 15 - 25mph today and this evening turn out of the NW later tonight and remain blustery, with gust up to 35mph above 4000' into the afternoon hours on Saturday.
Sunshine Saturday and Sunday will not do much to alleviate temps but only Saturday is looking chilly with temps reaching the mid 30's - upper 40's depending upon elevation. Winds calm down overnight into Sunday and with clear skies overhead the valleys dip into the low - mid 20's, while the ridgelines hold to the upper 20's - mid 30's. Temps reach the low 40's - mid 50's on Sunday and settle into the upper 20's - mid 30's overnight into Monday, under increasing clouds and possible pre dawn snowfall.
We'll pull back on the details for now but scattered snow showers are the most likely scenario for Monday and we should know much more by this time tomorrow. Either way plan for a chilly and snowy start to the work and school week, with minimal impacts/accumulations expected at this time. Temps reach the low 30's - mid 40's on Monday and gradually warm to the upper 50's across the lower elevations by late next week.
Stay dry out there and check back in Saturday afternoon!