Sunny Weekend; Low 50's Sunday Afternoon
Good morning folks! We'll start off with a round of notable stats. Our SNOWCAST Map fell short across the board by roughly an inch but we're not complaining as it resulted in everyone across SW NC receiving a White Christmas. After a start in the single digits for many (-1.1°F at Mt Lyn Lowry, 6037') we'll see minor snowmelt occur today (Saturday) and it'll really ramp up on Sunday as temps inch a few degrees above normal for late December. Highlands is a few inches shy of the annual state rainfall record (139.94") and could make a run this week at breaking the record if we can squeeze in the heavy rain event before midnight on December 31st; timing is likely to change leading up to the event.
This weekend starts out cold but gradually warms up, with sunny skies overhead both days. Temps warm to the low 30's - mid 40's depending upon elevation this afternoon alongside strong (15 - 30mph) westerly winds across the higher elevations. Tonight wind speeds drop off for the valleys while the higher elevations maintain wind speeds around 10 - 20mph, setting the stage for a temperature inversion with temps in the upper teens for the valleys, while the ridgelines sit in the upper 20's - low 30s; all under clear skies. Southerly flow takes over on Sunday and temps respond, pushing to the mid 40's - mid 50's depending upon elevation, which is a handful of degrees above normal for late December. High clouds move in late Sunday night ahead of an approaching cold front that will only produce light snow showers along the TN line before noon on Monday; temps dip into the upper 20's - mid 30's depending upon elevation.
We start off the week with passing high clouds and some light precip along the TN line and nearby ridgelines, with highs on Monday reaching the upper 30's - low 50's depending upon elevation. High clouds slowly clear out Monday evening and temps dip into the low - upper 20's overnight into Tuesday.
Tuesday and Wednesday look pleasant enough for late December with temps warming to the low 40's - low 50's Tuesday under sunny skies, cooling down a degree or two on Wednesday to the low - upper 40's on Wednesday as clouds increase across the region.
This uptick in cloud cover is a precursor to our next big event, which looks a bit similar to the Christmas Eve - Christmas Day event, but without as much snow potential on the backend. Since we are still 5 - 6 days out from the event, we'll only touch on the highlights as this is likely to change, especially the timeline. We'll experience another moderate - heavy rain event with several inches of rain likely Wednesday into Thursday and as the main system departs, NW flow will take over and allow snow to fall across the favored NW flow snow locations. Next weekend should be sunny but this could change if the system lingers across the region longer than expected. We'll stop here and provide much more detail Monday mid morning when our next discussion is posted.