Turkey Night Snow; Chilly Fri - Sun
Good afternoon folks! Its a chilly day across the landscape as temps struggle to reach the upper 40's - low 50's this afternoon (Tuesday). High pressure will continue to slide east as the day moves along, easing wind speeds across the region and setting the stage for radiational cooling tonight and a temperature inversion by sunrise Wednesday. Southwesterly flow and a building upper level ridge will lead to more sunshine on Wednesday and temps moderating to the upper 50's across the lower elevations. We'll start Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) with sunshine and mostly cloudy skies are likely before sunset, followed by a quick hitting round of light rain and snow (depending upon elevation) Thursday night. This snow event will be minimal but the snow levels will drop to 3000 - 3500' rather quickly Thursday night, allowing a skiff of snow to occur in locations that have not seen any accumulations this winter. A post frontal setup occurs Friday but cold air advection will bring temps back down to levels we are experiencing today (upper 40's - low 50's), under sunny skies. Fair weather continues into the holiday weekend but temps remain below normal all weekend, extending into early next week, with a chance for precip (rain/snow) sometime Mon - Tues; low confidence due to uncertainty around upper level trough disturbances. Looking further into December, it seems temps will push to above normal levels, so enjoy this short lived cold spell before we start putting the heavy jackets back on the rack.
Timeline starts on Wednesday and overnight lows will be frigid across the region, as low as 17 - 19°F in the valleys, while the ridgelines hold to the upper 20's - low 30's, especially across the Plateau as it will be the first area to experience southwest flow and warm air advection. Sunshine dominates the forecast on one of (if not the) busiest travel day of the year, so no travel worries if you are moving around the Carolinas. Temps warm to the upper 50's across the valleys, while the higher elevations above 4000' hold to the upper 40's. Overnight lows settle into the low - mid 20's in the valleys and ridgelines hold to the low - mid 30's as we experience yet another temperature inversion Wednesday night; mostly clear skies.
Thanksgiving Day will be quiet as temps peak to the low - mid 60's across the lower elevations, however a frontal passage occurs Thursday night and clouds are likely to begin building across the region as soon as the early - mid afternoon hours. Most of SW NC will pick up a tenth to a quarter inch of rain, more so for the lower elevations as temps bottom out to the low - mid 30's, while the higher elevations above 3500' dip into the mid- upper 20's. This will allow rain to changeover to snow quickly but there will not be much moisture with this front, so a skiff of snow is likely all we can manage, perhaps an inch above 5000' where its likely to be below freezing during the entire 6 - 8 hour window when precip is falling.
Clouds and precip will be off to our east before the sun rises Friday and NW flow will takeover, leading to a similar setup like we are experiencing today; blustery (10 - 20mph westerly winds) with temps in the low 30's above 4500' and upper 40's within the valleys. Overnight lows bottom out to the low - upper 20's under mostly clear skies.
Saturday and Sunday keep sunny skies overhead, however confidence is not great after Saturday night as we are unsure how many or when disturbances will reach our region. With this in mind, take Sunday through Tuesday with a grain of salt but the one parameter that does seem like a lock is below normal temps, as most valley locations struggle to climb past low - mid 50's Sunday through Tuesday.
We'll stop here and circle back Thursday morning to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and provide a more detailed timeline for the weekend and early next week.