Saturday Weather Briefing: Seasonably cold weather continues for Saturday, then clouds and rain chances increase

Good Saturday to everyone…here in the early morning hours as this discussion is being written it is quite frigid with temperatures  in the 20’s.

 

Today is most likely going to be the nicest day of the forecast period in regards to sunshine. We should have a good amount of sun today, maybe some clouds mixed in at times. But overall not bad weather for the third weekend of December. High temperatures this afternoon should average in the mid to upper 40’s across the coverage area.

 

Chilly conditions will continue for tonight with just a slight increase in clouds. With that said, lows tonight will be in the lower 30’s so it will be another cold start as you get ready for church services.

 

Sunday will feature an increase of clouds due in part to a surface low that is developing along the Gulf Coast. That low will begin to spread some moisture toward the Western Carolinas by Sunday night, a few showers will roll in at that point. Temperatures on southwest winds may reach the lower 50’s Sunday  with Sunday night values milder than recent nights due to the increased moisture and clouds.

 

The unfortunate part in all of this is that we will not get significant amounts of rainfall from this first storm system on Sunday night, rainfall amounts of .10 - .20 are possible through first thing Monday morning and that may be dependent on if there is disruption of moisture transport over the region. Computer guidance has trended in that way in recent model runs and we’re taking that into account with our forecast.

 

The other fly in the forecast ointment is in relation to the amount of sunshine we’re actually going to see  for the first half of next week. Even with moisture generally staying to our south, high and mid level overcast could at times persist into our area. So overall, we may be getting to enter into a period of extended clouds. What at one time looked like some good rain chances are starting to dwindle as we get closer. Here is a look at precip amounts expected through Wednesday…


WPC precip forecast througb Wednesday 7 am

WPC precip forecast througb Wednesday 7 am


One change that you may notice a lot more for next week is that daytime temperatures will jump at or above normal consistently for the first time in about two weeks. Afternoon highs Monday-Wednesday afternoons will jump up into the 50’s and even a few 60’s. These temperatures are about 5-10 degrees above Mid-December norms.  As we get to the second half of the week a new front will begin marching toward the east coast providing another cooldown.

 

Have a great Saturday!

 

 

Daniel Crawley

Foothills Weather Network

Weather Discussion: Friday, December 15th, 2017

HIGHLIGHTS: A NICE SATURDAY, SHOWERS POSSIBLE SUNDAY, A WARM START TO THE WEEK

The lingering effects of a cold front that moved through the area on Thursday will continue through the first half of the weekend, as calm conditions will continue over the area on Saturday. Clear skies will allow for temperatures to plummet into the low-to-mid 20s on Saturday morning, although sunny skies on Saturday will also allow for temperatures to climb up near the 50 degree mark. All things considered, Saturday will be a beautiful day considering that it is mid-December. Clouds will begin to increase Saturday night, which should help to keep temperatures slightly warmer. Lows Sunday morning will end up in the upper 20s. Skies on Sunday morning should be partly-to-mostly cloudy, although rain does not appear to be likely if you're heading out to church Sunday morning. Short-range models are indicating that a slight chance of showers is possible Sunday afternoon. Regardless, cloudy skies will take hold over the area and precipitation amounts (if they occur) will be light. Temperatures on Sunday will be held in check by the cloud cover, with highs topping out around the 50 degree mark once again.

North American Mesoscale (NAM) forecasted precipitation for Sunday, 17 December at 4:00 p.m.

North American Mesoscale (NAM) forecasted precipitation for Sunday, 17 December at 4:00 p.m.

 

Small impulses of precipitation will move up through the southeastern states early next week. However, the mainly zonal flow that will be present over the eastern half of the United States will prevent much of the precipitation from making it up into our area. As the result of a pattern shift, we will finally find ourselves in the warm sector of the ridge-trough setup. Current model guidance suggests that temperatures will likely make it well into the 50s and 60s on Monday and Tuesday. The ridge over the Southeastern United States will relax as we head into the middle of next week, and temperatures will follow suit. Temperatures will likely settle in the mid 50s for highs on Wednesday and Thursday. The next major disturbance appears to be heading for our area late next week, and the upper-level trough that will sit over the Western United States for most of next week will move toward our area.

European Model (ECMWF) forecasted 500 mb heights for early next week.

European Model (ECMWF) forecasted 500 mb heights for early next week.

European Model (ECMWF) forecasted 500 mb heights for late next week. Notice the deepening of the trough in the middle of the United States and Canada. A cold front would likely result in advance of the black line drawn on the map.

European Model (ECMWF) forecasted 500 mb heights for late next week. Notice the deepening of the trough in the middle of the United States and Canada. A cold front would likely result in advance of the black line drawn on the map.

Have a great Friday!

Chase Scott Graham

Weather Roller Coaster

Mid December! A time where we expect to see the weather change from day to day. We are entering a period where that is going to be the case over the last half of the month. 

For the last week or so, we have been in a trough, where we've had several clippers bring in shots of cold air. Last week, we experienced our first winter storm of the season, that was followed by cold air. 

It looks like the trough is going to break down, and we will get into a zonal flow, which will allow for some moderating temperatures, and a few chances at rain. Sunday a system will move through the south giving us some rain starting Sunday afternoon and lasting through Monday. We then clear out and see some tranquil weather before things change late next week. 

 

The two week outlook gives us some milder temperatures. 

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With the milder temperatures, we are expected to see some liquid precipitation to go along with those warmer temperatures. 

 

   

 

 

So for those who are wanting to see some wintry weather, you might have to wait til the last week of the month, where it looks like the cold air is building to the North and is just waiting to move back to the east coast, then all types of fun and games can happen! 

 

We will let the models settle out a few things, before we comment it on them! 

 

Have a great day!

Scotty 

What are the odds of a White Christmas? A detailed look at local climatology

So…its getting that time of the year that our forecast office begins to field questions like this...

 

What are the chances of a White Christmas?

 

Well, a White Christmas is definitely something that is very rare for our part of the world. If you look at the image below of the entire country the percentage of White Christmas for Western North Carolina is less than 10 percent here in the lower elevations and slightly higher in the North Carolina High Country


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Digging further… after looking at data from the National Climatic Data Center here are some percentages for towns in our coverage area of having 1 inch of snow on the ground on average. Remember, this is based on a 30-year average…


Marion: <1 %

Taylorsville: 3 %

Morganton: 3 %

Hickory: 3 %

Lenoir: 3 %

Lincolnton: 3 %

Shelby: 1 %

Forest City: 2 %


Numbers seem to be pretty uniform across the coverage area, from 1-3 % chance of having one inch of snow measured on Christmas Day. In relation here are some percentage of cities just outside of the coverage area…

 

Charlotte: 2 %

Asheville: 7 %

Boone: 19 %

Wilkesboro: 7 %

Winston-Salem: 3 %


Needless to say, a White Christmas here in the Western Carolinas outside of the higher terrain is a once-in-a-generation occurance., so the odds are very low yearly that a White Christmas occurs. The last White Christmas for sections of the coverage was just seven years ago, in 2010, an event that laid down anywhere from 3-8 inches of snow across the Foothills and Western Piedmont.

 

So, what do we see here for Christmas 2017? We are still 12 days away from the holiday and way too far away from making any kind of call on what kind of weather we will see. The margin of error in a long range forecast it way too big to even consider making…any forecasts that you may already see on social media is just foolish at this point…

Posted here at the bottom are links to both the NCDC and State Climate Center in Raleigh on information from the 2010 Christmas snow and the 30-year averages...

 

https://noaa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Embed/index.html?webmap=99db916356584e4289e85d64d1ae3fa0&extent=-152.182,10.8189,-39.3495,57.8283&zoom=true&home=true&scale=true&disable_scroll=true&theme=light&level=1

 

https://climate.ncsu.edu/climate/winter/event_details?e=510



 

Midweek Weather Briefing: Remaining chilly through late-week, rainfall chances increase this weekend

Good Wednesday to everyone…the latest surge of cold, arctic air has moved into the region. If you are going out the door first thing this morning its  on the frigid side with temperatures in the 20’s.

 

For today expect a lot of sunshine and with light southwest winds,  high’s may get into the 40’s. Tonight will again feature clear and calm weather with temps dropping down into the 20’s and 30’s.


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The next in a series of clipper-type systems will slide to our north on Thursday,  this will bring an increase of clouds on Thursday and temporarily spike afternoon highs close to the 50’s mark. The impact of that clipper will be seen more on Friday as temps will  be knocked down once again, struggling to reach the low 40’s to end the work week.

 

The weekend weather currently looks to be a 50/50 forecast. Saturday appears to be nice and seasonably cool with 40’s/50’s and 20’s at night common, then on Sunday a return of moisture to the region as southern stream energy will slide through the region. Showers are likely to move in Sunday afternoon and last through the evening.


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 Right now rainfall amounts don’t look to heavy right now with amounts in the range of (.10 - .25). These showers could linger into the Monday morning commute based on current model data.

 

Have a great day!

 

 

Daniel Crawley

Foothills Weather Network

Summarizing This Weekends Snow And Looking Ahead To This Week.

Hope your Monday is off to a great start. It’s a beautiful day out there today. 

 

High pressure in firm control of our weather today. A cold fro t will sweep through the area tonight and Tuesday leading to the return of snow chances for Jonas Ridge, Black Mountain, Little Switzerland, Blowing Rock, and Edgemont. High pressure returns for the mid week.

 

A very nice day underway out there today and temps will reach 5-10 degrees above those that we saw yesterday, likely topping out in the low to mid 50’s.  Light westerly breezes will help give a little boost to those temps this afternoon. One limiting factor on getting the temps any higher is the snowpack across the region and the melting ongoing across the foothills. Another strong cold front will arrive overnight into Tuesday. This will bring a round of clouds to the area Tuesday Morning all while putting snow back I to the forecast for the mountains. 1-3 inches of snow can be expected up there through the day Tuesday. Cold air and clear skies will be the trend for the lower elevations. Wind will be a problem into Wednesday Night for areas along The Blue Ridge Parkway.  A few gusts could reach 45 mph that will blow around the snow and limit visibilities.  Temps Tuesday will shave 10 or so degrees off today’s high and we don’t expect any issues outside the mountains. 

 

Late week model discrepancy is too great to know exactly what will evolve.  So we will wait to go I to any detail on any systems impact on our weather for Friday and Sunday. Confidence is high enough to indicate more NW flow snow for the mountains though but it’s to be seen on how much. Stay tuned.

 

looking back over Friday and Saturdays System. The cold front didn’t make it off the coast as models had projected and instead it stalled just inland. As forecast several waves of low pressure developed along the front and moved NE from The Gulf. I feel like our team did a great job portraying what we knew would happen and what we didn’t know. It was a tough forecast for sure. Also a factor was the cold air advection coming in. There imitation coupled with that cold air aloft to dynamically cool the lower half of the atmosphere. Upslope flow off the Gulf and Atlantic also played a role in how the precipitation developed. One thing we were very slow on this time was that we were slow to put out accumulation forecast. The reason being is that we saw that the front had stalled inland. Models kept taking precipitation East all while we were using experience to know that we would get something. Our first snowfall map was put out only 12hours in advance of the precipitation’s arrival. Those totals were low balling it too. The weather enterprise forecasters were all abuzz on the potential. The weather enterprise tries to work together as much as we can. To the real meteorologists it’s not about being the first predict an event, it’s about getting it right to provide safety to the public. We were slow with this system to get information out to the public in time to prepare with this event. Hindsit is always 20/20though. One thing that our team did very well was to update the forecast as it evolved every 4-8 hours starting Thursday Night. I think that helped you more than anything. With a system that didn’t carry the characteristic of most weather systems around here the forecast was rapidly evolving. Even though we were playing catch-up our team did an excellent job to stay on top of changes. As the storm eveloved so do our storm overview. This is the overview that was put out Wednesday.

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And our Winter Weather Index as here... 

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Here was our first accumulation forecast issued at Noon Thursday.

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And here is where we were at Friday Morning just before the event started. 

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FullSizeRender.jpg

As we bumped up totals we knew the potential for higher amounts existed but the possibility outweighed the probability. You know something though. This is why we love weather forecasting though. Trying to predict Gods next move and him showing everyone who is still in control. In summary looking back our lead times were bad but our updates were great. No deaths occurred in our area due to the storm and that is good. 

 

Christopher White

Sunday Weather Discussion: Wintertime Classics

What a nice December treat to be blessed with so much snow this early into winter! Thank you all for sending us your pictures and videos. 

We have also received quite a few questions about an additional snow event this week. While a front will be passing through late Tuesday night we will unfortunately have to say that the only ones getting snow will be the high country on the orographic lifting side (more western side) of the Apps and we will have a dry passage. 

The synopsis is that dry, sunny, and cold is the nearly exclusive theme of the weather this week as we cycle through upper level zonal flow and two dry frontal passages. 

Near term of today and tonight is mostly clear conditions with some upper level clouds occasionally passing by, a west south westerly wind of around 5-7 mph, and temperatures that will most likely stay in the upper 30's today although the forecast is for the low 40's. Whatever snow is on the ground will reflect the sun's warmth and keep temperatures cooler. Overnight temperatures will be back into the mid 20's.

Short term of tomorrow through Wednesday has mostly sunny conditions, a dry frontal passage Tuesday night, winds shifting directions but peaking out around 15 mph around and following the time of the frontal passage. Daily highs will be in the mid 40's Monday and Tuesday with overnight lows in the 20's. Upper 30's for Wednesday, and over night lows in the upper teens as we feel the effect of the passage. 

Long term of Thursday through Saturday have a rinse-wash-repeat pattern of mostly sunny conditions, a dry frontal passage on Saturday, temperatures in the 40's for the high, 20's for the low, and moderate winds in the teens again. The interesting part about the Saturday front is that we will be on the right entrance of the passing trough, but there is no indication of any moisture thus far that will provide precipitation. 

Thanks for reading!

 

12/09/17 Noon Winter Weather Update: Snow coming to an end, next blast of cold to move in tonight.

Good Saturday afternoon, the first winter storm of the season is winding down and weather will begin to improve this afternoon…however the threat of re-freeze will emerge as we have a reinforcing shot of arctic air set to invade the Western Carolinas tonight.

 

As of the noon hour one final band of snowfall is moving through the Foothills and Western Piedmont. This will being a brief uptick in the snow activity from west to east but it will be on the move and out of the region by mid afternoon. Behind that we may even see hints of a break in the cloud cover.


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The powerful jet that helped spawn out winter storm is located off the Mid-Atlantic Coastline this afternoon and is moving up the coastline, meanwhile northwest flow is about to take over driving another piece of energy into the Appalachians. The upper low centered over Illinois will cross to our north tonight and early tomorrow but it won’t spare the region from getting a blast of cold air straight from the northern latitudes.


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Once this low passes by tonight expect winds to start turning out of the northwest and for our friends in the high country, they may get additional snow from northwest flow. Here locally, a couple flurries might break containment into parts of Burke, Caldwell and McDowell Counties but no additional snow fall of significance is expected.

 

The big story here locally will be the cold air advecting in on a freshly laid down snowpack. The end result is going to be a very cold night with temperatures likely to plummet down into the upper teens in the foothills, with 20’s everywhere else. This cold air is going to result in a re-freeze of current snow and water on the ground which could lead travel issues beginning tonight and lasting through Sunday morning. The most prone areas will be on secondary roads, driveways, etc. Keep this in mind as you head out to Sunday morning services. With the cold weather coming it would also be encouraged to get that snow off the automobiles since temperatures are still at or above freezing.


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Sunday looks to be quite chilly with high’s likely staying in the 30’s in the foothills and a few low 40’s in the Piedmont.

12/09/17 7:00am Winter Weather Update Brought To You By Me You And Some Glue

Good Morning.  An upper low will traverse the region today bringing additional snow to the area.  Snow should taper off between 1 and 3pm.  This will be scattered until a heavier band of snow arrives this morning.  Temps today make it up to about 35 degrees.  Tonight roads will flash freeze as temps drop below freezing almost as soon as the sun sets.  Travel is not advised this morning on secondary roads.  Main roads are clear but as heavy snow redevelops conditions could worsen.  Not expecting a lot more accumulation of snow outside the mountains.

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12/8 (11 pm) Winter Weather Update: Sponsored by Me, You and Some Glue

Good Friday evening to everyone…we continue to monitor the winter weather across the Western Carolinas. Needless to say this has been quite the interesting storm not only here in North Carolina but all across the Southeast US. Some locations very far south have picked up some rare December snowfall over the past 24 hours…

 

Snowfall amounts here in our eight county coverage area has varied quite a bit. Those along the immediate Blue Ridge have picked up the most snowfall with totals decreasing as you go south and east.

Here is a roundup of snowfall as of late Friday evening…


Alexander County:

Taylorsville: 4 inches

 

Burke County:

Oak Hill: 6.5 inches

Salem: 6 inches

Icard: 5.5 inches

Morganton: 3.6 inches

 

Caldwell County:

Gamewell: 6 inches

Granite Falls: 5 inches

 

McDowell County:

Little Switzerland: 10 inches

Old Fort: 8 inches

Pleasant Gardens: 6 inches

Marion: 5 inches

 

Lincoln County:

Lincolnton 2.5 inches

 

Rutherford County:

Chimney Rock: 5 inches

Bostic: 2.5 inches


 

Even though we have a reduction in moisture over the past couple hours we are not completely done with the snow for tonight…low pressure has developed and is moving up the Southeast coastline however upper level energy that is powering this storm system is moving through the deep south tonight and will lift northeast and merge with the tail end of the moisture in the Carolinas.


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In terms of the forecast locally, periods of snow and snow showers will pick up again after midnight and then last through the early morning hours of Saturday. Computer model data shows this moisture and the storm finally lifting out late Saturday morning.

 

Additional snowfall amounts of 1-3 inches are possible overnight, especially along the Interstate 40 Coridoor and where any banding features may set up.

 

In this final update for the evening no changes will be made to our snow forecast map or Winter Weather Index…it will stay at Level III for the overnight hours.


Winter Storm Index Fri 11 pm.png

 

Temperatures region-wide will hover around the freezing mark through daybreak Saturday making roads at least slushy in spots.

 

Stay with the Foothills Weather Network for the latest weather information, Chief Meteorologist Chris White will have our next briefing tomorrow morning…

12/8 (5 pm) Winter Weather Update: Sponsored by Me, You and Some Glue

Good Friday afternoon to everyone across the region…our winter weather event continues as a strong fetch of gulf moisture is being transported northeast through the region, all a part of some upper level dynamics and a surface low in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

 

So far today there has been a good variation of snowfall amounts since the precipitation all started around daylight. Snowfall totals as of 5 pm are on average from 3-6 inches along the immediate Blue Ridge of McDowell, Burke, Caldwell and Rutherford Counties to amounts 1-3 inches from the South Carolina State Line northward toward Interstate 40. Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories remain in effect though Noon Saturday for those listed below…


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A look at the model data shows what may evolve over the next several hours…the HRRR has been doing a great job in picking up on the precip and areas in which heavier rates are occurring. For northwest sections of the coverage area, rates have slowed down generally over the past couple hours but they will pick back up again this evening and last for a while.

Snow may continue to waiver in intensity at times but it should remain steadily falling until after well after midnight. The most recent data indicates that snowfall may continue for a good part of the region until after daybreak Saturday.


HRRR Future Radar 7 pm

HRRR Future Radar 7 pm

HRRR Future Radar 11 pm

HRRR Future Radar 11 pm

HRRR Future Radar 3 am (Saturday)

HRRR Future Radar 3 am (Saturday)


 

With that said here is an updated snow accumulation map through tomorrow morning, some of this has been adjusted to reflect amounts already verified in the coverage area. This map is a storm total expectation and NOT additional amounts based from the time of release.


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And with that we’ll also increase the Winter Storm Index  officially to Level 3 “Buy Milk and Bread" to cover for the expectation of later tonight and that all locations should have solid amounts of snow on the ground by morning.


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Our weather team will be on top of this winter weather through the night, an updated briefing will occur late this evening around 11 pm…

11:00am Winter Weather Update (Sponsored by Me, You, And Some Glue Of Morganton)

Good late morning to you.  Currently the forecast is on track as rain continue to mix in at the lower elevations.  Snow levels are down to 1400 ft and most of McDowell County and NW Rutherford County are seeing accumulations already.  This is a little earlier than anticipated there.  Outside of those areas below 1400 ft snow and rain continues to mix together as forecast. Snow levels will continue to slowly fall though the afternoon and evening.

Elevations by City:

Marion: 1,404 ft

Morganton: 1,161 ft

Lenoir: 1, 171 ft

Hickory: 910 ft

Taylorsville: 1, 237ft

Lincolnton: 856 ft

Shelby: 869 ft

Rutherfordton: 965 ft

By this evening snow levels should be down to Shelby and Rutherfordton.  Snow should become light around or just after sunset.  A second wave of snow is then likely for the remainder of the night and through the morning Saturday.  All of this should lift NE of the area by Noon - 2pm Saturday and could end as some liquid rain as temps warm a little tomorrow afternoon. 

Radar trends continue to indicate moisture surging North and West into the area.  We still have another 24 hours of snow to go before it ends.  There could be some heavy snow this afternoon that could lower snow levels pretty quickly.  Radar indicates very heavy snow moving NE toward the area from Anniston Alabama.  This will likely drop snowfall levels all the way down to Charlotte if it holds together, and there is no reason to think it would weaken.  Low pressure will begin to develop this afternoon as well along the SC Coast.  This will strengthen the baroclinic lift across Western NC.  This system will become more dynamically diverse as the day wears on.  There is the potential that snowfall rates this afternoon could be quite high in localized areas.  This continues to be a nowcasting event and the snow has really picked up here in Morganton as I have been typing this.  No changes to this forecast package.

 

 

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Winter Weather Briefing 12/08/17 0700 (Sponsored By Me, You, and Some Glue

Good morning.  This forecast continues to evolve and we have made a slight uptick in forecast totals.  These are as high as we are willing to go with this storm because there will be rain mixed in below 1500ft.  However, overnight models have prompted a Winter Storm Warning for the Mountains of McDowell and Rutherford Counties.  All others are under an advisory.  Warning criteria in our area is 4 inches of snowfall.  While there are some signs we exceed that number there are also signs the boundary layer of warmer air may be stubborn to break down.  This process is going to have to be done through dynamic cooling.  Cold air aloft will be brought down to the surface thus cooling the column of air.  Right now wet bulb temps are above freezing area wide.  Wet bulb temp is a temperature where the air temp and dewpoint will meet and create 100% humidity.  The temperatures can never fall below the dewpoint.  As we go through the day our eyes will be on the wet bulb temps and this is now becoming a nowcasting event instead of a forecasting event.  Light precipitation is already developing.  The mountains have a coating to 2 inchs of snow already from Asheville and SW from there. 

 

Here are the 6:00am graphics

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Cold front advancing a little quicker than earlier forecast. Low pressure tracking along the coast instead of out to sea.

Cold front advancing a little quicker than earlier forecast. Low pressure tracking along the coast instead of out to sea.

Confidence of seeing snow.

Confidence of seeing snow.

Didnt really see the need to move this to buy bread and milk because even though the roads will be bad tonight you will be able to get out by Saturday Afternoon.

Didnt really see the need to move this to buy bread and milk because even though the roads will be bad tonight you will be able to get out by Saturday Afternoon.

Bumped totals up one inch.

Bumped totals up one inch.

Your next update will be 11:00am.

 

Chris White

Chief Meteorologist

12/07/17 11:00 pm: Winter Forecast Update (Sponsored by Me, You and Some Glue)

Good Thursday evening, as we approach 11 pm here is one final update in regards to the upcoming winter weather event that is expected to impact the region on Friday and Friday night…before we get into details a big thanks to Me, You and Some Glue for sponsoring our winter weather coverage...

 

Areas of low pressure are consolidating tonight along the Gulf Coast Region. As you can see on the winter weather radar a stream of moisture is along the Southern tier of the nation from South Texas across the Gulf Coast and into the Southeast. Snow has broke out tonight across parts of The Lonestar State including San Antonio, College Station and Lufkin.


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All of this will begin to pull toward the east overnight and begin to impact more of the Southeast including the Western Carolinas once we get into Friday morning…as you can see on the weather map low pressure will be moving up the coastline meanwhile back across the Northern tier of the country and surge of cold arctic air will move in just in time for the weekend. Some of that cold air will also work in tandem with the moisture to produce wintry weather.


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Right now we continue to have some questions in what exactly will evolve tomorrow. We still  believe precipitation will begin in the morning hours, in the form of rain for some. Then as the precip gets heavier, it will pull down enough cold air with it to begin mixing with snow. Then by later on we should begin to see a transition to snow lasting through Friday night. Still, many questions at this late hour…


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As of this latest update we are keeping the snowfall map the same with storm totals of 2-6 inches right along the immediate Blue Ridge, 1-4 inches as you get into the Catawba Valley and then lower amounts as you get closer to the US 74 Coridoor…


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With not much change overall, we will also keep the Winter Weather Index at the same level for the overnight hours…


Winter Index Thurs 11 pm.png

 

 

Stay with the Foothills Weather Network for additional updates on this evolving winter weather event, Chief Meteorologist Chris White will provide the next briefing at  7 am…

12/07/17 6:00PM Me, You, And Some Glue Forecast Package

Good evening.  This is our 6:00pm package with updated forecast accumulation totals for the area going off the newest data.

Models continue to shift heavy precipitation back in across Western North Carolina and now Eastern TN.  Some of this likely is overdone a bit but the track looks plausible given the current synoptic set up.  

Storm overview has a few more variables thrown in.  The duration of the precipitation appears that now it will last longer, into Saturday.  Accumulations could be higher if we get into the highest precipitation rates with the system.  Accumulations will be limited by warm air at the surface and warm ground temps.  Winter Weather Advisory is up for the Southwest Mountains and the South Mountains of Burke, Cleveland, McDowell, and Rutherford until 7:00am Saturday. Snow is expected to start in those areas and accumulate in the next 12 hours. Thus the reason the advisory was hoisted.  That is for areas above 1500ft.  Our Appalachian Mountains should hold off on precipitation starting until after daybreak Friday.  Rain will mix in with the snow in all areas on Friday, limiting accumulations.  If temps do drop as new guidance suggests on Friday Night then accumulations could be higher.

Storm overview has a few more variables thrown in.  The duration of the precipitation appears that now it will last longer, into Saturday.  Accumulations could be higher if we get into the highest precipitation rates with the system.  Accumulations will be limited by warm air at the surface and warm ground temps.  Winter Weather Advisory is up for the Southwest Mountains and the South Mountains of Burke, Cleveland, McDowell, and Rutherford until 7:00am Saturday. Snow is expected to start in those areas and accumulate in the next 12 hours. Thus the reason the advisory was hoisted.  That is for areas above 1500ft.  Our Appalachian Mountains should hold off on precipitation starting until after daybreak Friday.  Rain will mix in with the snow in all areas on Friday, limiting accumulations.  If temps do drop as new guidance suggests on Friday Night then accumulations could be higher.

Cold Air arriving a bit quicker than previous forecasts. Low pressure tracking closer to the coast than previously forecast.  White over green indicates rain/snow.  Best snow for snowman making in the mountains.  Maybe could sled for a couple hours on Saturday Morning along and North of I-40. 

Cold Air arriving a bit quicker than previous forecasts. Low pressure tracking closer to the coast than previously forecast.  White over green indicates rain/snow.  Best snow for snowman making in the mountains.  Maybe could sled for a couple hours on Saturday Morning along and North of I-40. 

Timing has been extended through Saturday Morning.  Snow will develop Friday and mix with rain. Minor travel impacts and minor accumulations are possible by Friday Night.

Timing has been extended through Saturday Morning.  Snow will develop Friday and mix with rain. Minor travel impacts and minor accumulations are possible by Friday Night.

Forecast confidence that snow will fall.

Forecast confidence that snow will fall.

Snow Check List Updated

Snow Check List Updated

Updated accumulations with the new afternoon guidance.

Updated accumulations with the new afternoon guidance.

Next forecast update will be at 11:00pm.  This is an evolving weather scenario.  Stay tuned to the current forecast and download our free app for the latest watches, warnings, and advisories.  We also post the most up to date weather information on our app with this our website.

Your Me, You, And Some Glue Creative Art Studio First Call Accumulation Forecast For Our First Winter Weather Event

Good Thursday Afternoon.  We are a little behind the others getting our accumulations out but we do not aim to be first to fly the flag, just the ones with the flag flying the highest at the end of the event.  That being said refer back to Scotty's weather briefing this morning for full details of this weather pattern. 

Models continue to align this afternoon with what will result from Friday and Friday Night's weather event.  This is not going to be a classic blockbuster storm for our area by far.  However, if seeing snow just in time for Christmas tickles your fancy then you are in luck. 

Here is out storm overview....

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Here is a look at the synoptic setup....

If you like snow that doesn't cause many problems, this forecast is for you.  If you want to build a snowman head up to the mountains or The Great Lakes.

If you like snow that doesn't cause many problems, this forecast is for you.  If you want to build a snowman head up to the mountains or The Great Lakes.

Our confidence is increasing....

Moderate confidence.  Now it isn't that the SW mountains are not going to get snow, we just don't believe it will be from this system.  The areas West of Cullowhee stand the best chance of snow Saturday Night into Sunday with a clipper type system that produces NW flow snow.

Moderate confidence.  Now it isn't that the SW mountains are not going to get snow, we just don't believe it will be from this system.  The areas West of Cullowhee stand the best chance of snow Saturday Night into Sunday with a clipper type system that produces NW flow snow.

This next graphic is one we have hesitated with raising but given that snow could fall well into the predawn areas Saturday Morning in parts of our area, mainly along and North of I-40, this could allow a little slush to build up on bridges and overpasses.  Temps never really make it below 33 or 34 degrees anywhere outside the mountain areas.  Ground temps are warm from recent warm weather so we do not expect many travel issues.  Since there is the chance of some brief slushy build up though here is our updated Winter Storm Index.

Prep the roads

Prep the roads

Finally what everyone of you did was scroll straight to this map.  It is important to note here that travel on roadways should be fine across our forecast area.  If you like to see the snow fall but don't like it to cause problems, this is the storm for you.  I doubt there will be any school closings outside the mountains though.  In fact school systems really need to keep their snow days close to them this go around because the long range pattern is loaded.  Just because snow is falling from the sky doesn't mean that school has to be cancelled.  Roads will definately be wet through the day tomorrow but not icy unless you are in the mountains.

This is a very elevation dependent snowfall.  The highest ridge tops in the South Mountains will see more accumulation than the valleys.  Any elevation over 3000ft will see higher accumulations than the valleys.  That's why we have limited accumulations over Asheville and the French Broad River Valley.  Even up high this is a wide margin for error.  Temps of one or two degrees difference can mean the difference between an inch and no accumulation. 

This is a very elevation dependent snowfall.  The highest ridge tops in the South Mountains will see more accumulation than the valleys.  Any elevation over 3000ft will see higher accumulations than the valleys.  That's why we have limited accumulations over Asheville and the French Broad River Valley.  Even up high this is a wide margin for error.  Temps of one or two degrees difference can mean the difference between an inch and no accumulation. 

So that is our first call as of Noontime Thursday December 7th, 2017.  Be sure to take the chance to support our education and emergency management non profit, Burke Weather, tonight at Zaxbys of Marion.  A portion of what they make tonight will be donated to Burke Weather.  A new update will be posted around 9:00pm tonight.

Chris White

Chief Meteorologist

Winter Weather Threat looms on Friday

Well we are in the first week of meteorological winter, and we are facing the potential for winter weather. 

Before we address the winter weather potential lets get through today. Cloudy skies should remain cloudy as a stalled cold front is just off to our east. We will remain cloudy for most of the day, and we could see a round of showers and sprinkles throughout the early afternoon hours. As a few areas of low pressure move along the stalled front. Temperatures will be pretty chilly as most of us will stay in the mid to upper 40's. 

As we move into Thursday evening the light rain will move out of the area. We will remain cool as lows will be in the 30's. That leads us to Friday. 

As we kick off Friday that front remains stalled along the Eastern portions of South and North Carolina. A third and final ripple of energy will move along the stalled front and give us a chance to see some wintry precipitation. 

It is going to be a battle between how much moisture we have, and how cold the air will be. Models are all over the place, so I will save those images for a later time. The European, and GFS model does show snow for the Foothills and Western Piedmont. 

So my current thinking, which will likely change today as we continue to monitor the data. I think on Friday mid morning we start to see snow and some rain mix together. By midday and through early evening we will see some snow fall occasionally mixing with some rain. As we round into late evening, the snow and rain should start to move out of the area. Temperatures are going to stay above freezing 33-36 F. So the snow will fall but won't stick at the start. It will have to take some heavier burst to see accumulations on elevated surfaces and grassy surfaces.  Accumulations will be very minor, maybe up to 1" in some locations.  Now as we go into the overnight hours we will have to watch for some refreeze issues with any water left on the roads. 

This weekend, the big story will be the cold arctic air moving in. Temps this weekend may not make it out of the 30's. Lows will be in the 20's. 

Next week cold temperatures will continue, mid week we watch another surge of cold arctic air, and even more towards next weekend. We need to watch this pattern, as we could see a few storms pop up. 

 

Bottom Line for Friday.. 

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Scotty Powell 

Meteorologist 

Twitter: @ScottyPowell_WX

Winter weather possible for the Western Carolinas on Friday, many questions remain...

Good Wednesday afternoon…we are nearing the end of the first week of Meteorological Winter and its no rest for the weary forecaster…

 

We are still monitoring for the potential of some light wintry precipitation that could impact our coverage area on Friday and Friday night. Computer models today still provide a lot of uncertainty in the forecast on Friday but the one thing we do have some confidence on is the frontal boundary that brought up some rain last night will remain somewhat active across the Southeast.

 

Pieces of upper level energy along with weak surface lows along that boundary will keep the region on the wet and unsettled side through the early part of the weekend. Meanwhile cold air to our northwest continues to slowly creep into the region. Due to the shallow nature of this first surge of arctic air, the Appalachians is doing an adequate job in blocking the low level cold from invading those east of the mountains, however aloft the cold air is doing a better job at moving in…and that all leads us to the forecast quandary for Friday.

 

Can the low level cold air seep in before or during the next round of precipitation? That’s the million dollar question at this point…

 

By early Friday morning moisture will begin to approach the region from the southwest with temperatures at or just above the freezing mark at the surface, however just a few thousand feet above the surface temperatures are below the freezing mark. This moisture will continue to stream in as weak low pressure develops along the Gulf of Mexico. Precipitation will be at its climax during the afternoon hours of Friday with a tapering off of rates expected by Friday night.

 

The maps provided below are from the GFS model from the afternoon run, this model in particular is the warmest in regards to surface temperatures as it keeps temps steady in the 35-37 degree range through the entire timeframe in question. Other models including the NAM and European are just a tad colder but still at or just above the freezing mark.


GFS Precip (Friday 7 am)

GFS Precip (Friday 7 am)

GFS Precip (Friday 1 pm)

GFS Precip (Friday 1 pm)

GFS Temperatures (Friday 1 pm)

GFS Temperatures (Friday 1 pm)

GFS Precip (Friday 7 pm)

GFS Precip (Friday 7 pm)


So…at this time our forecast is leaning toward a mix of rain and some snow beginning on Friday morning and remaining that way through most of the day. Toward evening as some cold air filters in we could see a changeover to all snow before ending Friday night. This is a result of the marginal boundary layer temps and with the questions remaining in regards to the amount of moisture available. No snowfall accumulations are expected at this time.

The depth of moisture as just as important as the cold air due to the process of crystal growth aloft needed to produce snowflakes capable of reaching the surface.

 

Precipitation amounts at this time look to be heaviest in our southern and eastern tier with amounts lighter along the Blue Ridge through Friday evening.

 

 

With this event upon us, we are dusting off the Winter Storm Index and using it  for the first time this winter season and placing it at level 1 (Social Media Talk) at this time. Plus we have a storm overview showing a lot of the certainties and uncetainties to the forecast at this time...


Winter Storm Index 12-6-17.png
Winter Overview 12-6-17.png


Our next full update on the Friday rain/snow potential will be posted tomorrow...

Midweek Weather Briefing: Sunshine will be at a premium in the short term...

Good Wednesday to everyone across the Western North Carolina Foothills and Western Piedmont…

 

We’re in the transition from a mild airmass to a more winter-like regime across the Eastern part of the US. A frontal boundary swept through the region last night driving  moisture in and out of the area. Rainfall totals turned out to be pedestrian, in the range of about ¼ inch on average.

 

The deeper moisture has moved out  but will stall close enough to where clouds are going to be hard to push out. Water Vapor image this morning shows a stream of moisture content hovering over the southern tier of the country. This could be the start to a multi-day period of more clouds than sun.  Also the nature of the cold air behind this initial front is shallow which means it is having some difficulty getting east of the Appalachians but it will slowly make inroads.


Water Vapor Image (Wednesday Dec 6th, 2017 (6:30 am)

Water Vapor Image (Wednesday Dec 6th, 2017 (6:30 am)


 

 

For this afternoon with abundant clouds, high’s will slowly rise into the low 50’s. Tonight we’ll have seasonably cold conditions with lows in the 30’s. Thursday will turn out in a similar fashion as well, a good amount of clouds keeping temperatures below average (40’s to around 50) for early December.

 

As we get into Thursday night and Friday, southern stream energy will begin to organize along the Gulf Coast and could run along the Southeast Coastline through Friday night. That moisture depending on the depth of it will have some marginally cold atmospheric conditions to work with. We still have a slight chance of rain and wet snow flakes in our 7-Day for Friday timeframe. This still looks to be a nuisance event at the worst. Temperatures if this were to occur will be above the freezing mark which limits impacts…we’ll have additional info on the potential for a couple snowflakes after the get a look at the early afternoon model runs.

 

Northwest flow will eventually kick this moisture and cloud plume far enough to the east by Saturday to finally bring sunshine back to the region…but it will come at a price and that’s some cold weather as cold reinforcements on northwest flow are coming and lining up one after another.

 

High’s for both Saturday and again on Sunday will be in the 40’s with sunshine with night time values in the 20’s…those numbers are a good 6-10 degrees below normal.


Model Projected High Temperatures for Saturday: Source (WeatherBell Analytics)

Model Projected High Temperatures for Saturday: Source (WeatherBell Analytics)

Model Projected High Temperatures for Sunday: Source (WeatherBell Analytics)

Model Projected High Temperatures for Sunday: Source (WeatherBell Analytics)


 

 

We might have just a brief one-day relax on Monday (low 50’s) before the next piece of energy in this parade of disturbances blasts through on Tuesday lowering the temps once again.

 

 

Unsettled Weather The Remainder Of The Week. Could There Be Snow?

Good Tuesday Morning.  Clouds rapidly filling the sky this morning as the frontal boundary is racing East.  Currently the front is approaching Knoxville at 6:14am.  This front will change the seasons for sure.  Rainfall today will measure up to the most rainfall we have seen in a month.  Anywhere from a half to one inch of rain is expected across our area.  The rain should arrive this afternoon between 2pm and 5pm.  Along the Blue Ridge rain will increase earlier as mechanical lift develops along the East and Southerly slopes.  There could be a thunderstorm with the rain this evening but we are not anticipating anything severe.  There could be breaks in the rain this afternoon and evening but no more than a 30 min window of dry weather.  The weather for the Morganton Christmas Parade looks very wet.  Showers should continue through the night and end in the predawn hours Wednesday.  Take your rain gear if you plan to be outside. Also monitor for possible lightning alerts and be ready to move indoors.  Temperatures today will top out in the mid and upper 50's due to increasing low clouds and showers developing.  Areas along and East of 321 could see a peak of sun hear and there boosting temps in those locations up to around 60.

Mostly cloudy skies and a couple of showers cannot be ruled out on Wednesday as the front stalls to our Southeast.  Showers will be very limited across our area.  Temps should reach back into the upper 40's and low 50's on Wednesday.  Wednesday Night temps will fall below freezing.  Then the forecast becomes complex.  The NAM wants to develop a surface low along the front and in turn throw precipitation back across the area.  However the EURO/GFS take the front off the coast before it stalls out.  They develops a surface low but it is delayed until Friday.  Right now we will hold the forecast that we put out last night, introducing a few snow flakes and rain drops Friday Morning.  This is not a classic set up where we get dumped on but it is a setup that I could see someone getting a surprise.  As new data gets loaded into the models today it should resolve some of these issues.  Based on experience I'm not too excited that it will do anything here Thursday through Saturday except remain mostly cloudy and cool.

By Saturday that front and any attendant low will lift to the NE which in turn will drag another cold front across the area.  Temps will head down below freezing as the trough really digs into the region.  Another strong piece of energy will rotate through the base of the trough Friday Night into Saturday Morning.  This low is pretty vigorous but the only limiting factor is moisture.  The mountains will definitely see great NW flow with this feature helping to get those ski slopes open for the weekend again.  Going forward they shouldn't have any problem staying open through December, unlike the last three years.  With this vigorous low it does seem likely that a few snow showers will break containment of the mountains and move out into our forecast area.  The mountains could see a few inches from this event from Friday Night though Sunday since the event will be so prolonged.  Its something we will watch closely over the next few days.  Be ready for the cold.  This first wave will bring temperatures below what is even normal during our coldest month, January.  Highs in the 40's with lows in the 10's and 20's.  This pattern doesn't look like it is going anywhere either.  There could be a few days with temps that jump a day or two in between trough passages but ultimately this looks like it will be a cold month.  Now lets see if we can get a storm to brew.  Watch that December 15th -20th time frame.  We will see.

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