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.