1"+ Rainfall On Top Of Snowpack Could Cause Flash Flooding Around WNC This Weekend

Rainfall is expected to move in early tomorrow morning, and will persist through the day and into Saturday. Many locations will see over an inch of rainfall from this system, with some locations even seeing 3+ inches. This will be problematic due to the amount of snow that has yet to melt in many areas. This past snow was extremely heavy/wet, and temperatures have yet to rise high enough to produce a big melt in locations that got over a foot of snow. So as the rain falls, it will melt existing snow.. creating extreme runoff. This will fill streams and rivers quickly and could cause flash flooding in select locations. Ponding on roadways will also be troublesome because some roadways still have snow on them. The water will have limited areas to run off to, and therefore it will run down the roadways.

Be Cautious Traveling

Backroads that still have heavy snow packs accumulated on the sides could cause cars to hydroplane as snow melts and rain falls. Below you can see the most recent 3km Nam run, and it shows a widespread inch of rainfall falling for most locations. Many areas along the Blue Ridge Escarpment though receive must more precipitation. These same areas also had some of the highest snowfall totals. If locations like Lake Toxaway receive 3”-4” of rain on top of 12”+ of snow that still on the ground.. that is going to cause big problems. So I have my eye on this rainfall, and believe that those of you and the area who live near streams should be ready to move to higher ground if necessary.

3kmNamRainfallDec13.png

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Black Ice Possible Tonight Around WNC, Rain Moves In By End Of Week

Temperatures will drop into the 20’s overnight, and wet roadways will refreeze in many places. Watch for slick spots tomorrow morning, and please be careful as you make your way around. Black ice will also be possible Wednesday morning as we dip back into the 20’s and teens in some places Tuesday night.

Rain Moves In Friday

Another system will move through WNC on Friday and into Saturday, bringing with it the chance for over an inch of rainfall for many areas. This, combined with snow melt could create some excessive flash flooding as rain falls. Below you can see the most recent run of the GFS, and it shows 1.3” of rainfall at the Asheville Airport. Currently The Asheville Airport sits at 70.94” of rainfall for the year. Our record rainfall for any year recorded is 75.22” in 2013. We are just over 4” away from breaking that record, and this system will place us even closer..

Countdown To History

With only 4.28” of rainfall between our currently yearly total and the record set back in 2013.. it is entirely feasible for us to break this record. I will make sure and keep you updated on the record as the year closes, and ensure that you know when the record is broken!

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Updated Snowfall Projection Map, Heavy Snow Set To Move Into WNC

As models continue to resolve how this situation will unfold, I have refined my snowfall totals to give you a more in-depth look as we go forward. A range of 12”-24” is very wide so I wanted to narrow that down a bit to help eliminate any confusion. A warm nose aloft could limit these totals, but if all precipitation falls as snow, some of these totals could be on the low end. Counties like Jackson & Clay will be farther away from the cold air source and closer to the warm nose, therefore mixing is expected. That will cut down on totals significantly, but I still believe 6”+ is possible in Jackson (especially in the Balsams), and 3-6” will be possible as you get closer to Andrews. Towards Boone, the column of air looks to be more suitable for snowfall throughout the event, and higher snowfall rates will be possible because surface temps will be in the 20’s. Therefore over 2 feet of snow will be possible in some locations N of Asheville between Mt. Mitchell & Boone, NC. Locations along the Blue Ridge Escarpment including Henderson, Polk, & Transylvania counties will all have the chance to see enhanced snowfall totals as well. I believe a strip of 18”-24” of snow will be possible across those 3 counties.

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Moisture Moving In

Current radar shows moisture already moving into the area, and there have been reports of snow/sleet falling already in some locations. Some mixing will be possible during the daylight hours, but as the sun sets and heavier precipitation moves in.. I believe we will switch to all snow around Asheville. The heaviest precipitation appears to move in late this evening and into tomorrow morning. Some models suggest that the warm nose aloft around Asheville will melt precipitation and produce sleet, but the margin or error here is razor thin.. so it must be monitored.

WNC Webcams To Watch

I have two live cameras up for you to enjoy this event!

Downtown Asheville Live Camera: Here

Candler/Mt. Pisgah Live Camera: Here

Radar: here

Historic Snowstorm Set To Move Into WNC Tomorrow Afternoon, Here Is My Most Recent Updated Expected Accumulation Map

Models wavered some yesterday as to how much precipitation will actually be available, but it appears this morning that those hinderances have been addressed and the high totals are still very possible. In fact 2’+ will be possible in many locations around WNC. Totals may need to be adjusted just a hair for locations like Cashiers, NC & Highlands, NC.. but as you move SW from Asheville, mixing concerns are still present.

High Resolution NAM

Below you can see the snowfall map and a radar depiction of when the storm will likely begin. The high res nam is bringing snow showers in by early afternoon tomorrow, and by sunset has already accumulated a couple of inches. Soil temps are going to be supportive of accumulation quickly, and most everything that falls frozen will accumulate. Wind gusts will push over 30mph in many locations Sunday morning, and falling tree limbs will likely cause widespread power outages. Models do not suggest winds high enough for Blizzard conditions in the valleys, but white outs still cannot be ruled out. Above 3500’ some gust could reach 50-60mph.

3km Nam Radar Depiction for Early Saturday Afternoon Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

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3km NAM Snowfall Map Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

How To Prepare

Have your family prepared to hang out around the house from Saturday Evening thru at least Monday. That means supplies to stay warm in case the power goes out (alternative heat source), extra food, and entertainment! You can also fill your bathtub full of water, in case water services are limited. Please use alternative heating sources safely, with proper ventilation. Give crews time to get the roadways cleared… If you need to see road conditions you can check them downtown on our Grimes Teich Anderson LLP Live Camera. Check back here on Ashevillewx as well, I will be doing regular updates and facebook live videos as we continue to approach the storm.

12"-24" Of Snow Will be Possible For Some Locations In WNC This Weekend, Heres My First Call Map

There does appear to be some variability among short range models and long range models regarding temperatures, but what does seem certain, is that a large winter storm is on the way. Will you see ice or snow? For many locations around Asheville, a mixed bag is possible.. but the predominate p-type appears to fall as snow. As you work your way towards Franklin, NC and the warm nose becomes more substantial, sleet and freezing rain appear to be the more likely. Some snow will fall in all of WNC though. I will put together a new map as we move forward and get more data, I just wanted to give out my initial thoughts for how much snow will actually occur. Check back for an updated map, and have a great Thursday!

Latest Video Update:

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WNC Preparing For High Impact Winter Storm This Weekend

As we continue to progress towards Saturday, Sunday, Monday. and even into Tuesday.. weather models will continue to refine details.. but what does appear certain is that a large amount of precipitation will slam into a nearly or completely frozen column of air above WNC late Saturday, causing problems across the area. Currently, both European and GFS models still indicate that over 1’ of snow is possible for many areas in WNC. Below you can see both the precipitation depiction & snowfall totals produced by the most recent runs of the European and GFS models.

GFS Precipitation Depiction Sunday AM courtesy of Tropicaltidbits.com

GFS Snowfall Accumulation Map *Only A Model Forecast* courtesy of weathermodels.com

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12z European Radar Depiction Sunday Morning courtesy of weather.us

12z European Projected Snowfall Map Only A Model Projection Not A Forecast courtesy of weather.us


Snowfall Total Still Vary Greatly

There is still a vast differential as to how much snow will actually fall.. and beginning tomorrow, we will begin to get a much better idea as the NAM 3km gets in range. The European and its Ensemble have constantly illustrated the likelihood of 12”+ in many locations. The GFS and its Ensemble have done the same. This tell me that we need to prepare for a large snowstorm.

Concerns Heading Forward

This snow will be beautiful and fall into a nearly frozen column.. which means it will stick to everything. The heavy wet paste that will fall is going to cause problems. It will stick to trees, power lines, and most everything else around the area. Winds will gust over 30mph in many locations during the storm, and some higher elevation locations could see gusts over 60 mph. This is an extreme concern of mine moving forward. If we have 12” of snow on trees, and winds gusting to 30mph, many people around the area are going to lose power. Therefore you need to prepare. There is no need to panic though, because you have time to prepare. Just prepare to hang out at your house Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday. Thats my best advice, and play in the snow! Check back later this evening for a video update, I will add it to the top!

Also check out the new live camera I added today of Candler/Mt. Pisgah.

Models Continue To Suggest Large Winter Storm Around WNC This Weekend

Weather models continue to insist that the northern and southern jet stream will interact this weekend over WNC, and a strong winter storm could be the result. Yesterday there was some disagreement among global models as to how cold the atmosphere will actually be on Saturday, but today there appears to be agreement that the column over Asheville on Saturday evening will be frozen and support snowfall.

How Much For WNC?

Thats a tough call right now, and below you can see the most recent GFS model depiction of accumulated snow. The European shows similar totals. It has been a long time since I have seen this type of agreement among models as we approach a storm. Not only that, but in agreement that 12”+ of snow is possible. I don’t want to cause panic, but 3-4 days out with all global models showing a very large storm is something to prepare for.

*THIS IS ONLY A MODEL DEPICTION* 12z GFS Snowfall Accumulation Thru Sunday Evening Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

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How To Begin To Prepare

You have plenty of time to prepare for this storm, but on your weekly store visit.. pick up some extra essentials in case you were to lose power. This snow will be a heavy wet paste like snow that sticks to most everything, so power outages are likely. It will be beautiful though! As we approach the event, I will go more in-depth about how to prepare for this storm, but right now it would be wise to get some extra items at the storm.


What Other Models Show

Below is a radar depiction from most every model I use to forecast by. As you can see there is agreement that a large storm is likely. As we approach Saturday, I will continue to update, but these show you a good picture of what is possible and what the radar could look like nationwide on Saturday.


GFS

 GFS Precipitation Depiction Saturday Evening

GFS Precipitation Depiction Saturday Evening


European

0z European Model Radar Depiction courtesy of Weather.us

ICON German Model

ICON Precipitation Depiction courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com

GEM Canadian Model

GEM Precipitation Depiction courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com

FV3-GFS Test (new upgraded GFS)

FV3-GFS Precipitation Depiction courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com

Impactful Winter Storm Possible Around WNC Next Weekend

Interesting Week Of Weather On Tap For WNC

With snow flurries possible both Tuesday and Wednesday, then the potential for a gulf low to develop into the weekend.. the weather around WNC is about to get very interesting. Many of the major models suggest that a large winter storm could move through the southeast next weekend, causing a multitude of problems. This is not set in stone though, so some caution must be taken when review the following model data. These are simply model depictions and should not be taken as spoken word.

Snow Showers/Flurries Tuesday & Wednesday

Backside moisture will stream through the area Tuesday and into Wednesday bring the chance for snow showers in the higher elevations (above 3500’), and snow flurries in the lower elevations around Asheville. A couple of inches cannot be ruled out in the highest elevations, and a dusting cannot be ruled out north of Asheville.. but this appears to be less impactful compared to the system projected to move in late Friday night.

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Gulf Low Develops

On Friday, a system develops over Texas, and begins to move towards the Southeast. This is aided by a strong banana high pressure that moves in tandem with the low. The banana high funnels in the cold air that could potential keep WNC as snow throughout the duration of the event. As you can see below on the GFS precipitation depiction, overrunning moisture begins to stream in late Friday night or early Saturday morning, and falls in the form of snow in many locations.

6z Precipitation Depiction Saturday Morning Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

The European model has been persistent with a similar solution for the past several days. The European Ensemble has also been showing a signal for a large winter storm for the past 2.5 days. This can all change quickly, but a stout high pressure like what is being modeled, is what many expected to occur this winter and can lead to some very impactful storms around WNC. Below you can see the potential snowfall total map produced by the most recent GFS. This is just one model depiction, but other models including the European have been spitting out similar solutions.

 GFS 24hr snowfall total For Dec8th-9th Only A Model Depiction! Courtesy of  Weathermodels.com

GFS 24hr snowfall total For Dec8th-9th Only A Model Depiction! Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

Here you can contrast that with what the European Models shows on these free maps that can be found at weather.us.

0z European Snow Depth Map Courtesy of Weather.us

Main Takeaway

Your main takeaway from this article is that there is the potential for a very impactful winter storm to affect WNC next weekend. Nothing is certain at this moment, but models have a frozen column in place when a strong system moves in, and they are spitting at large snowfall totals. I am watching every model update, so check back soon for another update!

Rain Likely Next Two Days, But Temps In The Upper 60's Likely Sunday..More Flurries/Cold Expected Next Week

A front will begin to move through over the next several hours, and will bring with it the chance for scattered showers on Friday, and some heavy pockets of rain on Saturday. As you can see on the projected total precipitation map produced by the Nam 3km below, that locations in the Balsams, and around Highlands, NC have the highest potential to see heavy rainfall. Between .5” & .75” is expected around the Asheville, NC area between Friday and Saturday, but pockets of higher totals cannot be ruled out.

18z NAM 3km Total Precipitation Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

Warm Air Moves In Sunday

Temperatures in the mid to upper 60’s are likely all around WNC on what appears to be a beautiful Sunday after rain moves out. Models show showers moving out of the areas on Sunday morning, and temperatures rising. Lowers 60’s also seem possible on Monday with partly cloudy skies before another cold front moves through on Tuesday.

18z GFS Showing Temps around 65 on Sunday Afternoon.. Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

Cold Front Moves Through Tuesday

Another frontal passage will occur on Tuesday, and backside moisture will move into WNC sometime late Tuesday or early Wednesday. For higher elevations (above 3500’) this certainly looks to be snow, and for many even around Asheville we could see some flurries. Below is the GFS precipitation type depiction, and you can see that the higher elevation are cold enough to support snow. As we get closer to next week, the high resolution models will begin to resolve the exact details of this, but for now… backside northwest flow moisture looks like it will move through WNC Tuesday night into Wednesday. Have a great weekend, and check back soon with AshevilleWX to see what to expect for next week… and you can always check the 5 day forecast here.


18z Precipitation Depiction For Wednesday Morning. Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

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Snow Flurries/Showers Move Into WNC Later Today And Will Persist In Some Locations Until Wednesday

Higher Elevations Prepare For Accumulating Snow

Models indicate that strong backside moisture will push through WNC as a front moves up the East Coast and strengthens. With frozen temperatures in place, locations above 3500’ should begin to see snow showers around 2-3 pm this afternoon. As winds pick up this evening, some of those snow flurries/showers will be able to make their way into the valleys below.

I have been carefully analyzing wind profiles, and the 3km NAM continues to increase peak gusts as we approach the event. With winds expected to gust over 25kts, I think that there is a fair chance that Asheville sees a snow showers later today or this evening from the Northwest Flow. I can’t be certain on this, but conditions appear ripe for snow showers to break containment in the higher elevations, and drift into the valleys below. Taking a look at peak wind gust below, you an see how they have increased from the article I wrote yesterday. Gusts over 50mph will be possible in the highest elevations, and winds gusting over 35mph will be possible in many valley locations. 5-Day Forecast

3km NAM wind gusts courtesy of weathermodels.com

Accumulation maps produced by the most recent 3km NAM suggest that even a dusting will be possible in locations outside of the mountains. Locations like Burnsville & Marshall will likely see heavy snow during some periods tonight and into tomorrow that could accumulate on roadways. Below you can see the Nam 3km precipitation map.

3km NAM Snowfall Totals courtesy of weathermodels.com

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Those are some pretty hefty totals in the highest elevations on the NC/TN border. Even if you cut some of them in half, that still 8”+ in some locations. The winds are so strong, that it appears decent banding of the incoming precipitation will occur and push flakes even as far as Asheville. Possible even farther. Its really difficult to predict how far these Northwest Flow bands will extend out of the mountains, but seeing how strong these wind gusts could possibly be, leads me to think that snowflakes may even push as far south as Hendersonville. As snow approaches, you can use the Ashevillewx Weather Radar to track the incoming moisture. You can also view the Grimes Teich Anderson LLP Live Downtown Asheville Camera to see if it is snowing in Downtown Asheville. Check back soon for another update, and please report snowfall at your area to our facebook page, or email me at Hunter@Ashevillewx.com.