Strong System To Bring Heavy Rain, Then Snow Showers This Weekend For WNC

Yes it’s April, and unfortunately yes we are still talking about the possibility for snowfall. I am watching a strong system that could bring severe weather to WNC on Friday morning, and then snow showers on the backside as the front stalls out over the Apps. Below you can see the most recent GFS models, and it illustrates stout backside development as an upper level low goes negative tilt over WNC. That will pull moisture back around the rotating surface low, and then hammer the mountains of WNC. We do not see storms this strong every year, so some surprises could be in store.

6z GFS Courtesy of Tropicaltidbits.com

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Flash Flooding Concerns Increase Friday AM

The first part of this system will be the front end thump of rain from a strong moisture transport. When these upper level lows get involved, heavy precipitation totals can mount up quickly! Below for comparison you can see the GFS precipitation totals through this weekend compared to the Euro. Both show a significant amount of rainfall.

6z GFS Precipitation Totals Through Sunday Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

0z Euro Precipitation Totals Through Sunday Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

As you can see, both show over 1.5” of rainfall for WNC, and most all of that falls on Friday am. Therefore, I believe that streams and rivers around the area could rise quickly Friday morning. Please be careful when traveling around the area, high water will be possible in some areas!


Will It Snow In Asheville?

Signs are beginning to point to one last snowfall event around Asheville, but the snow doesn’t appear to fall heavy enough to accumulate in valley areas. In the higher elevations I believe that a couple of inches will be possible, but temperatures down in the valley will not support accumulation. I am still waiting on short range models to get a handle on exact surface temperatures, but below you can see a representation of what could possibly unfold.

6z GFS Snowfall Totals Courtesy of  Weathermodels.com

6z GFS Snowfall Totals Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

Check back later tonight on the AshevilleWX App for a live update around 8pm, or then shortly after on Facebook!

After A Beautiful Week.. Severe Weather, Flash Flooding Return To WNC On Friday

Models are hinting at another strong low pressure ejecting from Texas, and moving through the Ohio Valley on Friday. That would again correlate with severe weather across the southeast. More precipitation appears to be accompanying this system, so the flash flooding threat will likely be higher. Below you can see the most recent GFS precipitation totals through Saturday. Some locations could see a quick 3” of rainfall Friday during the day. That would raise rivers and streams around the area considerably.

GFS Precipitation Totals Through Saturday AM Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

The European model is not as bullish on the amount of precipitation, because it takes a more northern track track with the low pressure. This would still bring a chance for severe weather, but the threat would be lower in my opinion. Below is the most recent European model precipitation forecast.

0z European Precip Forecast Courtesy of  Weather.us

0z European Precip Forecast Courtesy of Weather.us

So why are these solutions so different? Well below you can see the surface low pressure from both the GFS and the Euro. The Euro takes a much more northern track compared to the GFS. The GFS brings the low pressure close to the Tennessee Valley, and a strong warm air conveyor belt develops over WNC. A weaker area of lift is present on the Euro because the low pressure travels closer to the great lakes.

GFS Surface Low Over KY.. Map Courtesy of TropicalTidbits.com

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Euro Surface Low Over MI.. Map Courtesy of TropicalTidbits.com

Notice how on the GFS, there is some strong interaction with the 500mb low and some hail/snow breaks out over N MS/N AL. This is very interesting to me, and is something to be monitored as we progress this week. But until late Thursday & into Friday, enjoy the sunshine and nice weather because it will be beautiful around WNC!

Enhanced Risk For Storms In WNC Today, All Forms Of Severe Weather Are Possible

An interesting and potentially dangerous weather day is upon us here in WNC, with the chance for high impact storms is possible this afternoon. Currently this morning, several scattered showers are moving through WNC, and those will continue throughout the morning. After this first line pushes through, some clearing will occur, and then another line of storms will develop. Regarding timing of the strongest storms, I believe that after some clearing around 2pm, larger supercells will develop due to increased instability. These storms will then push Northeast, and could drop a tornado somewhere in the Foothills of NC or even in WNC. I am not saying that a tornado is certain, but the ingredients looks to be in place this afternoon across portions of the Western part of NC for one to develop. Therefore you need to be weather aware today! Know your safe space, talk it over with your family. If a tornado warning is issued for your location, find the interior most room of your home away from windows and glass. If its a bathroom, get in the tub and place pillows on top of you. Many people have surivived tornado’s taking these simple precautions. Also, if you have bike helmets available, pass them out and wear them for extra protection.

Early Morning Model Data

Looking at the most recent model updates, we are now in the range of the HRRR and it paints a dangerous picture for the western portion of NC this afternoon. If you look below, you can see the 2-5km updraft helicity tracks for this afternoon. These are possible tracks for supercells this afternoon. This is just to give you an idea of how numerous the storms will be this afternoon, and to show that extreme instability will be present.

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Also, here is the simulated radar for this afternoon per the most recent HRRR. You can see that several rounds of storms will be possible this afternoon around WNC. The cells this afternoon will have the potential to go severe, so we will have two rounds of storms that could possibly be severe. I will do my best to keep an eye on the radar and go live if necessary.

HRRR Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

Flash Flooding Will Be Possible

With rainfall already this morning around WNC, and multiple rounds of storms later.. I expect to see flash flooding this afternoon in various locations throughout WNC. Storms could drop large hail in isolated locations, and that will only further any flash flooding threat. Below is the precipitation totals from the HRRR through this evening. Well over an inch of rainfall is expected for many, with some 2”+ totals likely along the Blue Ridge Escarpment.

HRRR Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

Backside Higher Elevation Snow Showers?

There is a possibility for some higher elevation snow showers on the backside of this system, but that will mainly be above 4500’ on the NC/TN border. Some flurries cannot be ruled out around Asheville, but thats about it. Winds will get up on the backside of this system as moisture is strained out, some elevations above 4500’ could see accumulation. Below you can see those snow showers on the 3km NAM. So a very dynamic system, but I will be tracking it fully so stay tuned and check in for a live update on the AshevilleWX App or Facebook around 11am.

3km Nam Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

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Dangerous Weather Day In Store For WNC On Sunday, All Forms Of Severe Weather Are Possible

A strong frontal boundary will begin to eject itself Northeast out of Texas beginning today, and that will bring severe weather to millions across the Southeast over the next two days. As this front ejects, a dangerous day develops today across portions of Eastern Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, & Mississippi. Large tornados could be possible with models hinting at Severe Tornado Perimeters(STP) topping 7 in the area. STP is a measure of the amount of rotation available as a parcel of air is lifted, combined with how much fuel is present in the atmosphere as the parcel is lifted. Tomorrow this same system will push over the mountains of WNC, and the STP’s will be in the 3-4 range. This is a very high reading compared to what most storms bring to WNC. So, below ill discuss the details regarding the system, but know that a dangerous severe threat will be possible around WNC tomorrow afternoon, and a chance for a tornado cannot be ruled out.

Todays Severe Outbreak

Models continue to elude to a juiced environment ahead of this ejecting low pressure, and as you can see below, Severe Tornado Perimeters will almost be off the charts this afternoon around portions of Northern LA.

Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

In the weather community, we refer to this sort of anomaly as a “sting of pearls”. Meaning that there will be several congruent supercells moving across the land in unison, without impeding the others updrafts. It takes extreme veering or turning of winds with height to accomplish this, but fronts in the US have the capability. I expect later this evening to be tracking several tornado across portions of Northern Louisiana & Southern Arkansas. This same system will then take aim at WNC.

What To Expect Sunday Around WNC

Scattered showers will be likely throughout the day tomorrow, but then some slight clearing and peaks of sun will really destabilize the atmosphere ahead of the frontal passage. Below you can see the most recent NAM 3km data showing the STP around WNC tomorrow afternoon. Notice how many locations show reading of +4! Those are some of the higher STP’s that I have even seen projected for WNC.

Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

Here is the projected radar from the most recent 3km NAM as well. The veering or turning of the winds at the surface is what makes this system so dangerous. Winds will be from the South or Southeast at the surface, but aloft they will turn more Westerly. Like a spinning top, this veering generates tornadogenises and with adequate dew points, a funnel reaches the surface.

WNCSevereOutbrakRadarGrabApril14th.png

Below is a sounding of the atmosphere from tomorrow as the most active weather moves in.

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This change in wind direction with height will create for a dangerous weather day around WNC tomorrow. Strong winds, hail, lightning, and even an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out. If you recall the other day I showed a similar sounding from the Upstate of SC. That corresponded with isolated hail, and strong winds. This could be very similar around WNC if this sounding is to be taken serious. I will be live later today (1pm), and then tomorrow keeping you updated regarding the progression of severe weather, and ill also be doing a bit of chasing if necessary to ensure that eyes are on the sky. You can also use the WNC Weather Cameras to watch storms move across the area!

Backside Snow Showers Possible In Higher Elevations Monday AM, Flurries Cannot Be Ruled Out Around AVL

I am continuing to watch the backside of this system as models have shown the possibility for Northwest Flow snow showers to move in early Monday. Winds will get up as the front passes, and these flurries cannot be ruled out reaching Downtown Asheville. No accumulation is expected except for locations above 4500’. So a very dynamic system is on tap for WNC over this weekend, and you shouldn’t let your guard down! I’ll be live later this afternoon around 1pm so be sure to tune in!

Scattered Showers Possible Tuesday, Then After A Beautiful Wed & Thur.. Rain Moves Back In Friday

A few scattered showers cannot be ruled out around WNC today as a stubborn surface front finally makes its way through the area. These do not appear to have severe characteristic, but the possibility for some thunder and lightning cannot be ruled out.

Looking Ahead

Wednesday and Thursday look to be nice outdoor days around WNC with temperatures in the mid to upper 60’s both days. Clouds will begin to build though through the day on Thursday and rainfall will be likely again early Friday morning. This front will be associated with the large snowstorm that will be affecting the Midwest, so some severe weather cannot be ruled out.. but it’s still too far in advance to determine how strong storms will be. Below you can see the most recent 12km NAM run. As you can see, some showers are possible today, but then another front spins up over the midwest, and a branch of severe weather forms off of it Thursday afternoon across TN.

6z 12km NAM surface reflectivity courtesy of TropicalTidbits.com

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How Much Rain Thursday Night Into Friday?

It’s still a little far out, but most models show over a half inch of rainfall. Some models have higher totals, but with these lines on the tail ends of low pressures.. it’s difficult to forecast exact totals until a day or so out. Even yesterday, I was expecting more rainfall.. but cloud cover during the day never lifted and strong storms over WNC never materialized. A bit more sun would have added more fuel to the storms, and a higher chance for hail would have existed. So check back soon for another update, and know there is a slight chance for storm development moving into Friday.

Severe Storms Likely Tomorrow Afternoon/Evening Around WNC, Isolated Hail Cant Be Ruled Out

A strong surface low deep in Texas is currently beginning to push moisture into our area. As this surface low continues to move into the Southeast, the chances for severe weather will increase. Monday and into Tuesday morning appears to be the most active timeframe for NC, but rain could linger all the way into Wednesday with this frontal passage. Below you can see a GIF of the most recent NAM 3km run showing the progression of the storms. It appears storms development will be likely around 3-4pm in WNC, and then those storms will progress East.

12z 3km NAM radar reflectivity through Tuesday courtesy of Weathermodels.com

Will It Hail At Your Location?

It is possible that some hail could be embedded with the storms that develop tomorrow afternoon. Higher elevations are more susceptible to hail reaching the ground.. but updrafts will be strong with this system, and temperatures aloft will be cold, so some hail development is possible. Rain, lightning, and strong winds though will be the main story with this system in WNC.

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Isolated Southeast Tornado Threat

The Severe Prediction Center or SPC has placed a slight risk for severe weather tomorrow over portions of NC/SC?VA for tomorrow. Further analysis of model data shows favorable conditions for isolated tornado development between Greenville, SC & Raleigh, NC. The exact timing here is uncertain, but isolated supercells look to develop out in front of the main line of storms sometime later tomorrow afternoon. That line will then sweep across the states of NC & SC, causing isolated wind damage and hail throughout the night in both states. Below you can see the SPC image regarding the severe threat, and then a corresponding hodograph that I pulled from Upstate SC tomorrow around 6pm. Notice how the the storm motion(circled) is in the form of a spiral. That tell me that as air rises, it will naturally spin due to the variation in wind direction and speed as a parcel of air is lifted. If lifted parcels spin, the likelihood for tornadic development is increased.

Courtesy of Pivotalweather.com

Chances For A Spin-Up Tornado In WNC?

Those chances are always low, but they are never zero. We have had a few isolated tornados over the years, but the chances are always higher outside of the mountains due to updrafts constantly being undercut. I remember as a kid a tornado occurring in 1999. Here’s a link to the survey done by the National Weather Service, Asheville Tornado. The chances with this system will be very low, but always remember it can happen, and it will likely be very hard to predict when the conditions will be perfect for tornadogenises to occur in the mountains of WNC. As always though, it is so important for you to report anything you see. Whether its on social media, or calling your local national weather service office (GSP).. take a picture and post it so it can be evaluated by experts.

Flash Flooding Possible Through Wednesday

Isolated flash flooding cannot be ruled out all across WNC with the possibility of over 2” of rainfall falling in many locations through Wednesday. This surface low will meander across the Southeast, crawling towards the coast. As it stalls out, several rounds of rainfall will move through WNC. I am not expecting extensive flooding, but isolated street flooding due to high waters could be a problem. Some streams could rise, and even some rivers could reach very minor flood stage, but again I am not expecting extensive flooding since we have been dry for the past week. The water table is still high though, so be careful and turn around.. don’t drown. Be sure to check out the WNC Weather Camera Network to watch storms move into the area tomorrow afternoon, I will try and go live sometime today to give more details. Have a great Sunday!

Beautiful Weather Saturday Leads To More Rain Sunday And Early Next Week In WNC

An incredible Saturday looks to be in store for WNC weather-wise with highs in the low 70’s, and only scattered clouds expected. Moving into Sunday though, clouds will begin to build, and an isolated rain shower could be possible before more widespread rainfall moves in Monday and into Tuesday. Therefore, the best day this weekend to get out and enjoy the scenery will be Saturday!

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How Much Rainfall?

Most models indicate that around an inch of rainfall will be possible for most locations around WNC, with isolated higher totals. I am not expecting a washout from this system, but a couple of rounds of heavy rainfall will be possible, especially Monday night and into Tuesday. Below you can see the most recent GFS precipitation depiction map.

12z GFS Precipitation Totals Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

Recap

So a beautiful Saturday awaits you tomorrow, but clouds will build in Sunday along with scattered showers. As that front approaches, partly cloudy skies will turn to drizzle, and then heavy rain Monday night and into Tuesday. Between 1”-1.5” of rain is expected for most locations around WNC. More rainfall could be likely Tuesday and into Wednesday, but there is some disagreement among models currently at this time. Enjoy Saturday, and prepare for more rain early next week.

Temperatures Rose Over 40 Degrees Today Around WNC, Rainfall Return To Forecast For Friday

A drastic temperature swing took place across WNC today, where many locations rose from the upper 20’s into the upper 60’s. In many locations that amounted to over a 40 degree difference! This is Spring-like weather that we have been waiting for!! As you can see on the Olivette Weather Station and the below image, the temperature rose 41 degrees today.

41degreetempswingapril3rd.png

As a southeastern ridge pumps in warm Atlantic air, these warm temperatures will continue through the near future. Rainfall will move back into the area on Friday morning as a moderate system brings scattered showers in. Most models indicate that less than 1” of rainfall will be possible, so there is no real threat regarding flash flooding.

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Another System Moves In Sunday

Looking ahead towards the weekend around WNC, another system looks to move into the area sometime on Sunday bringing with it the chance for another round of scattered showers. Again, these appear to be somewhat light in nature. Total precipitation through the weekend in most areas will be less than 1” or rainfall, but I cannot rule out isolated pockets of higher totals. Saturday appears to be the best day of the weekend with highs in the mid 70’s, so get out and enjoy it! Check back soon for another update, and have a great day!

Dynamic April System Could Bring Snow To Mountains Or Foothills Of WNC

A strong upper level low will push though the Southeast on Tuesday, creating for an extremely difficult forecast. Small details in the upper atmosphere will equate to large changes regarding precipitation type that falls at the surface. I am growing increasingly more confident that at least the immediate Foothills or WNC right up next to the Blue Ridge Mountains will see snow fall Tuesday morning. Both the NAM & High Resolution NAM show this. The High Resolution NAM though blossoms the precipitation earlier, and therefore more hits the SW mountains of WNC. The 3km High Resolution NAM even shows snow falling around Asheville. We are beginning to see a Northwest trend on all models, but it remains to be seen how far Northwest the models move the precipitation shield. Below you can see the most recent model trends.

High Resolution NAM 3km Tuesday AM Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

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High Resolution NAM 3km Snowfall Map Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

Upper Level Low

The upper level low pressure that will push into the area is what is creating havoc with this forecast.  An upper level low will control the direction of motion with precipitation as its lifted into the atmosphere, and has the ability to make its own cold air through dynamic cooling.  When the upper level low begins to go negative tilt, precipitation can rotation around the upper level low, where it falls in a cold sector.  Many times this precipitation falls as snow, grapel, or hail.  Below you can see how the 3km NAM and the high resolution NAM crank back the upper level low towards WNC as it rotates through.  I believe that any precipitation that falls, has the chance to be frozen.

3km NAM 500mb Chart Courtesy of Tropicaltidbits.com

12km NAM 500mb Chart Courtesy of Tropicaltidbits.com

These appear to be very similar, but their precipitation depictions are somewhat different.  Below you can see the 12z NAM 12km radar depiction, and it shows the setup a bit more elongated, and affects the Foothills and even Charlotte more.  This would indicate a stronger Lee side development of the captured surface low thats developing and forming its precipitation band along a zone of truncation.  Wherever this strong band develops, it will likely snow.  It could be across Upstate SC, or WNC, or the Foothills of NC, or even the Piedmont of NC.  There is not enough data to nail it down just yet, but check back soon.. ill have another detailed update together before the storm approaches.

Early April Snowfall Possible Around WNC Next Week

The sun is out, its beautiful outside.. and I am talking about snow? Yes, unfortunately… Long range models are hinting at a strong upper level low moving through WNC beginning Tuesday morning, and persisting through Wednesday. Friday and Saturday look very nice around WNC with temperatures in the upper 60’s so please get out and enjoy it!

What Do Models Show?

Models show a strong upper level low capturing a surface low and enhancing over the SE of the United States. Then that low pressure bombs out off the coast of NC. With the heavy rate of precipitation and the favorable temperatures for snow aloft, accumulation cannot be ruled out. Below you can see the most recent 12z Euro and the coinciding snowfall map.

12z Euro courtesy of Weather.us

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12z Euro snowfall map courtesy of Weather.us

Here is what the GFS shows at the same time period. As you can see there is a wide variation among models, but a sizable storm does appear to be on the table.

12z GFS Precipitation Depiction Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

12z GFS Snowfall Map Courtesy of Weathermodels.com

Great Uncertainty Remain

This will be an extremely challenging forecast moving ahead, but I will do several live updates to keep you informed. The main takeaway from this article should be that there is one last possibility of winter weather on the horizon, so stay tuned for more information leading up to the storm. Heavy precipitation looks likely, but what form it falls as will remain to be seen. Check back soon for another update!