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Forecast Discussion

Summary

SYNOPSIS

... A strong cold front will sweep southeast through the area tonight into early Tuesday, bringing a surge of very cold air along with strong gusty winds. Rain showers will move in ahead of the front tonight, then gradually mix with and change to snow showers in the mountains overnight. Upslope snow showers are expected to continue west of the Blue Ridge on Tuesday, while locations east of the Ridge will see showers gradually ending, followed by clearing skies for the afternoon.

NEAR TERM /THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 130 PM EST Monday...

A good amount of sunshine this afternoon across the Appalachians and central mid Atlantic region, but clouds are not far off as the strong cold front approaching from the west remains on schedule. There will be rain showers out ahead of the front, but as the front crosses the region and much colder air surges in, precipitation will mix with/change to snow overnight. Locations west of the Blue Ridge will see some flakes and possibly a light coating but appreciable accumulations will be limited to the higher elevations where an inch or two of accumulation is expected, with amounts possibly up to 3 inches for western Greenbrier county WV. The cold air will be chasing the departing rain showers east of the Blue Ridge so some wet flakes can also be expected just before the precipitation ends Tuesday morning/early afternoon. Snow showers will very gradually wind down west of the Ridge throughout the day on Tuesday with only a light additional accumulation at the higher elevations.

Winds will really start to howl behind the front with gusts of 45MPH to 50MPH expected at the higher elevations, especially from the southern Blue Ridge into the Mountains of NC. Combined with the surging cold air wind chill values will be quite low, especially at the higher elevations, through Tuesday night.

As noted, the surge of cold air behind the front is substantial and temperatures are expected to generally be falling throughout the day on Tuesday. Look for an early high in the mid/upper 40s east of the Ridge, 30s to the west.

SHORT TERM /TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT/... As of 208 PM EST Monday...

Some snow showers and flurries will linger in western mountains especially in western Greenbrier. Used a blend of Hires Arw- East and Nam for pops Tuesday night. It is going to windy with 6 hour pressure rises around 6-9mb and strong cold advection Tuesday evening into Tuesday night. The combination of wind and temperatures will drop winds chills to single digits to single digits below zero, with the coldest at the highest terrain. Wind chills could be as cold as minus 5 to minus 10 in western Greenbrier. Record low temperatures will be challenge Tuesday night with readings from the single digits to around 20 degrees. See climate section below for records.

High pressure centered over West Virginia Wednesday morning will slowly slide east into Wednesday night. High temperatures Wednesday will range from the upper 20s in the mountains to around 40 degrees in the piedmont under plenty of sunshine. Record coldest high temperatures are possible, despite the sunshine. The high center will slide eastward Wednesday night. Another cold night is on tap Wednesday night with good radiational cooling, though higher ridges out west may get some mixing. Low temperatures Wednesday night into Thursday morning will vary from the mid teens in the mountains to the mid 20s in the piedmont. High pressure will move into the Atlantic ocean Thursday. Meanwhile, upper trough will dig across the lower Mississippi Valley. Clouds will increase on Thursday with approach of next shortwave. High temperatures Thursday will range from the lower 30s in the mountains to the upper 40s in the piedmont. Some light over-running precipitation may be possible across southeastern portions of the forecast area Thursday night. Low temperatures will vary from the lower 20s in the mountain valleys to the lower 30s in the piedmont.

Medium confidence in short term forecast.

LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... As of 208 PM EST Monday...

Forecast becomes more complicated with differing model solutions leading to lower confidence in the long range period. The challenge is how far west the over-running precipitation goes with coastal frontal boundary and wave of low pressure.

The ECMWF and its ensemble mean continue to be slower and more amplified with the shortwave and eventual closed low that will affect the Southeast by the end of the week and into the weekend. This results in the ECMWF being farthest west and closest to the coast with the developing surface low, while the UKMET and CMC are farther offshore.

With uncertainty, decided to follow WPCGUIDE with pops for Thursday night into Friday morning. As for ptype, temperatures will be running close to freezing out east, and could see some freezing/frozen precipitation Friday morning. Kept it simple for now with light rain or snow.

Beyond Friday models start to diverge, Low pressure slowly lifts north along the coast into Early nest week. The northern and western edge of precipitation varies depending on model choice. Hard to believe that there will be a secondary low which forms in the Atlantic ocean like GFS was showing.

Majority model consensus shows high pressure at the surface winning out over our area, while most precip stays toward the coast. Temperatures still staying below normal, but not well below normal like early week.

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