Sapphire Valley

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Sapphire, NC

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Sapphire Valley Resort
Fairfield Lake

Forecast Discussion

Summary

SYNOPSIS

... Dry and warming high pressure returns to the area today through Monday. Precipitation chances increase a little Tuesday, before a dry and colder Canadian high settles across the region Wednesday through the end of the week.

NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 635 AM: SPS remains in place where patchy black ice may redevelop on some roads mainly east of the I-77 corridor. Fog across the Little TN and Upper Savannah River valleys will dissipate by mid- morning. Patchy fog possible elsewhere. Some low clouds across the mountains this morning will dissipate by afternoon as cirrus spreads across the area. Thicknesses rebound with southwesterly flow outside of the mountains. Gusty W to NW winds continue across the mountains. Highs will be near to slightly below normal.

A short wave and upper jet push a weak cold front across the area tonight. Low level moisture returns with these features, combining with an increase in northwesterly flow, to bring a return of low clouds across the mountains. Some of these clouds will break containment and spread across the I-40 corridor as well. The moisture is relatively shallow and the forcing is brief but still expect some flurries to develop across the usual northwest flow areas of the higher elevations. No significant accumulations are expected. Gusty northwest winds continue across the mountains, especially the higher elevations, but should remain below Wind Advisory level. Lows will be around 5 degrees below normal.

SHORT TERM /MONDAY THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT/... As of 145 AM EST Sunday...A split-flow pattern aloft begins the period with an h5 s/w digging across wrn TX. This upper wave is progged to move over the nrn GOM late Mon and instigate weak cyclogenesis through the overnight. The latest guidance keeps the better moisture flux south of the FA, with the NAM the most aggressive in a more definitive QPF response across the srn zones Tue. Soundings show a stable and dense airmass in place ahead of the system with most locales only developing Ci and possibly llvl StCu by early afternoon. Thus, the going low-end PoPs have been reduced a little more with only slight chances all areas. There could be a brief period of -sn across the higher NC mtns when the colder air intersects some degree of moisture increase, yet little to no accum is expected. With sw/ly Bl flow continuing thru the period, expect maxTs at or abv normal by a few degrees each day while minTs also return to seasonal levels.

LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/... As of 220 AM EST Sunday...Strong ulvl ridging across central Canada will force another strong and cold area of hipres south into the FA Wed. This sfc high wont be as cold as last week's airmass, yet maxTs will struggle to climb out of the 40s each day outside the mtns and remain in the l40s to u30s across the mtn valleys. Expect mlvl clouds to develop with a crossing s/w Wed into Thu, while the column begins to dry out sigfnt/ly Fri into Sat as PWATS look to drop below 0.25 inches by Fri afternoon.

The guidance continues to indicate a decent chance of a ne/rn GOM and/or Atl coast storm developing along a stationary front sometime btw Fri morning and Fri night depending on op model chosen. The latest ECMWF has come inline with the GFS/CMC solns of keeping the system offshore as it intensifies and keeps impacts east of the area. The GEFS ens members generally agree with the null precip associated with the opnl GFS with only a couple perturbations indicating a chance of wintry precip. However, there is still time for this system to slow or trend more west as the interaction/speed details of the incoming h5 trof with the sfc boundary are figured out. For now, will advertise low-end chance PoPs with small accum -snsh across the NC mtns Fri afternoon thru the night period due to increasing dynamic forcing and lingering llvl moisture. With overall uncertainty remaining rather high, this will be a system to keep an eye on over the next few days.

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