Sugar Mountain

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Sugar Mountain, NC

Sugar Ski & Country Club

Forecast Discussion



... Dry conditions will remain over the area before a couple weak surface troughs bring precipitation Monday and again on Wednesday. There is the potential for another moist weather system to affect the region late in the week.

NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 1020 AM: Forecast is on track with no additional adjustments planned.

As of 835 AM: We are starting out the day about a couple of degrees cooler than expected. Temperatures should still rebound nicely under nearly full sun, but did tweak highs down a degree or so to account for the cooler start to the day.

As of 640 AM: A closed, occluded low will remain near the eastern US/Canada border today. Westerly flow beneath the surrounding trough will maintain upslope cloud cover over parts of the NC mtns this morning. For the Piedmont, aside from some occasional cirrus bands, sunny skies this morning and early afternoon will allow temps to warm slightly above normal across the area.

Meanwhile, a shallow shortwave will approach from the west. Moistening will occur from the top down with this feature as it moves over the CWA. Clouds thus are expected to lower and thicken by late afternoon in the west, and the cloud deck should progress eastward thru daybreak Monday. With dry air in the low levels, precip chances will result only for the mountains this evening, given the aid of westerly upslope flow; they expand across the rest of the area later in the night. Temp/moisture profiles will be favorable for snow crystal production, so as temps cool diurnally, snow levels will fall thru the mtn elevations. Light, sub-advisory accumulations are likely through 12z Mon above 3500 feet, though the event will continue into the short term--read on.

SHORT TERM /MONDAY THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT/... As of 225 AM Sunday...An ongoing wx event to begin the period as a large area of channeled h5 vort supports a broad and moist sfc trof crossing the FA from the NW. The llvl flow will remain moist up to 6 Kft with snow levels across the mtns maintained generally abv 4 Kft. With continued w/ly topo lift...the best precip potential will be across the Smokies and down the Balsams as well as the Black Mtns. Will expect another 2-4 inches of snow across the higher wrn Smokies and up to 2 inches of new snow along the ridgetops of the Balsam's...while Mt Mitchell could see an additional 3 inches thru the period. Precip will wane fairly quickly aft 21z...with lingering light upslope snow probable along the TN border thru Tue morning accumulating up to an inch of additional snow in the higher elevations of the nrn NC mtns. A good amt of snow for these areas indeed...but since most of the accum will be confined to elevations abv 5 advisory will not be issued yet will mention this hazard in the HWO.

Outside the mtns...downsloping w/ly flow will limit the precip potential over NE GA and the Upstate...but the NC fthills and NW Piedmont areas will likely see light rain with possibly periods of snow mixing in at times thru 9 am. Max temps will range from the low to mid 50s across the srn zones to upper 40s across the mtn valleys. The higher peaks wont warm much due to precip and cloud cover...generally remaining in the 30s. Weak yet deeply dry highpres builds in Tue which will bring temps back to normal levels across all locations.

LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 330 AM Sunday: Weak upper ridging will begin the period before another split-stream system approaches the FA. This system shud remain fairly weak as it attenuates crossing the Deep South on Wed. The sfc reflection is weak and available moisture will be meager while sfc temps over the mtn valleys remain marginal for sigfnt accum snow. Soundings at KAVL show a weak subs inversion warm some mixed precip is possible thru mid-day Wed...yet moisture will remain quite shallow and -fzdz/--sn would be more likely mixing with -ra than regular snow. Low-level moisture retreats quickly Wed evening and expect dry conds over the area thru Thu.

Not much change was made to the tail end of the fcst. The models continue to struggle with another split-flow event. The ECMWF and the CMC are now mostly dry while the GFS brings in a highly moist Miller-B type system. With the guidance going back and forth run-to-run and no consensus seen in the synoptic pattern...have maintained low-end PoPs Fri into Sat with a token wintry precip mix mention across the higher mtn elevations Fri and the I-40 corridor by Sat. At this looks like an upper wave will affect the region...but the actual evolution/placement of the llvl mass fields and thermal profiles will have great varying impacts for our FA. So suffice to say...much more will need to be figured out as we near the event for an increase in confidence.