Discussing the few chances of light snow that we have in the next week
I tried very carefully to write a headline that wasn't going to scare the mess out of people. Having said that, welcome to another weather blog! In case you haven't noticed, it's cold. It's also winter, and we expect that.
With that cold often comes the question, "Is it going to snow?" It will in parts of the area. Let's talk about when, and some of the questions we've still left to answer over the next week.
FRIDAY SNOW POTENTIAL
The front that gave us this cold air is just kinda hanging out over the southeastern US. As a wave of low pressure rides along that front, some moisture will be sent up into the mountains east of I-81 on Friday afternoon and evening. This will likely mean light snow in that part of the area, with only flurries (if that) in areas along and west of I-81.
Given the cold air and colder ground, some of this will accumulate. But check the map below. The better chance of 1" of snow is in the mountains on the TN-NC line. The farther west you go from there, the lesser those odds become.
Still, if you have plans to travel on Friday evening into (or out of) North Carolina, it may be a bit tricky. Be sure to check here for road conditions in Tennessee and here for North Carolina.
This doesn't have the makings of a 'shut down everything' system but more so a nuisance system.
Then, we look towards Saturday.
SATURDAY SNOW POTENTIAL
Saturday works a little differently. Much of the day will be dry, but cold and breezy with wind chills dropping low! A 'clipper' comes down from the northwest and literally clips us. That would mainly be after sunset on Saturday, providing us with scattered snow showers.
What we see ultimately depends on the track of the clipper. The farther north it goes, the less impact we see. The farther south it goes, the more impact we see. This system has the makings of something that's very elevation-dependent. Some of you in the valleys see nothing to maybe a half an inch. In the higher elevations, the worst-case scenario would be 1-2" (again...that's worst case). Not a major winter storm but more of a nuisance system and something we'll be updating over the next 24 hours.
The cold air doesn't go much of anywhere any time soon, really. In fact, the same system that's providing dangerous fire weather in SoCal is repeatedly funneling the cold air down here.
With that said, there may be an opportunity for one or two more clippers by the middle of next week. Obviously, details (as far as exact time, snow amounts, etc) are going to change between now and then.
With that said, it's a good idea to keep checking back for updates. If you see snow maps posted 5-7 days prior to an event, take those with a grain of salt. Also know that those maps are rarely (if ever) going to come from us. We believe in honesty, transparency and sticking to facts about our forecasts.
Lastly, I'll lave you with this. It's December. It gets cold, and every now and then - it snows. None of what I've written about is a major ordeal. Nuisance? Potentially, but I don't see this area getting shut down any time soon.