Friday, April 13, 2018


3-30-18 from the end of Staymon (click to enlarge)
I will be away from the computer to update the blog until Sunday night, so I wanted to put a few notes 'out there' for what's ahead.

Spring can't seem to stay sprung around these parts for very long this year, and we'll have another strong cold front cross this region on Sunday.  Ahead of and along the front will be pockets of heavy rain and thunderstorms that may reach severe levels for damaging winds.  If they approach moving relatively west to east, the Great Smokies will absorb a good bit of the energy for cells heading for ACA.  If the move SW to NE, we won't be quite as any event, heads up for possible trees down or a power outage (they never really last long, overall, when they occur).

Then, in the predawn hours Monday, snow is being talked about behind the front.  At this moment, both of my models are going 0-1" for ACA, with 2" along the immediate TN border above 3500'.  I don't see anything for the valleys, so I imagine the NWS may put out another HWO (hazardous weather outlook) for the snow on Sunday, for elevations above 3500'.

When I return Sunday night, I'll update if the above information is significantly different.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Just headed out to Canton and back on errands, and it is a querrolous thing to look at the temps and snow accumulations.  Here at the house, it's 25 degrees on the ground, 30 on the deck, yet melting is continuing for now.  My guestimate is I've gotten 2-3" of snow, but with the significant melting the most any place has now is 1.5".  My driveway is clear, ice-free, and Apple Creek Road is in perfect condition as I type.  No ice, no slush or slick areas (only from Staymon down...can't speak about higher up).

All roads I drove into Waynesville...Mauney Cove, Hall Top, the four lane to Canton, all are in perfect conditions, albeit wet.  I never encountered a temperature above 32, either.  On the 4 lane to Canton, there would be no snow on the bordering land, then within a few hundred yards would be 2-3" piled up, then back to nothing.  Everywhere I went, and even now at home here at the end of Staymon, it's snowing to beat the band, and has been for a few hours.  The incredible melting is testament to the insolation we get from the higher sun angle and ensuing warmth of Tuesday afternoon.

Tonight's lows should be well down into the lower 20s.  The Winter Storm Warning continues to 8am tomorrow, so snow showers will continue.  No guarantee our great conditions will stay that way for the AM commute, however.  Please feel free to post any pertinent reports in the comment section.  I'll update as needed with any new information.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018


6:30pm Tuesday update:  I've put a couple of changes in red below; the very recent trends introduces more dry air working in ahead of the snow, which should tail back our amounts.  This storm has two separate lows, and it's the one farther west (near us) that may put the dry slot over the mountains for a while.  Should that come to pass, accumulations will lessen and be delayed some. I'd imagine nobody would mind that...  :-)

There is a chance for a few inches of snow here in ACA...and it's typical for March, which can swing wildly in short order.  With the warmer temps, systems come in with more water content, and the incoming cold is perfectly timed with the moisture this go 'round.

We're under a Winter Storm Warning from 8pm tonight through 8am Thursday, a good 36 hours of potential snowfall. A digital forecast I like has onset after midnight, but the "likely" category has pulled back to "chance". My favored GFS which has sniffed out 'skunks' lately is showing the snow, but at amounts on the low side of the warning for us.  This will be one of those snows that going just one mile may mean the difference in who gets 2" or 4" of snow.  The going amounts in our area are 3-5", though my favored model holds ACA at just 2"-3".

Unlike last Wednesday's system, highs Wednesday will stay very cold, not much above freezing for a lot of us.  Where roads greatly improved last Wednesday afternoon (including Apple Creek Road), I'm not anticipating that this time.  And with lows well down in the 20s for Thursday morning, expect some travel issues on our mountain for a couple of days.

The good news is that it does start warming up Thursday afternoon and through the weekend...but I'm planning on hunkering down a bit here at the end of Staymon Road later this evening.

As an aside, I have a cohort from my days at KEVN FOX 7 in Rapid City, SD who just started the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain, GA two days ago. Welcome to the southern Blue Ridge in March, Jamie.  :-)


Sunday, March 18, 2018


This is just a heads up for Wednesday.  My favored GFS (which has really been spot-on) is pushing 3" of snow for Wednesday morning.  The NAM is following suit, and per the GFS, it has been seeing 2-3" from the earliest sighting.

Sure, things can change, but just wanted to put the idea out there at this time.  Good news is the temps will start warming Thursday...but at this time Wednesday is one very cold shot of air and moisture, and temporary travel issues in this region.  Stay tuned...    :-/


Tuesday, March 13, 2018


So far, my favored model has won the snow wars with the recent rash of limited snow events.  Here for this third round tonight, my favored model is.....(drum roll)...calling for a skunk yet again.  But not so fast...

First, what is 'out there'.  ACA is in yet another Winter Weather Advisory for elevations above 3500' for 2" and up to 5" of snow by 11am Thursday (locally higher amounts right on the TN border, which is not us).  The advisory starts at 8pm, with the better periods of snow chances getting here around midnight.

What's different this time: 
1)  The upstream moisture field is far more impressive, already near the NC border and extending back to the Great Lakes.
2)  There is crashing cold incoming through the day Thursday.  What sticks stays tomorrow, except for valley locations that will get some sun in the afternoon.  Even Waynesville proper is slated for at least 1/2" of snow per the NWS models from this round, where they weren't forecast for any the prior two hits.
3)  Travel has a good chance to be greatly impacted tomorrow...assuming it snows, of course.

Why wouldn't we get the snow?
1) If the upstream moisture flow curls east and misses us just to the north near, say, around Sam's Gap where I-26 crosses into TN.  That's what has been happening.
2) If we do get the moisture but the very low dew points (and relative humidity) evaporates most of it before it reaches the ground.

Normally, I'd side with the advisory, and would really like to.  It's just that my GFS model has been sitting in near-skunk mode for the third time in a row...hard to not bet on that pony again.

So, that's it...all that palavering for what is a pretty minor snow event.  Welcome to the South, y'all.  I'll be up early in the morning and will update accordingly...should I need to.


Monday, March 12, 2018


Well, well,'s in the upper 30s as I type around 5:20am at the end of Staymon, with the only snow near here up around 5,000 feet.  The cold air is a bit slow to move in, but there is a healthy thick band of snow poised in TN and KY moving this way hours from now.

However, we have been upgraded for potentially more snow by the GSP weather office.  The Winter Storm Warning is for 2-5" of snow above 3500', and below 3500' there is a Winter Weather Advisory for 2-4" of snow.  Both of these outlooks now run until 8am Tuesday, well past the prior 12am cut-off.  

FYI,  My GFS model last night still sat at 0-1", while the NAM took ACA back to 2-3".  I guess I have to defer to the NWS as they have far more tools at their disposal than I do.  While we're rain this AM, I would now throw caution to the wind that as the morning wears on, snow will pick up and we may well have accumulated snow in ACA to deal with for those of us that need to get back up late this afternoon.

Today, I may only be able to add any news or updates via the comments section below.  For those of you on the mountain, please post any info that relates to snow and our roads.  Thanks in advance for that help.


Sunday, March 11, 2018


Top o' th' mornin' to ya, after losing an hour of sleep last night!  Yep, more snow to talk about....

This particular system has been like a wild pony in the model runs the past few days.  When I last wrote here, I was seeing around 3" for ACA.  But the models have not agreed on the storm track, which is everything when it comes to snow, especially.  Lots of snow, to no snow, to a little snow, and now our Winter Weather Advisory (embedded link) for some of us. 

The advisory runs from midnight tonight through midnight Monday, with the snow part in two chunks: early Monday AM, and Monday evening onward.  For the discussion to follow, there may well be a problematic rain/ice/snow mix by daybreak Monday, with some accumulation likely. More accumulations will occur on the Monday evening side of this system.

North and northeast of Asheville is a Winter Storm Warning for 3-6"+ of snow.  Glad we're missing out on that here in ACA.  Our Advisory is for elevations above that magical 3500' level (blue roof house). The advisory is for 2-4" of snow; lower elevations may see snow mixing in with the rain toward Monday evening. Little to no accumulation is expected in the valleys. Per the models, the GFS gets my nod on most sytems this winter. 

My issue per accumulations is how much will really accumulate, given that rain will mix in with the snow.  The most recent GFS run pulls back to 1" at best, while the NAM holds on to the 2-4" here.  I put in last evening's GFS run which showed the higher amounts.  One must remember one model run does not a forecast make, but a 'skunk' is not out of the picture here.  (click to enlarge pics)
GFS Sunday AM run (06Z)

GFS run Saturday night (00Z Sun)

NAM run Sunday AM (06Z)

All this to say roads could be a slippery mess Monday morning and definitely Tuesday morning with temps then expected to be down into the low to mid 20s.

I'll update if needed this evening with a new post, FYI.