Sunday, February 14, 2016


Many days ago this system was appearing as a 2"-5"event.  At times, the model runs went much heavier...but I have to admit (and this is a good thing), just about every model run the past 24 hours is confirming that the incoming low pressure is coming in almost on top of us, which means warmer temps, a lot of rain, and minimal snow/ice accumulations.  The 2"-5" still barely makes sense, but now only around the 2" end of that range for ACA.  There will be more snow along the TN border, but nothing has indicated to me our amounts will be anything more than the low end above.

Be that as it may, ACA is officialy under a Winter Storm Watch, which will most likely swith over to a Warning later today.  It runs from 7p Sunday through 7p Monday, calling for 2"-4" of snow and up to 0.10" of ice.

In a nutshell, even with our arctic temps Saturday and this morning, the parent "high" in the NE won't sit still.  If it did, the low would be forced south, continued cold air would pour in from the NE,  and we'd be looking at a lot of snow, like a foot or more....only one model has favored that, the GEM (Canadian).  All the other models I look at have taken snow away run after run after run as the high moves out into the Atlantic off the Canadian coastline.

The forecast complications continue.  The incoming precipitation late today/overnight should be snow. During Monday, and certainly by afternoon, it should have transitioned through sleet and freezing rain to rain, with rain remaining through the rest of the day and most of the night.  Some wrap-around colder air from the NE may transition things back to a wintry mix as we head into Tuesday morning.

Whatever accumulations we get, the rain should knock it back down in a big way.  The only fly in the ointment would be a sustained period of sleet/freezing rain which would cap any snow, slowing down the rain's effect.

Insofar as impacts, this is all really good news, adding to this that once this system leaves, we get in a warming trend quickly.  But ice is the great equalizer, should it come into play, and that would be the biggest concern for travel.  This scenario could save our HOA some $$, as well...we'll just have to see what dregs are left over after our mish-mash of precipitation types, and how much removal the rain helped with.

More than likely, I'll just make a new post later today if I get updated (read 'different') information. If I don't post an update, then this will stand for my take.


Thursday, February 11, 2016


Just my road report from my trip down this morning....

Left around 4:40am from the end of don't want to carry too much downhill speed on the snow-covered side roads...and got to a relatively snow-free Apple Creek Road at that point.  Stayed clean past the mirror curve, but by the time I got to the #867 cabin just beyond (welcome, new owners!), the road becomes snow-ice covered. This is the notorious shaded portion that stays this way a lot. I had good grip in 4WD high and never felt it slip.  Snap your finger at the blue roof house, as you leave the white road and hit bare, safe asphalt all the way down to the entrance.

Did see some tell-tale tracks where I'm guessing 2WD cars headed uphill and lost traction, but didn't see anyone in the ditches or bailed out on the side.

Some of us will get a bit above 32 degrees today, and certainly tomorrow afternoon, but back in the freezer we go Saturday.

Snow - Friday/Friday night there is a slight chance for light snow/flurries, possibly up to 1/2" (models saying 0-1"), but I see no travel issues from it in ACA with the residual salt that will still be on the road.  

The bigger snow possibility still looms for Monday, possibly starting overnight Sunday and lasting into Tuesday morning.  GFS model last night seeing the edge of it with 3-4" for ACA, but the overnight run is now going 8-10".  My initial call was for 2-5", but in western NC...somewhere...this storm could lay down 12-18".  I have a feeling I'll be adjusting upwards.  

Once again, we'll go into an event with already cold ground temperatures which will mean quick coverage after onset.  Will update with more info later on this weekend, most likely Saturday afternoon.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016


The salt is doing its thing on Apple Creek Road.  While I can only speak of it from Staymon Road to the bottom, I encountered no slippage while taking it easy.  Towards the bottom, lots of bare if not wet (not icy) asphalt, and higher up where it is still mostly snow covered, there is a texture to the snow and it's evident the salt is working underneath from the light snow we got overnight. I found I had good grip. Side roads weren't plowed, but it was a piece of non-slippery cake for me on Staymon in 4WD...I ended up with 5-6" of snow there, though wind and such has it down to 3-4" on the road.

The system Monday is a 'heads up' will be another "NW flow event" like this one, and just guestimating I'm seeing something in the 2-5" range.  Purely speculation on my part, nothing empirical, just what the models are showing (and they are roughly agreeing) and my gut feeling.  Probably won't mention any more on that until Saturday or so when there is more clarity.

Be safe and be well, y'all.



Salt from the plowing late yesterday apparently has improved the road a good bit.  Talked with Chris Martin who watched two trucks go down at regular speed with no tires slipping.  I will be heading out in about two hours and can report thereafter.  If anyone has anything to add to observations, etc., please add them in the comments section.

I had a low of 8 degrees this morning...while a rogue wrap-around band of snow is possible, it's not likely here.  A skiff may come in late Friday, and another lightly accumulating snow for Monday...I'll post more on that in a few days.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Retyping from the earlier post, clarifying what I found on the mountain.  Apple Creek Road has been plowed and salted, although temps are getting too cold for the salt to do much good.  

THE SERIOUS PART: From the entrance up past Chris Martin (#211) all the way to the next curve to the left, it is exceedingly icy.  In order to back down to Chris's driveway safely, we laid a good bit of salt out....consider that a landing pad of sorts if you are heading up.  Keep your speed up or you may not make it to that turn.

Coming DOWN from that curve...well, that is probably the most dangerous part of all.  Once you lose traction, it's a free-for-all.  I can't say in all good conscience that anyone should attempt it.  Up, maybe, down, no.

Above that turn, I had no issues all the way up to Staymon and home.  Which is where I don't plan on leaving anytime soon.  :-)

I'll start a new post for Wednesday morning when I hear about 'things'.



Not sure the comments section is working as a couple of us have written, sent, but nothing shows up...but here is the latest from Owen Fulghum per road treatments ahead:

UPDATE: 1:00pm Tuesday - We have contacted Mike Clampitt to clear and salt Apple Creek Rd. He will come later this afternoon or tomorrow morning (Wednesday) after the snowfall is finished. We know the gravel roads are also slippery, but the wind gusts seem to have thinned the snow such that scraping would likely do more damage than good. If this is not the case with your gravel road, let me know. Just in case you didn't know, salting a gravel road will turn the underlying hard-pack into mush and ruin the road bed. Please be very careful out there - whether on feet or four wheels.


Owen Fulghum (President, ACAHA)

I recently drove down from the end of Staymon...after some more heavy snow bands I had close to 4" of very fluffy snow.  Swept cleanly off the deck, but a tad more sticky on my driveway.  Salt cured that after I plowed it.  While Apple Creek Road is heavily snow-covered up high, I had zero issues in 4WD.  Closer to the bottom, there is less snow and the road seemed more slippery to me.

I'd much rather drive in 4" of snow than in 1/2" of snow, and I'd much rather go uphill in it than downhill.  Use caution if you must head out...and watch out for snowboarders! (Just a tongue in cheek enterprising soul carved down the mountain on one)





Just measured 2.2" here at the end of Staymon as a heavy snow band passed through.  NW flow events are tricky can have blue sky and then get a snow shower that lays down a quick 1/2" or more, which I'm getting as I type.  This off and on pattern will continue all day, and through Wednesday, though the chances are lower.

I've not yet been out on the roads, but there is no icy belly to this fluffy stuff.  It sweeps right off the steps and deck and driveway to bare material.  However, it makes no sense treat our roads until this event is clearly wrapping up, so please use extreme caution if you must head out.  Once I'm down and settled at school I'll post any concerns I had here, but it may take a while.

If I'm lucky I might see 32 degrees Thursday afternoon here at the end of Staymon.  What limited snow fell and will fall is going nowhere soon.

Stay tuned.