Friday, March 28, 2014


This winter will simply not go away.  Another few inches of snow are very possible Saturday night into Sunday morning, and if not in ACA then very close by like Cataloochee and the Balsams.  Should we get any accumulations, they should be gone in fairly short order as it will not stay bitterly cold Sunday, and climb to the 40s as sunshine returns, breezy as it will be.

All of that is immediately after what will be a round of severe weather for the Carolinas, with a distinct threat of damaging winds and some supercells and tornadoes.  The threat for the latter should be east of us in the Foothills and points east, but winds are forecast to be very gusty for ACA, making power outages a distinct possibility.  Winds will be picking up around noon-ish Saturday, but continue rather strong well into Sunday, gusting from 30-40 mph.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Apple Creek Road is very icy, but passable in low gear and 4WD.   At 8am Blue Kia Sorrento is right on the edge of the lower hairpin, so caution there.  Only reports I've driveway was exceedingly icy before I salted it, and I had a low of 13 this morning.  Best I could tally, 6.1" of snow fell at the end of Staymon, with 4.2" still left in shaded areas. Roads collected a lot less and melted it nicely until temps crashed last evening. Sun will be out in force today and help with improving roads this morning.


Monday, March 24, 2014


(NOTE: 4:45p updated info in blue below)

Once again another noisome bit of weather news for you, per snow potential on the mountain.  ACA is in a Winter Weather Advisory from midnight tonight to midnight Tuesday night.  I've been watching the models for about 3 days and ACA has been generally in the 1/2"-2" range between the two models, but some recent runs want to bump to 3" very close by ACA, like the Cataloochee area and the Plott Balsams.  The going forecast is 1-3", but with the colder temps forecast for Tuesday, 2-3" seems more plausible.  The high will not reach 32 for most of us Tuesday, and down into the upper teens the following morning.

Timing:  While there is a chance of snow after midnight tonight through all of Tuesday, the more likely period of snow that could accumulate looks to arrive in the early AM hours Tuesday, day goes on, snow showers will still be around, with temps now forecast to be too cold for any rain to mix in.  All draws to a close well before Wednesday sunrise.

We at least start with a modestly warm ground temperature, but even slight accumulations make Apple Creek Road slippery. So a heads up for our own bit of March Madness before we start warming back up almost immediately after this event.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Our 'fruitcake' winter contiues...the gift that keeps on giving.  A vigorous cold front will blast through today, bringing strong gusty winds and crashing cold temperatures.  The snow advisory kicks off at 6pm and goes through 6am, with the wind advisory starting at noon today.  The official forecast is for 1-3", and for reasons below I'll concur.

Outside of the one map I posted for the last event that pegged Haywood's snow, both the NAM and GFS missed all of the other areas, some of which got over a foot of snow like Mt. Mitchell.  For this event, my models are saying 0-1", and my confidence is low for that, as much as I'd like for us to wake up to minimal travel issues tomorrow morning.  

One HUGE difference this time around will be the temperatures.  Wednesday's forecast in general for ACA will be a low of 13 degrees and a high of 30, with gusty winds still around.  That's a rather brutal change from yesterday's utopic weather.  Water dripping temps for me.

That said, for those that have to get off the mountain for work in the morning you know the drill when our roads are covered.  As the old saying goes, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  Temps do start to rebound Friday, but Thursday will require a huge wardrobe change.  Roads are expected to be dangerous for a period.


Thursday, March 6, 2014


4:45am  2" heavy snow @ 33 degrees

The particulars: ACA is in a Winter Weather Advisory from 6p this evening through noon  Friday, for a wintry mix that is expected to be a mix of rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow.  The 'official' forecast is rather complicated...1-2" in the Blue Ridge, 2-3" in the Balsams (ACA is on the NE end of the Plott Balsams), and involves accumulating snow and sleet before daybreak, then freezing rain on top of that for a wicked little layer cake effect.  Highs Friday go well above freezing, and any other precipitation goes to rain, but suffice it to say the AM commute for our mountain may be quite slick.  Given that outcome, there is no way to treat roads with this type stuff, so we will just have to wait out any issues as the temps climb well above freezing.

HOWEVER....I don't see too much ice concern for ACA in particular.  Alas, all it takes is a little ice to cause a huge issue, but the accumulations are not showing up in my favored modeling, except for a curious NAM run at 8p last night that has a solo bullseye of 'accumulation' right here in Haywood County, with ACA in the 2-5" range.  One of the oddest output maps I've seen, but here it is in all it's glory:
NAM 8pm run Wednesday 3/5/14
Subsequent runs have had from 0 to 1" accumulation and that's it, for both NAM and GFS models.  This whole system will be a huge bugger for the Foothills and Piedmont of NC, especially the northern parts, where temps will be colder.  Here in ACA, our low temps will be marginal to the 32 degree mark as it is, but these late season systems come in with a lot more moisture, so any periods of sleet or snow can accumulate rather quickly.  I'm personally going for a gloppy mess but no travel issues getting off or on the mountain.

Updates posted here as needed.  Refresh page for any changes.


Thursday, February 20, 2014



Strong storms and potentially damaging winds will be howling through ACA in a matter of hours.  As I type the line is in Nashville, TN, and stretching SW.  There have been many storm and tornado warnings from this line, so a heads up for later tonight.  Been a good while since we've had a large tree come down across a road in ACA, and it stands to reason the power has a good chance of going out.

Luckily it does blow on through and Friday ends up being a nice day...weekend, too.


Saturday, February 15, 2014


I am truly going out on a limb here as this is nowhere in the National Weather Service forecasts, be it in the mountains or in the central Piedmont.  At work late this morning, our in-house models started to create graphics that point toward a 'surprise' snow early Sunday morning...if you recall last Monday, that was a 1" or so forecast, and an unseen upper level low energized and gave ACA up to 5".  It wasn't in anyone's forecast.

That same energy I'm seeing clearly moving out of eastern IA heading directly towards us, and models here showing overnight snows for ACA once again.  More than that, that upper level low looks like it will hit the lee side of the Blue Ridge about 4am and rapidly create uplift for a strong burst of snow before and through sunrise in places like Charlotte and Greensboro.

In checking my NAM and GFS modeling, both have been holding steady for 1-2" all I know to do is say 'heads up' and don't be surprised if you wake up Sunday morning with more white stuff out there.  And if it doesn't come to pass, we'll count our blessings.