Good Monday afternoon, hope everyone is doing well…
The weather team is monitoring the next feature that will impact the Western Carolinas late this work week. Computer model guidance over the past 24 hours has have made a notable trend toward this next storm system being capable of producing the first winter weather event of the season for folks outside of the mountains.
The feature of interest is a shortwave trough located off the West Coast of Oregon and Washington. The shortwave is expected to move on-shore the west coast late tonight. Due to the fact that our feature has been out over the open Pacific, there is still a shortage of data sampling that can be placed into the computer models to help give a more accurate forecast. Once this feature makes it on shore that issued will be resolved and it should help in trying to nail down the important details…
As of this afternoon’s model runs, a piece of the shortwave will break away from the main feature and will dive southeast into the Rockies by Wednesday. Also notice how an upper level ridge forms back along the West Coast? That along with the developing blocking pattern across Greenland will keep the shortwave on a southeast heading.
By Thursday the shortwave begins to strengthen into a closed upper low as it crosses the Mississippi River Valley. Also note how the blocking to the north has expanded west into North Central Canada? That is a classic (West oriented) -NAO configuration that forces all shortwave features to take a far southern track. The blocking also shunts cold air southward as well.
The upper low is expected to move across the Southeast on Friday bringing a chance of wintery to areas that are just cold enough. Upper lows are notorious for dumping heavy, wet snow on its north side of the low track during the winter months.
There are still a ton of details to be resolved…but can’t deny that fact that our coverage area could see the first snowflakes of the winter season on Friday. We have placed the Winter Storm Index at Level 1 as of Monday afternoon. Stay tuned as we will update things throughout the week.