Lead Forecaster Daniel Crawley
Good Sunday evening to everyone, some big weather changes are on the way and they will begin over the next 24 hours. Looking at the Water Vapor image, we have a fast, zonal flow across the Southeast US but that is quickly changing. We have talked all week about a blocking pattern setting up and you can clearly see that on the loop as cross-polar flow will flood the Eastern US into its coldest airmass of the season…
This is an impressive cold blast coming for North Carolina and due to the blocking pattern it will stick around for a good part of the work week. it’s not until next weekend before we see a significant moderation of the airmass across the area.
Monday afternoon will be the last of the relatively mild days around here. Temperatures at the 850 mb level (roughly 5,000 ft) will tank and fall to several degrees below freezing by late Monday night and will remain below the freezing mark through Wednesday.
With the cold air flooding in, the National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Watch for Monday night, that is mainly for the mountains but it does include NW sections of Burke, Caldwell and McDowell Counties…temps in Little Switzerland, Linville Falls, Jonas Ridge and Globe are expected to go below freezing by early Tuesday morning.
With cold air still advecting in during the day on Tuesday, it is going to be quite cold as temperatures could struggle in the 50’s with a good bit of sunshine.
The best combination of cold air and light winds for the Foothills and Western Piedmont looks to be on Wednesday morning. High pressure will never settle directly overhead but winds should be light enough by first thing Wednesday to where a hard freeze may occur for locations near I-40 and even for Western Piedmont folks, the localized sheltered regions will reach 32 or lower for a bit.
Polar Region Airmass moves into the Eastern US on Monday. The Carolinas will see one last mild day.
Cold air floods in Monday night, could lead to a freeze in the high elevations, some frost possible in the Foothills dependent on the wind.
Best chances of a hard freeze looks to be on Wednesday and possibly Thursday mornings as we will have light winds and a cold airmass remaining overhead.
The growing season for 2022 could come to an end for a good number of folks in the Foothills and Western Piedmont. Make sure and prepare your plants and crops for the cold weather…