Category Archives: Today’s Forecast Archive

An Archive For My Forecast And Discussion

My Forecast For Today

Mountain Area Forecast ( Sep 18-20 )

Overnight Into Monday Morning

Mostly clear.  Large vertical temperature spread between colder valleys and milder ridges & exposed plateaus.  Areas of dense valley fog.  Light winds.  Temperatures varying from lower-middle 40s in colder mountain valleys to the upper 50s to around 60 degrees exposed ridges-plateaus.

Monday Afternoon

Partly to mostly cloudy at times.  Small chance of sprinkles.  Light northerly winds.  Temps varying from mid-upper 60s in upper elevations to the middle 70s to around 80 degrees.

Monday Night Into Tuesday Morning

Mostly clear.  Areas of dense valley fog.  Light northerly winds below 2700 feet.  SE winds 5 to 10 mph, with some higher gusts, along mid-upper elevation mountain ridges.  Large vertical temperature difference developing between colder mountain valleys & milder ridges-exposed plateaus.  Temperatures varying from 40s in colder valleys at upper elevations to the upper 50s to lower-mid 60s.

Tuesday Afternoon

Partly to mostly cloudy.  Chance of rain showers.  Thunder possible.  Winds becoming NW-NE generally less than 10 mph.  Temps varying from 60s in upper elevations to the middle 70s to around 80 degrees.

Tuesday Night Into Wednesday Morning

Partly-mostly cloudy.  Chance of showers-thunderstorms.  WNW to NW winds 5-10 mph, with some higher gusts, on middle-upper elevation mountain ridges.  Areas of locally dense fog.  Temps varying from 50s to lower-middle 60s.

Wednesday Afternoon

Partly to mostly cloudy.  Chance of showers-thunderstorms.  WNW-NW winds generally less than 10 mph.  Temperatures varying from 60s in upper elevations to the mid-upper 70s.

 

Weather Discussion ( Mild Pattern )

Reference Early Autumn 2017 In The High Knob Massif for a recap of the first half of September, and upper elevation color changes.

Monday Evening Update

High Knob Massif Webcam – University Of Virginia’s College At Wise

A beautiful sunset to mark the close of the first work day of these final days of astronomical summer.  Afternoon maxs varied from 60s in upper elevations of the High Knob Massif to the 70s across low-middle elevations in Norton-Wise and the Clintwood area ( around 80 degrees in Haysi-Grundy ).

Clintwood 1 W National Weather Service Station

Monday began with a large vertical temperature spread that is typical of the mountains.  Readings at sunrise varied from 40s in colder valleys of the High Knob Massif to upper 50s to lower 60s on exposed mid-elevation mountain ridges.

*The AM MIN actually only fell to 63.9 degrees at the Flatwoods Mountain Mesonet adjacent to Pine Mountain along the Kentucky side of the stateline ( generating a nearly 20 degree difference between coldest valleys and mildest ridges ). 
Nora 4 SSE National Weather Service Station

This temperature data is, of course, from highly accurate and well shielded instruments and not roof-top sensors or other small solar radiation equipped stations.

*My study on solar radiation shields indicates that day-time temperatures tend to run 1 to 3 degrees, occasionally more, above what official National Weather Service sensors with larger shields record.  It is very important to realize that the design and size of the solar radiation shield used is vital to accurate data collection.
*I should have noted that the above study was over a natural surface of grass.  If sensors are not over a natural surface, or located near roof-tops or parking lots, then the skew ( error ) will be much greater by day due to heat liberation and advection from anthropogenic surfaces.  So placement and instrumentation are critical to accurate temperature recording of the true air temperature for long-term climate documentation and analysis.
Clintwood 1 W National Weather Service Station – September 1-18, 2017

The only changes to my update is to increase the chances for showers, with thunder possible, from late Tuesday into Wednesday, with the European Model continuing to show best chances being during Wednesday ( the NAM Model begins best chances Tuesday evening into Wednesday ).

Category 5 – Hurricane Marie

Meanwhile, Hurricane Marie has just been upgraded to a CAT 5.  Although truly a majestic storm from new GOES-16 visible imagery ( below ), this is yet another tragedy for places to be impacted in coming hours.

Hurricanes Marie and Jose – Beginning Of A Fujiwhara

Monday afternoon offered the first GOES-16 visible images that show the developing connection between Marie ( lower right ) and Jose ( off the Virginia coast ), with upper-level outflow from Jose reaching down to the anticyclonic spin of intensifying Hurricane Marie.

 

Previous Discussion

Early Autumn In Big Cherry Lake Wetland Valley – September 16, 2017

Seasonally cool nights in mountains valleys, and mild to warm days, will be featured this week along with cloud development by day.  Only a small chance of sprinkles or rain showers is currently in my forecast, with Wednesday afternoon looking to have the best chances.  A typical array of dense valley fog formation is expected by night.

Early Autumn At High Knob Lake – September 16, 2017
An array of early color changes are on display across the high country of the High Knob Massif.  Most places have some early color changes, to a more limited extent, following a rather cool first half of September.
Early Autumn At Upper Norton Reservoir – September 16, 2017

The tropics will again be the main focus this week, with the European Model group suggesting that Jose and Marie may do a Fujiwhara Dance with each other; although, details of this dance routine are still being choreographed!

The Fujiwhare effect in meteorology is named for Japanese meteorologist Sakuhei Fujiwhara who first described the interaction of two vortex centers about each other.  A connection between their circulations becomes increasingly evident over time as the effect develops ( initially they are far removed with no clear interactions between each other, as seen early on September 18 ).
European 51-Member Ensemble Mean 500 MB Height Anomalies: Days 1-5

Upper-level ridging over eastern North America into the western Atlantic is the main factor expected to play into this dance, with no clear steering flow yet seen to carry these hurricanes out to sea.  This is the same system that will limit rain amounts this week and contribute to a mild to warm pattern ( with mountain valley coolness being a terrain driven feature more than a synoptic-scale one ).

There are increasing signs of a significant upper-level shift back to unseasonably cool conditions by the final days of September into the beginning of October.

091417 Forecast

Mountain Area Forecast ( Sep 14-16 )

Low clouds & widespread dense fog will dominate upper elevations of the High Knob Massif-Black Mountain area into Thursday.  Areas of dense fog will also be possible in middle elevation gaps, such as Little Stone Mountain Gap along U.S. 23 between the City of Norton & Big Stone Gap.

Overnight Into Thursday Morning

Low clouds with occasional showers.  Dense fog widespread at upper elevations and locally in middle elevations along and southwest of the High Knob Massif-Tennessee Valley Divide ( e.g., near Powell Valley Overlook ).  SW winds 6-18 mph, with gusts 20 to 30 mph, along mid-upper elevation mountain ridges & plateaus.  Temperatures varying from upper 40s to the upper 50s ( coolest at highest elevations where wind chills will be 40-45 degrees in gusts ).

Thursday Afternoon

Cloudy.  A chance of showers.  Dense fog ( low clouds ) at upper elevations.  SSW-WSW winds 5-15 mph, with some higher gusts on mountain ridges.  Temperatures varying from mid-upper 50s to mid-upper 60s ( coolest within the highest elevations ).

Thursday Night Into Friday Morning

Mostly cloudy.  A chance of showers.  Low clouds continuing at high elevations.  Winds becoming light & variable.  Temps varying from upper 40s to lower 50s in upper elevations to the mid 50s to around 60 degrees.  Areas of dense fog.

Friday Afternoon

Becoming partly sunny.  Pleasant.  Light winds.  Temps varying from low-mid 60s in upper elevations to the lower to middle 70s.

Friday Night Into Saturday Morning

Mostly clear.  Light winds.  Large vertical temp spread developing between mountain ridges & valleys.  Temps varying from low-mid 40s in colder mountain valleys to upper 50s to lower 60s on exposed ridges.  Areas of dense valley fog ( especially in lower elevations ).

 

Weather Discussion ( Gloomy )

Another day of gloomy, damp conditions with a chance of showers is featured before a much improved TGIF arrives.

High Knob Massif Webcam – University Of Virginia’s College At Wise

Conditions deteriorated late Wednesday as low clouds and rain showers returned with the decaying remnants of Irma.

Lonesome Pine Airport In Wise
High Knob Massif Webcam – University Of Virginia’s College At Wise

Conditions continue to be chilly, especially in the high country where afternoon temperatures struggled to break 60 degrees at the summit level of the High Knob Massif prior to falling to around 50 degrees with rain showers.

*Strong SW winds gusting over 30 mph at times made it feel even cooler.  This was in contrast to afternoon temps that reached into the lower 70s in Clintwood on a downsloping SW flow.
Black Mountain Mesonet

A notable improvement in conditions will be enjoyed Friday into this weekend.  This marks a shift in the pattern toward above average temperatures, especially by day, which looks to dominate next week.

European 51-Member Ensemble Mean 500 MB Height Anomalies: Days 6-10

A flip in the upper air pattern across North America, with eastern USA troughing being replacing by ridging as a deep trough digs into the western USA ( above ) will be associated with a shift toward above average temperatures ( below ).

European 51-Member Ensemble MEAN 850 MB Temp Anomalies: Days 6-10

A bad aspect of such a pattern will be the potential for more tropical threats to the USA during the next week to 10 days.

091017 Forecast

Mountain Area Forecast ( Sep 10-12 )

An Alert For Strong & Gusty Winds For Monday Into Tuesday As The Pressure Gradient Tightens With The Inland Movement And Weakening Of Hurricane Irma

Strong and gusty winds are expected to develop at high elevations by the overnight-morning hours of Monday, then increase across middle-lower elevations by later Monday into Tuesday morning.  
Wind speeds of 20 to 40 mph are expected at elevations below 2700 feet, with 40 to 60 mph, or locally higher in gusts ( along mountain ridges and in high gaps ), at elevations above 2700 to 3000 feet.

Overnight Into Sunday Morning

Clear.  Chilly.  Large vertical temperature difference between colder mountain valleys and milder ridges.  Winds E-SE at 5-15 mph, with some higher gusts, along mid-upper elevation mountain ridges.  Temperatures varying from 30s within colder mountain valleys to the upper 40s to low 50s on exposed ridges.  Areas of dense river valley-lake fog.

Sunday Afternoon

Mostly sunny.  Pleasant.  Winds ENE-E at 5-10 mph, with some higher gusts along mountain ridges.  Temperatures varying from the low-mid 60s at upper elevations to the lower-middle 70s.

Sunday Night Into Monday Morning

Increasing high clouds overnight into morning.  Increasing winds at high elevations.  Winds E-ESE at 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, along mid-upper elevation mountain ridges.  Wind gusts near 40 mph at highest elevations by sunrise. Temperatures varying from the 40s to low-mid 50s.

Monday Afternoon

Mostly cloudy.  Showers developing.  Winds ENE-ESE at 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, at elevations below 2700 feet.  Winds ENE-ESE at 20-30 mph, with gusts over 40 mph, on mid-upper elevation mountain ridges.  Cool with temps mainly in the 50s to lower 60s ( coolest upper elevations where cloud bases will lower ).

Monday Night Into Tuesday Morning

Rain showers.  Downpours possible, especially along the windward slopes-crestlines of the High Knob Massif and Tennessee Valley Divide.  Windy.  Winds ENE to E at 15-25 mph, with higher gusts on mountain ridges-plateaus, below 2700 feet.  Winds ENE-ESE at 25-35 mph, with gusts of 40-60 mph, at elevations above 2700-3000 feet.  Low clouds with widespread dense fog at upper elevations.  Temps varying from around 50 degrees at high elevations to the mid 50s to lower 60s.

An initial surge of rain from the remnants of Irma will impact the mountain region late Monday into Tuesday, then a possible break for a prolonged period may occur until rain chances increase again during mid-late next week for locations west and northwest of the Blue Ridge province.
Rainfall amounts are expected to vary widely across the southern Appalachian region.  Heaviest totals are expected to fall along the Blue Ridge, from the Meadows of Dan southwest through western North Carolina.  Least amounts are expected near and northwest of the Virginia-Kentucky state line, and within portions of the Great Valley of eastern Tennessee, where totals of 0.50-1.00″ or locally less are most likely on downsloping winds.
Rainfall totals of up to 3.00″ to 6.00″+ are expected along the Blue Ridge in southwestern-western North Carolina.  Max rain amounts are likely near Lake Toxaway, Nc., with other enhanced totals in the Mount Mitchell ( Black Mountains ) and Grandfather Mountain areas.  Secondary maximums of up to 1.50-2.50″+ will be possible in the High Knob Massif-Black Mountain corridor of southwestern Virginia on upsloping low-level air flow.

 

Weather Discussion ( All About Irma )

For the fourth consecutive night temperatures are in the 30s amid colder mountain valleys of the High Knob Massif, with low 40s here in Clintwood ( 42.8 degrees at 4:00 AM ).

This weather period will be all about the approach and inland movement of destructive and powerful Hurricane Irma.  Although passing far southwest of the Mountain Empire, the pressure gradient will initially become so strong that impacts can not be escaped.

Infrared Image Of Hurricane Irma At 3:47 AM on September 10, 2017

Irma has regained CAT 4 status after weakening along the coast of Cuba following interaction of its circulation with hilly to mountainous terrain.  Pressure has dropped back down to 928 mb as of 4:00 AM Sunday.  An additional gain in strength will be possible over very warm water today.

National Hurricane Center Official Track At 2:00 AM Sunday

The track forecast has continued to ease west to place the entire Gulf Coast of Florida in a grave position through coming hours of Sunday into early Monday.

Spaghetti Model Cluster As of 2:00 AM Sunday on September 10, 2017

Most models are now taking the remnant low into western portions of Kentucky and Tennessee as it becomes extra-tropical, with possible subsequent movement back to the east-northeast during mid-late this week.

NAM 12 KM Model Total Rainfall Forecast Next 84-Hours

Any flooding rains are most likely along the Blue Ridge where strong orographic lift will enhance amounts late Monday into Tuesday ( I will not be surprised to see up to 10.00″+ in the Lake Toxaway and Highlands area of south-western North Carolina where tropical moisture will be initially lifted upward into the higher elevations on very strong upslope flow ).

Although no flooding is expected, local rain amounts could vary significantly from a max over the high country of the High Knob Massif to low amounts along the Kentucky side of the border on strong downsloping E-SE air flow.  Some places along the Virginia-Kentucky border may pick up the most rain later this week when air flow shifts southwest and whatever is left of Irma’s extratropical low moves eastward toward the lower Ohio Valley.

Meanwhile, strong & gusty winds will develop Monday and Tuesday ( first at high elevations before mixing downward into middle-lower elevations ).  Local power outages can not be ruled out until the remnant low fills and the very strong pressure gradient weakens into mid-week.

090517 Forecast

Mountain Area Forecast ( Sep 5-9 )

Reference Summer 2017 Data for a recap of the season.
A strong cold front will transport a cool, early autumn air mass into the mountains by Wednesday.  Unseasonably cool temps are expected through the upcoming weekend, with widespread night-time temperatures dropping into the 40s.  Colder mountain valleys will fall into the 30s on coldest nights, with near freezing to even below freezing conditions not impossible amid coldest valleys at upper elevations in the High Knob Massif-Burkes Garden corridor  ( with the full cooling potential dictated by sky cover and wind ).

Overnight Into Tuesday Morning

Mostly clear to partly cloudy.  Breezy to gusty winds over mountain ridges.  SSW-SW winds 5 to 15 mph, with higher gusts on mountain ridges-plateaus below 2700 feet.  Winds SW-WSW 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, along mountain ridges above 2700 feet.  Temperatures varying from 50s in sheltered valleys to the 60s on exposed ridges-plateaus.  Areas of dense river valley-lake fog at low elevations.

Tuesday Afternoon

Showers & thunderstorms becoming likely.  Downpours possible.  SSW-WSW winds 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, along middle-upper elevation mountain ridges-plateaus.  Temperatures varying from the low 60s to the lower 70s, coolest in upper elevations.  Low clouds-fog forming in areas of showers-storms.

Tuesday Night Into Wednesday Morning

Showers & thunderstorms tapering to showers & drizzle.  Winds shifting to NNW-NNE at 5-15 mph, with higher gusts on mid-upper elevation mountain ridges.  Temperatures dropping into the 50s ( mid-upper 40s highest elevations ).  Low clouds and locally dense fog becoming widespread at mid-upper elevations along and north to northwest of the High Knob Massif-Tennessee Valley Divide.

Wednesday Afternoon

Partly-mostly cloudy.  Much cooler.  A chance of instability showers beneath increasing cold air aloft.  Light NNW-NNE winds generally less than 10 mph.  Temps varying from the low-mid 50s in upper elevations to the low-mid 60s.

Wednesday Night Into Thursday Morning

Partly cloudy.  Chilly.  Winds NW-N at 5-10 mph, with higher gusts, along mid-upper elevation mountain ridges.  Temperatures dropping into the 40s, with 30s in colder mountain valleys.  Areas of dense river valley fog.

Thursday Afternoon

Partly to mostly sunny.  Cool and crisp.  Winds WNW-NW at 5-10 mph, with higher gusts along mountain ridges.  Temps varying from low-mid 50s to the low-mid 60s.

Thursday Night Into Friday Morning

Mostly clear to partly cloudy.  Chilly.  Light winds on mountain ridges ( calm wind in valleys ).  Temperatures widespread in the 40s, with 30s within colder mountain valleys ( 30 to 35 degrees in the coldest valleys at upper elevations ). Areas of dense river valley and lake fog at lower elevations.

Friday Afternoon

Mostly sunny.  Blue skies.  Light northerly winds generally less than 10 mph.  Temperatures varying from upper 50s to lower 60s in upper elevations to the upper 60s to low 70s.

Friday Night Into Saturday Morning

Mostly clear.  Chilly.  Large vertical temperature spread developing between colder valleys & milder ridges.  Winds NNE-NE at 5-10 mph, with higher gusts, along mid-upper elevation mountain ridges.  Temperatures varying from the 30s in colder mountain valleys to low-mid 50s on exposed mountain ridges-plateaus.  Locally dense river valley fog.

The approach of Major Hurricane Irma toward the southeastern USA will be the big weather story heading into this weekend, with potential impacts to the southern-central Appalachians being monitored for next week.  Stay tuned for later updates.

 

Weather Discussion ( Autumn Chill )

Thursday Evening Update

You know the night ahead will be cold when temps in the high valleys drop into the 40s before 8:00 PM, under mainly clear skies and developing drainage flows.

AM Low Temperatures
September 7, 2017

Jefferson 2 E, NC
37 degrees
Transou, NC
37 degrees
Frost, WV
39 degrees
Tazewell, VA
39 degrees
Burkes Garden, VA
41 degrees
Shady Valley, TN
41 degrees
Canaan Valley 2, WV
43 degrees

It is not just the ice box of the Big Cherry Lake basin that is getting cold, as noted by low temperatures reported across the mountain region early on September 7 ( I suspect that the Big Cherry was coldest, as later data will determine ).

Low temperatures into the morning hours of September 8 will be even colder, especially within the most favored cold places of Canaan Valley, Burkes Garden, and the Big Cherry.

National Hurricane Center Irma Track Forecast – 8 PM September 7, 2017

Meanwhile, the forecast for CAT 5 Irma continues to look ominous and extremely severe for Florida.

European 51-Member Ensemble Cluster Forecast Track At 8 AM Sept 7

Significant impacts are likely into the southern Appalachians.  Stay tuned for later updates.

 

Tuesday Evening Irma Notes

Pressure was used to rank hurricanes from 1850 into the 1990’s before a shift to only using wind speed.

List of Strongest Atlantic Basin Hurricanes By Pressure
List Of Category 5 Atlantic Basin Hurricanes
+Indicates strength was not continuous ( these systems fell below CAT 5 then regained that status at least once during their lives ).
Atlantic Basin Hurricane Ranks Using Wind Speed

Irma is in second place, tied with the 1935 Labor Day beast, Gilbert, and Wilma, if using wind speed alone.

Lower pressure generally = stronger winds, but not always, and total destruction and energy released is certainly often caused by more than just winds ( as Harvey exemplifies ).

It can be argued that there are many ways to rank such monsters, including death toll and total destruction.  It is even more difficult to place a rank on pure misery and suffering by humans and all species of life impacted.

 

Previous Discussion

A mass of true autumn air will push into the mountains by Wednesday into Thursday behind the passage of a strong cold front, featuring showers & possible thunderstorms during Tuesday into early Wednesday.

High Knob Massif Webcam – University Of Virginia’s College At Wise
Following a chilly beginning to Labor Day ( Monday ), with lower 40s to lower 50s widespread in mountain valleys, an increase in low-level haze was notable into the afternoon as temperatures peaked in the middle-upper 70s from Norton-Wise to Clintwood and mid-upper 60s at high elevations in the High Knob Massif.
NAM 12 KM Model Total Rainfall Forecast

The focus now shifts to a developing eastern USA trough and strong cold front, with a true push of early autumn air into the central-southern Appalachians in coming days.

European 51-Member Ensemble Mean 850 MB Temp Anomalies: Days 1-5

For a week, or more now, this anomalous push of chilly air has been well defined and forecast by the ensemble mean of the European Model group.  Only details of how cold it gets in any given place are yet to be determined, largely based upon if skies can remain clear and boundary layer winds decouple from the large-scale flow field on any night during the September 6-10 period.

It is a no brainer that colder mountain valleys will drop into the 30s at some point, the only question is if any of the infamous frost pockets can actually reach freezing or a little below ( such as those highlighted in my Summer 2017 Data section ) in days ahead.
Freezing conditions have at some point in time occurred during every month of the year within these most favored places, so it is certainly not unprecedented by any stretch to have such occur during early September ( the start of Meteorological Autumn ).
National Hurricane Center Track Forecast At 11 PM Monday – September 4, 2017

The big story in the weather world, of course, will be major hurricane Irma as it approaches the Islands and the USA.

Hurricane Irma Spaghetti Model Track Guidance

The main model cluster, as well as ensemble groups of both the GFS & European, show that there remains uncertainty with respect to track during the next week ( of course ).  A major USA doomsday hit is not set in stone; although, it is also not in any way being ruled out.  The main aspect at this point in time is prepare for the worst and hope for the best outcome.  That includes the southern-central Appalachians.

GFS Model Mean Sea Level Forecast At 8:00 AM Sunday – September 10, 2017

The exact position varies from run to run on the models, but there is some considerable agreement, when putting all the ensembles from the European & GFS together, on a north-ward turn by this weekend.  Exactly when and where that happens will then help better determine the implications.

GFS Model Mean Sea Level Forecast At 2:00 AM Tuesday – September 12, 2017

Certainly a much better handle on this setting will be had by later this week ( this is only Monday ), as part of the final outcome is going to depend upon how Irma tracks through the island chains and if she has any significant interaction with them and their mountains.  Stay tuned for updates.

090117 Forecast

Mountain Area Forecast ( Sep 1-3 )

Reference Summer 2017 Climate Data for a recap of the Meteorological Summer season.

ALERT For Dense Fog ( Orographic Clouds ) And Unseasonably Chilly Conditions In The Upslope Favored High Knob Massif And Adjacent Upslope Forced ( On SW Flow ) Sections Of The Tennessee Valley Divide Through Much Of Saturday

As low-level winds continue turning toward the SW cloud bases will be dropping into the U.S. 23 Corridor in the Head of Powell Valley and possibly into portions of Norton-Wise ( which have been protected from low bases due to sinking air off the massif ).  This will also aid temperature drops within this upslope zone. 

Previous Alerts

The Storm Prediction Center Has Issued A Slight Risk For Severe Thunderstorm Development As Remnants Of Harvey Impact The Southern Appalachians

Storm Prediction Center Risk Regions For Friday – September 1, 2017
The main storm threat will be wind damage, to include an isolated tornado risk due to strong low-level wind shear driven by Harvey’s remnant circulation.  A notable & increasing temperature gradient will develop late Friday into Saturday as an increasingly cold core develops with transformation into an extratropical cyclone.
Storm Prediction Center – Tornado Risk For Friday – September 1, 2017
Very chilly conditions are expected to develop over the mountains by Saturday as extratropical Harvey draws unseasonably cool air into the Cumberland & Allegheny mountain ranges, which look to experience the burnt of chilly air Saturday into Saturday Night.  
Temperatures Saturday will struggle in the 50s at the elevations of Norton-Wise and may hold in the 40s to near 50 degrees at upper elevations within the High Knob Massif during the day, where conditions will feel even cooler due to wind chills.

Friday Afternoon

Periods of showers & thunderstorms.  Some storms may be strong to locally severe.  Downpours likely.  Humid.  Winds SSE to SSW at 15-25 mph, with higher gusts.  Temperatures from mid-upper 60s to the middle-upper 70s.

Friday Night Into Saturday Morning

Gusty with rain and showers.  Turning much cooler.  Winds becoming S-SW at 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, on middle to upper elevation mountain ridges-plateaus.  Low clouds with dense fog across the higher elevations.  Temperatures falling into the mid-upper 40s at highest elevations to the middle 50s to lower 60s ( mildest at lowest elevations ).

Saturday Morning Through Afternoon

Low clouds with dense fog widespread in upslope locations.  Chilly.  Rain showers and drizzle.  Winds SW-W at 5-15 mph, with higher gusts.  Temperatures near steady or slowing falling into the 40s in upper elevations and the 50s at middle elevations.  Wind chills in the 30s & 40s ( coldest highest elevations ).  Milder south into the Great Valley.

Saturday Night Into Sunday Morning

Low clouds with dense fog widespread at upper elevations into most of the overnight.  Chilly.  Rain showers and any drizzle gradually ending.  Winds SW-WNW at 5-15 mph with higher gusts.  Temps in the 40s to low-mid 50s.  Wind chills in the 30s & 40s ( coldest at highest elevations ).

A very complicated extended range period is upcoming as a deep, autumnal trough digs into the USA.  Meanwhile, a Cape Verde born disturbance will be major Hurricane Irma as it approaches the Leeward Islands and Caribbean into next week.
A major push of autumn air is being watched for the mid-later portions of next week.  Temperatures will have the potential to drop into the 30s in colder mountain valleys, with coldest sites within the High Knob Massif-Burkes Garden corridor possibly dropping below freezing ( dependent upon cloudiness ).

 

Weather Discussion ( Autumn Chill )

Reference Summer 2017 Climate Data for a recap of the Meteorological Summer season.

Early Overnight Sunday Update

A cool and foggy Saturday dominated mid-upper elevations across the High Knob Massif where temperatures held in the upper 40s to low 50s, with lower wind chills.

Conditions were not much milder in Norton-Wise, but wind speeds were generally lower.

High Knob Massif Webcam – University Of Virginia’s College At Wise

Rain showers and drizzle continued with rainfall totals of 1.75″ to 2.50″ being common from the head of Big Cherry Lake Basin into the Bark Camp Lake basin with the passing remnants of Harvey.

 

Previous Discussion

A continuous fall of rain, with occasional downpours, has produced 1.50″ to 2.00″ amounts within the central-eastern sections of the High Knob Massif with the passing remnants of Harvey ( as of Midnight Friday, amid more rain to come ).

High Knob Massif Webcam – University Of Virginia’s College At Wise

Torrential downpours also hit areas around Norton-Wise, with more than 1.00″ of afternoon rain reported by Philip Shelton at his home in the Bean Gap section of Wise.

High Knob Massif Webcam – University Of Virginia’s College At Wise

As typical in this type of flow pattern for the High Knob Massif area, simply outstanding cloud formations were observed throughout Friday.

High Knob Massif Webcam – University Of Virginia’s College At Wise

It now becomes about the chill, as rain continues, with 1:30 AM temperatures down to 52 degrees on Eagle Knob amid SW winds gusting to 25-30 mph ( making it feel cooler ).

083017 Forecast

Mountain Area Forecast ( Aug 30-Sep 2 )

Alert For Increasing Showers And Thunderstorms Thursday Into Friday As The Remnants Of Harvey Approach And They Transform Into An Extratropical Storm System ( i.e., With An Increasingly Cold Core )

While the heaviest, widespread rainfall totals look most likely across western & central portions of Kentucky-Tennessee the potential exists for orographically enhanced rainfall amounts along the Blue Ridge and within favored upslope areas of the Cumberland Mountains & Cumberland Plateau.

The Storm Prediction Center Has Issued A Slight Risk For Severe Thunderstorm Development As Remnants Of Harvey Impact The Southern Appalachians

The main storm threat will be wind damage, to include an isolated tornado risk due to strong low-level wind shear driven by Harvey’s remnant circulation.  A notable & increasing temperature gradient will develop late Friday into Saturday as an increasingly cold core develops with transformation into an extratropical cyclone.
Storm Prediction Center Forecast Severe Weather Risk Regions
Very chilly conditions are expected to develop over the mountains by Saturday as extratropical Harvey draws unseasonably cool air into the Cumberland & Allegheny mountain ranges, which look to experience the burnt of chilly air Saturday into Saturday Night.  
Temperatures Saturday will struggle in the 50s at the elevations of Norton-Wise and may hold in the 40s to near 50 degrees at upper elevations within the High Knob Massif during the day, where conditions will feel even cooler due to wind chills.

Overnight Into Wednesday Morning

Partly to mostly cloudy.  Areas of valley fog.  Light winds.  Temperatures in the 50s to around 60 degrees, except the upper 40s to low 50s within colder high valleys at upper elevations in the High Knob Massif.

Wednesday Afternoon

Partly to mostly cloudy.  More humid.  A chance for showers and thunderstorms by mid-late afternoon into the evening.  Winds generally light and variable.  Temperatures varying from upper 60s to lower 70s at upper elevations to the upper 70s to lower 80s.

Wednesday Night Into Thursday Morning

Showers & thunderstorms becoming likely by morning.  Downpours possible.  Winds variable at generally less than 10 mph.  Temps varying from the upper 50s to the middle 60s.  Areas of dense fog, especially at high elevations.

Thursday Afternoon

A chance of showers.  Thunder possible.  Humid.  Winds SE-SSE at 5-10 mph, with higher gusts, on mid-upper elevation mountain ridges.  Temperatures mainly in the 60s to near 70 degrees ( around 60 degrees at highest elevations ).

Thursday Night Into Friday Morning

Showers & thunderstorms.  Locally heavy rainfall totals. Humid.  Winds SE to S and increasing to 10-20 mph, with gusts over 30 mph at high elevations, by morning.  Low clouds with dense fog at upper elevations.  Temperatures widespread in the 60s.

Friday Afternoon

Showers & thunderstorms.  Locally heavy rainfall totals.  Humid.  Winds SSE-SSW at 15-25 mph, with higher gusts.  Temperatures from the upper 60s to the upper 70s ( coolest at the highest elevations ).  Low clouds and dense fog at the highest elevations.

Friday Night Into Saturday Morning

Gusty with rain and showers.  Turning much cooler.  Winds becoming S-SW at 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, on middle to upper elevation mountain ridges-plateaus.  Low clouds with dense fog across the higher elevations.  Temperatures dropping into the low-mid 40s to mid 50s ( coolest highest elevations ).  Warmer south into the Great Valley.

Saturday Morning Through Afternoon

Low clouds with dense fog at high elevations.  Chilly.  A chance of drizzle or light showers.  Winds SW-W at 5-15 mph, with higher gusts.  Temperatures near steady or only slowing rising in the low-mid 40s to mid-upper 50s, coldest at upper elevations.  Wind chill factors in the 30s & 40s to around 50 degrees, coldest at highest elevations.

A very complicated extended range period is upcoming as a deep, autumnal trough digs into the USA with potential for new tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico.  Meanwhile, a Cape Verde born disturbance may become a major Hurricane as it approaches the Leeward Islands and Caribbean in a week to ten days.

 

Weather Discussion ( Wild Times )

Thursday Evening Update

A very humid air mass has now engulfed the mountains, with orographic clouds forming along the High Knob Massif all day ( afternoon temperatures hovering in the 60 to 62 degree range on Eagle Knob ).

High Knob Massif Webcam – University Of Virginia’s College At Wise

Heavy showers, with torrential downpours, occurred during the afternoon with 0.50″ to 1.00″ amounts in local areas.  At one point rain was falling so heavily along U.S. 23, from the Powell Valley Overlook area into Norton, that some had to pull off the highway.  A signal that upcoming rain will have a tropical, downpour nature as the main system arrives.

High Knob Massif Webcam – University Of Virginia’s College At Wise

The forecast appears to be on target, with the first round of organized activity expected to overspread the mountains by the predawn-morning hours of Friday as winds increase at higher elevations, then winds increase across the entire area during the daylight hours of Friday.

HRRR Model Future Doppler At 4:00 AM on Friday – September 1, 2017

Any breaks Friday in the overcast could help fuel formation of strong-severe thunderstorms before the focus shifts to a influx of increasingly cool air, low clouds, showers-drizzle into Saturday.

One aspect to note for Friday is that narrow bands of convergence, much like feeder bands that come ashore from such a system, are likely to develop with cross-isobaric ( ageostrophic ) flow due to both Harvey’s large-scale circulation and friction ( terrain driven ) to support zones of higher impact.  It is not possible to tell exactly where these will form until they begin to develop, so remain alert and tuned to NOAA Weather Radio and your favorite media out-lets for any warnings or advisories that may be needed.
High Knob Massif Webcam – University Of Virginia’s College At Wise

Meanwhile, enjoy a tropical skies filled sunset.

High Knob Massif Webcam – University Of Virginia’s College At Wise

 

Previous Discussion

A wild weather roller coaster ride is upcoming through the next 1-2 weeks as all sorts of havoc tries to play out across this region of the world.  The mega-disaster of Harvey being the start of what appears to be an extreme weather pattern for this time of year in the eastern USA.

National Hurricane Center Forecast Track of Harvey Remnants

There has been a gradual but important eastward shift in the forecast track of Harvey’s remnants into Friday and Saturday, with clear indications now that it will become incorporated into the jet stream and transformed into an extratropical rain storm; thus, the increasing amount of chilly air that will develop due to dynamically forced cool-ing with rising air and advection of cool air to the north that will wrap around the circulation by Saturday.

Cool here means REALLY cool for this time of year, with temperatures Saturday having the potential to remain in the 40s all day in the high country of the High Knob Massif and struggling to rise through the 50s in Wise ( milder at lower elevations, below 2000 feet, and to the south into the Great Valley of eastern Tennessee and southwest Virginia ).

Spaghetti Model Cluster Forecast For Harvey – 2 AM Model Run Wednesday

Enough spread in the model spaghetti cluster remains for there to continue to be an eastward shift as the remnants reach the latitude of Kentucky and this region.

NAM 12 KM Model Total Precipitation Forecast – Next 84 Hours

Regardless of the exact track, increasing air flow into the mountains will allow for orographic forcing to develop and this will help to increase rainfall amounts by Thursday into Friday.  Given a wet August in the Cumberland Mountains, this will bear close watching.  The windward slopes of the Blue Ridge will be favorable for the heaviest orographic rains, with several inches or more being possible.

European Model Mean Sea Level Pressure Forecast – 8 PM September 6

The European Model has been on a “hot streak” lately, to the great agony of everyone in southeastern Texas, so it is hard to deny the operational and many ensembles which show a new low developing in the Gulf by the early-middle parts of next week ( this has now been shown for a couple days ).

European Model 850 MB Temp Anomalies Forecast: Days 6-10

At the same time, an anomalously deep upper air trough for early September has now been shown for days and days to dig deeply into the central-eastern USA by the middle to later portions of next week.

Collectively, a wild setting being shown.  Although early September is the climatological peak of Hurricane season, it is also the beginning of Meteorological Autumn, a season that climatically is the driest within the Mountain Empire.

With luck this big trough could dig deeply enough to deflect any developing tropical systems away from the USA, but if not then big problems could arise for more than just coastal locales.  It is simply too early to know, but certainly something that all forecasters will be closely following into next week.

Thoughts & prayers to our Texas friends.

*While Tropical Storm Claudette still holds the continental USA record for the most rain to fall within 24-hours ( 42.00″ fell on Alvin, Texas just south of Houston in July 1979 ), Harvey now appears to have shattered the record for the most rain to fall during a single storm event ( with a preliminary storm total of 51.88″ reported in the heaviest location ).

082817 Forecast

Mountain Area Forecast ( Aug 28-30 )

An increasing chance for widespread showers and thunderstorms is being watched for mid-late week into this weekend as moisture from Harvey begins to finally lift north and east.

Overnight Into Monday Morning

High cloudiness.  Areas of valley fog.  Winds SSE-S at 5-15 mph, with higher gusts, on mid-upper elevation mountain ridges.  Temperatures varying from low-mid 50s in cooler mountain valleys and highest ridges to the lower 60s.

Remainder of Monday Afternoon

Cloudy ( mid-high clouds ).  Small chance of showers, mainly west of the mountains in SE Kentucky.  Light ESE-SSE winds generally less than 10 mph.  Temps varying from the lower 60s within upper elevations to the lower 70s.

Monday Night Into Tuesday Morning

Mostly cloudy.  Small chance of showers, especially to the southeast toward Mount Rogers-Whitetop.  Areas of river valley fog.  Winds E-SE at 5 to 15 mph, with higher gusts, along mid-upper elevation mountain ridges.  Temperatures varying from the upper 40s to low 50s at upper elevations in the High Knob Massif to the mid-upper 50s.

Tuesday Afternoon

Partly to mostly cloudy.  Chance of hit-miss showers and thunderstorms.  Light winds.  Temps varying from low-mid 60s in upper elevations to the low-mid 70s ( warmer south into the Great Valley ).

Tuesday Night Into Wednesday Morning

Partly to mostly cloudy.  Areas of valley fog.  Light winds.  Temperatures in the 50s to around 60 degrees, except the upper 40s to low 50s within colder high valleys at upper elevations in the High Knob Massif.

Wednesday Afternoon

Partly to mostly cloudy.  More humid.  A chance for showers and thunderstorms by mid-late afternoon into the evening.  Winds generally light and variable.  Temperatures varying from mid-upper 60s at upper elevations to the mid-upper 70s to around 80 degrees.

 

Weather Discussion ( In The Middle )

Monday Evening Update

A solid mid-high altitude overcast has dominated Monday with abundant clouds streaming northeast from tropical storm Harvey.  This held temperatures in the 60s and 70s, varying from lower 60s in the High Knob Massif to the low 70s in Clintwood ( 71.7 degree official maximum ).

High Knob Massif Webcam – University Of Virginia’s College At Wise

This update continues to highlight low rain chances over the mountains tonight, with a lesser chance for showers even toward the Blue Ridge as potential Irma along the Atlantic Coast struggles to develop within wind shear generated by Harvey and a polar jet stream.

Based upon late Monday evening readings, overnight temperatures in the high country of the High Knob Massif have been dropped a little from my previous forecast to account for lowering dewpoints and some possible over-night cloud breaks ( and decreasing predawn winds ).

Humidity + some instability will then offer a chance for localized shower-thunderstorm development Tuesday afternoon across the Cumberland Mountains.

NAM 12 KM Model Total Rainfall Forecast Next 84 Hours

Moisture related to the remnants of Harvey may begin to impact the mountain region by later Wednesday into the Thursday-Friday-Saturday period, with rainfall amounts and details yet to be determined.

Moisture from Harvey is looking increasingly like it will have some impact upon the area by late week-this weekend, per the latest ensemble means.
GFS Model Total Rainfall Forecast Next 132 Hours

While it has been a wet August in the mountains, with 7.00″ to 9.00″ widespread within the High Knob Massif – City of Norton and Big Stone Gap Water Plant area – just imagine that 3 to 4 times this much has fallen in the past few days over the area centered on Houston, Texas.

Month-To-Date Rainfall Estimated-Observed  – Ending 8 AM August 28, 2017
Estimated Rainfall Past 7 Days – Houston Tx Area – Ending 8 AM August 28, 2017

 

Previous Discussion

A few local downpours of rain, with lightning & thunder, developed Sunday to close out a seasonally cool weekend in the Cumberland Mountains.  This as the mountain region is safely in the middle between the terrible impact of Harvey along the Gulf Coast of Texas and a developing tropical system near the Atlantic Coast.

Low temperatures of 40 to 45 degrees were reported within colder mountain valleys of upper elevations, with 50s being widespread elsewhere in the mountain area, during recent days.
High Knob Massif Webcam – University Of Virginia’s College At Wise
The heaviest rain developed along the U.S. 23 corridor between the City of Norton and Big Stone Gap.
NASA Visible Satellite Image At 6:00 PM on Sunday – August 27, 2017
Doppler radar estimated locally more than 1.00″ of rain near and just northeast of Big Stone Gap ( most of which fell within 1 hour ).
Doppler 1-Hour Estimated Rainfall Ending At 6:14 PM on August 27, 2017

With so much air rising over the remnants of Harvey and along the Tidewater of the southeastern USA it is likely any local rainfall will remain limited into mid-week ( due to synoptic-scale subsidence ).  Meanwhile, there will be an abundance of high clouds over the area which are being sheared off the top of Harvey’s upper-level outflow.

USA Infrared Satellite Image At 3:15 AM on August 28, 2017

Some adjustments in cloud cover, temperatures, and the chance for showers may be needed depending upon the track of Harvey’s remnants during mid-late week.

European Model Mean Sea Level Pressure Forecast – 8:00 PM Friday ( Sept 1 )

The best chance for rain looks to be late this week into the weekend, when remnants of Harvey may finally get picked up by the jet stream.  Stay tuned for updates.

082317 Forecast

Mountain Area Forecast ( Aug 23-26 )

A much cooler, autumnal air mass will be felt in coming days with chilly nights in mountain valleys ( and by day at high elevations ).  While most places will drop into the range of upper 40s to middle 50s, colder mountain valleys at upper elevations will drop into the 40-45 degree range from the High Knob Massif to Burkes Garden.  Cool nights are expected to continue into this weekend.

Overnight Into Wednesday Morning

Showers & thunderstorms into the early-mid overnight,  local downpours likely, before tapering to showers.  Winds SW 5 to 15 mph, with higher gusts, shifting northerly and decreasing into morning.  Areas of dense fog, especially at highest elevations ( orographic clouds ).  Temps widespread in the 60s ( dropping to around 60 degrees high elevations ).

Wednesday Morning Through The Afternoon

Any showers ending by mid-morning to mid-day, then becoming partly cloudy.  Cooler.  NNW-N winds 5-10 mph.  Temps varying from low-mid 60s at highest elevations to the low-middle 70s ( warmer south into the Great Valley ).

Wednesday Night Into Thursday Morning

Becoming clear and chilly.  Areas of dense valley fog.  Winds NW-N at 5-10 mph on mid-upper elevation mountain ridges. Temperatures widespread in the 50s, except mid-upper 40s to lower 50s in upper elevations.

Thursday Afternoon

Partly cloudy.  Beautiful blue skies.  NW-N winds 5-10 mph, with some higher gusts along higher ridges.  Temperatures varying from upper 50s to lower 60s at highest elevations to the upper 60s to lower 70s ( warmer into the Great Valley ).

Thursday Night Into Friday Morning

Clear & chilly.  Areas of dense valley fog.  Light N-NE winds along mid-upper elevation mountain ridges.  Large vertical temperature spread between colder valleys-exposed ridges. Temperatures in the upper 40s to middle 50s, except 39 to 44 degrees in colder valleys above 2700-3000 feet.

Friday Afternoon

Partly to mostly sunny.  Seasonably cool.  N-NE winds 5 to 10 mph.  Temperatures varying from low-mid 60s in upper elevations to the lower-middle 70s ( warmer south into the Great Valley ).

Friday Night Into Saturday Morning

Mostly clear & chilly.  Areas of dense valley fog.  Light NE to ENE winds along mid-upper elevation ridges.  Large vertical temperature spread between colder valleys-exposed ridges.  Temperatures in the upper 40s to middle 50s, except 40 to 45 degrees in colder valleys above 2700-3000 feet.

The inland track of remnant moisture from tropical activity in the Gulf of Mexico is being monitored for later next week.  Stay tuned for updates.

 

Weather Discussion ( Autumnal )

Refer to Late Summer 2017 In The Appalachians for a recap of Solar Eclipse 2017

A strong early autumn-like cold front is expected to bring a refreshing air mass change to the mountain region through coming days.  While this will be notable at high elevations even during the day, it will be especially noticed during the night-time periods in mountain valleys.

Nocturnal dense fog formation will be likely in lower elevation valleys, especially along streams & rivers, with released latent heat of condensation helping keep temps milder ( upper 40s to lower 50s ) than locations with valley floors above 2700 to 3000 feet where lower dewpoints will enhance cold air drainage.
European 51-Member Ensemble Mean 850 MB Temp Anomalies: Days 1-5

A very strong cool signal is indicated for the next 5 days.  While below average temperatures are likely to continue into the 6-10 day period, there is increasing uncertainty,  due mainly to tropical activity over the Gulf of Mexico, regarding mid-late next week ( Aug 30-Sept 2 ).

European 51-Member Ensemble Mean 850 MB Temp Anomalies: Days 6-10

The strength and position of a trough over the eastern USA will play an important role in the eventual inland move-ment of tropical moisture over the Gulf of Mexico.

European 51-Member Ensemble Mean 500 MB Height Anomalies: Days 6-10

Stay tuned for later updates.

082117 Forecast

Mountain Area Forecast ( Aug 21-23 )

Weather Conditions Monday Will Be Influenced By A Solar Eclipse Between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM, With A Temperature Drop Of 5 to 15 Degrees ( F ) Expected.

The Storm Prediction Center Has Issued A Marginal To Slight Risk Of Severe Thunderstorm Development For Tuesday Into Wednesday For Locations Along And West Of The Cumberland Mountains.

A Heavy Rainfall Potential Will Also Exist From Late Tuesday Into Wednesday Along And In Advance Of A Strong Cold Front.

Overnight Into Monday Morning

Partly cloudy.  Areas of dense valley fog.  Light SSE-SSW winds 5-10 mph, with higher gusts on mid-upper elevation mountain ridges.  Calm valley winds.  Temps varying from upper 50s to lower 60s in cooler valleys to the upper 60s to lower 70s on exposed mountain ridges.

Monday Afternoon & Solar Eclipse

Partly to mostly cloudy.  Increasing darkness from 1:00 PM to 2:35 PM, then increasing daylight to 4:00 PM.  Chance of a localized hit-miss shower or thunderstorm.  Light SSE-SSW winds.  Temps varying from the lower 70s to the lower 80s into early afternoon, then dropping 5-15 degrees depending upon the location and elevation before late afternoon rises occur prior to sunset.

Monday Night Into Tuesday Morning

Partly to mostly clear.  Areas of valley fog.  SSW-SW winds 5 to 15 mph, with higher gusts, along middle-upper elevation mountain ridges and plateaus.  Temperatures mostly in the 60s, with some 50s possible in coolest mountain valleys.

Tuesday Afternoon

Partly-mostly cloudy.  Chance of showers & thunderstorms. Downpours possible.  SSW-SW winds 5-15 mph, with higher gusts.  Temperatures varying from the low-mid 70s to the lower-middle 80s ( coolest in upper elevations ).

Tuesday Night Into Wednesday Morning

Showers & downpours in thunderstorms becoming likely.  Heavy rainfall totals possible.  SW-WSW winds 5-15 mph with higher gusts.  Areas of fog, especially at the highest elevations.  Temperatures widespread in the 60s.

 

Weather Discussion ( Solar Eclipse )

*Reference this section for a recap of the Eclipse:

Late Summer 2017 In The Appalachians

*Scroll down to the Eclipse sections of the page.

Weather conditions at the beginning of this forecast period will be influenced by a rare solar eclipse, reaching around 96% totality in Norton-Wise ( 95% in Clintwood ) by 2:35 PM on Monday ( August 21, 2017 ).

Solar Eclipse Timing
City of Norton-Wise

Begins: 1:07 PM

Peak: 2.35 PM
( 96% Totality )

Ends: 3:58 PM

*Since the sun will never be completely blocked by the moon at this latitude, DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN WITHOUT PROTECTIVE, OFFICIAL ISO-RATED GLASSES.

A significant amount of cloud development will be possible by early afternoon over the Cumberland Mountains, such that some locations will likely have viewing problems.  A small chance for local hit-miss showers-thunderstorms is also in my forecast.

Expect temperatures to drop 5 to 15 degrees between 1:00 PM and 2:45 PM, with precise drops dependent upon cloud coverage and elevation.  Any places with thick clouds and showers could experience max drops, with high valleys and upper elevations within the High Knob Massif being favored for some of the largest temperature drops.

Storm Prediction Center Severe Thunderstorm Potential To 8:00 AM Wednesday

The focus turns toward another heavy rainfall potential setting by later Tuesday into Wednesday along and ahead  of a strong cold front.  The Storm Prediction Center has also issued a marginal-slight risk for severe thunderstorms for  a large region along and west of the Appalachians.

Rainfall Totals
( August 1-18 )

City of Norton: 7.39″

Big Cherry Lake Dam: 7.62″

Eagle Knob of High Knob Massif: 8.67″

Due to wet antecedent conditions, strong rises on streams and other high water problems will be possible if heavy rainfall develops late Tuesday into Wednesday.

081817 Forecast

Mountain Area Forecast ( Aug 18-20 )

An ALERT For Local Downpours Of Heavy Rainfall Continues Through Friday Afternoon

A high water content air mass will continue over the mountain area into Friday afternoon.  Showers & downpours with heavy to locally excessive rainfall will remain possible before much drier air overspreads the Cumberland Mountains by Friday night into Saturday morning.  A beautiful weekend is expected. 

Overnight Into Friday Morning

Hazy & humid.  Areas of dense fog ( widespread at highest elevations within orographic clouds ).  Chance of showers & thunderstorms, especially toward morning.  Downpours possible.  SW-W winds 5-15 mph, with higher gusts, along middle-upper elevation mountain ridges.  Temperatures widespread in the 60s to lower 70s.

Friday Morning Into Friday Afternoon

Humid.  Showers & thunderstorms likely.  Local downpours. Low clouds with dense fog at highest elevations.  Becoming partly cloudy and less humid by late afternoon into early evening.  Winds shifting W-WNW at 5-10 mph, with higher gusts.  Temperatures varying from upper 60s to lower 70s at highest elevations to the middle 70s to around 80 degrees. Warmer south into the Great Valley and Tri-Cities.

Friday Night Into Saturday Morning

Clearing and less humid ( especially in higher elevations ).  Areas of dense valley fog.  WNW-NW winds 5-10 mph and diminishing along all but highest ridges.  Temperatures varying from lower 50s to the lower 60s ( coolest in high mountain valleys above 3000 feet ).

Saturday Afternoon

Partly sunny.  Light SSW-WSW winds generally less than 10 mph.  Temperatures varying from upper 60s to lower 70s at highest elevations to the upper 70s to lower 80s ( warmer south into the Great Valley and Tri-Cities ).

Saturday Night Into Sunday Morning

Mostly clear.  Areas of dense valley fog.  Light winds.  Large vertical temperature spread developing between the cooler valleys and milder ridges.  Temperatures varying from the upper 40s to lower 50s in coolest valleys to mid-upper 60s.

A more significant air mass change is being monitored for the final days of August, starting later next week, with potential for much less humid air and chilly nights.  Stay tuned for updates.

 

Weather Discussion ( Jungle-like )

The mountain landscape during August 2017 has turned into a tropical, jungle-like state with very wet conditions featuring a daily array of downpours.

Month To Date National Weather Service and Estimated Rainfall Totals

*Automated Rain Gauge Totals
( August 1-17, 2017 )

Big Stony Creek: 8.27″

Dungannon: 7.98″

*Eagle Knob: 7.90″

*Robinson Knob: 7.21″

*Little Mountain: 7.10″

*Big Cherry Lake Dam: 7.04″

*Actual totals are greater, especially for rain gauge
sites above 3000 feet in the High Knob Massif.
Month To Date National Weather Service and Estimated Rainfall Totals

Although coverage of heaviest rainfall amounts is greater than the above graphics indicate across southern Wise and northern Scott County, Va., they illustrate the general trend observed so far during August 2017.

NAM 12 KM Model Precipitable Water Forecast At 11:00 AM Friday – August 18
The current ( 11:45 PM Thursday ) presence of orographic clouds capping highest elevations within the High Knob Massif and Black Mountain, in advance of the approaching moisture plume ahead of a cold front, indicates that the potential for significant rainfall amounts must continue to be respected until drier air actually arrives later Friday afternoon-evening
Early morning to early afternoon is currently the period most favored for heavier rainfall with orographic enhancement.
Big Stony Creek of High Knob Massif – August 7 to August 18, 2017
Although dropping, stream levels remain high and swift on steep creeks draining the high country of the High Knob Massif.  Please continue to use caution around these gushing whitewater creeks.

While humid, very moist air will continue to be felt into early Friday afternoon, a notable decrease in atmospheric moisture will occur by Friday evening into Saturday.

NAM 12 KM Model Precipitable Water Forecast At 8:00 PM Friday – August 18

The potential for a more significant air mass change, with an early autumn flavor, is being monitored for the final week of August ( the 5-10 day range at this point in time ).

European 51-Member Ensemble Mean 850 MB Temp Forecast: Days 6-10

Stay tuned for updates as this trend is followed.