Mountain Area Forecast ( Dec 29-Jan 1 )
ALERT For Snow Showers And Bursts Of Heavy Snow To 10:00 AM Friday. Snow-Blowing Snow Will Reduce Visibility And Cause Travel To Become Hazardous In Locations Along & West-Northwest Of the High Knob Massif-Tennessee Valley Divide. Less Snow And Lower Impacts Are Expected Lee Of The Mountains Into The Great Valley ( As Well As Below 1200-1500 Feet ).
A general 1″ to 3″ of snow are likely between Midnight and 10 AM Friday as very cold air aloft moves over the mountains. This will combine with limited low-level moisture ( a marginal Great Lake event ) and strong WNW-NW winds to develop snow showers and bursts of heavy snow. Due to very cold air aloft, some bursts may also occur leeward of the mountains in localized portions of the Clinch, Powell, Holston river valleys.
Thursday Night Into Mid-Morning Friday
Cloudy with snow showers & flurries developing. Bursts of heavy snow. Colder. Snow accumulations of 1″-3″ along the upslope side of the mountains, with less than 1″ leeward of the mountains and at elevations below 1200-1500 feet in elevation. WNW-NW winds 10-25 mph, with higher gusts. Temps varying from low-mid 10s at the highest elevations to mid-upper 20s. Wind chills in the single digits and 10s, except below zero ( especially in gusts ) at the highest elevations. Rime formation in highest elevations.
Mid-Morning Friday Through Friday Afternoon
Snow showers & flurries ending. Skies becoming partly cloudy. Cold. W-WNW winds 10-20 mph, with higher gusts. Temperatures varying from upper 10s to lower 20s in upper elevations to the upper 20s to lower 30s. Wind chills in the single digits and 10s, except below zero in stronger gusts at highest elevations.
Friday Night Into Saturday Morning
Mostly clear. Cold. Winds becoming SSW-SW at 5-15 mph, with higher gusts, along middle-upper elevation mountain ridges. Light valley winds. Temperatures in the 10s & 20s, varying from single digits to around 10 degrees within upper elevation valleys to readings rising overnight into morning on highest mountain ridges ( to around 32 F ).
Increasing clouds with lowering cloud bases over time. Virga forming aloft with a chance for flurries to light snow developing late, especially along and southwest of the High Knob Massif & Tennessee Valley Divide. Windy & cold. SSW-SW winds 15-25 mph, with higher gusts, at elevations below 2700 feet. SW winds 20-30 mph, with higher gusts, along mountain ridges above 2700 feet. Temperatures varying from around freezing at highest elevations to upper 30s to middle 40s, dropping with onset of precipitation by late. Wind chills in the 10s and 20s.
Saturday Evening Into Sunday Morning
Chance of evening snow ( especially along-southwest of the High Knob Massif-Tennessee Valley Divide ) or mix giving way to rain. Freezing rain possible in some valleys. SSW-WSW winds 10-20 mph, with higher gusts along middle-upper elevation ridges, decreasing into morning. Temps mainly from low-mid 30s to around 40 degrees.
**The potential for a prolonged, harsh period of winter conditions is being monitored for the January 4-6 period, and beyond in time, with formation of high latitude blocking and a cross-polar flow from Siberia into North America. Stay tuned for updates on this major shift into significant winter conditions in January 2017.
Weather Discussion ( Taste Of Winter )
Friday Snow Report ( December 30, 2016 )
Snow accumulations were widespread across Wise and Dickenson counties into Friday morning. The most intense period came with a monster snow band that developed along the Virginia-Kentucky border toward 11:00 AM to Midnight, with near zero visibility at its peak and rapid sticking to all objects ( including roads ).
It was a wicked night in the High Knob Massif. Joe & Darlene Fields measured 1″ of snow depth in High Chaparral by 10:30 to 11:00 PM, before the intense snow band hit. Wind gusts of 30-40+ mph took wind chills down into single digits above and locally below zero.
Much of the snow in this view ( above ) fell horizontally or even upward in direction ( as you can tell by looking closely at lines made by larger flakes ). WNW-NW winds of 20 to 40+ mph, of course, caused these conditions along with relatively dry, low water content snow.
Friday Morning Snow Reports
Head of Powell Valley: 1.5″
( 1-2″ AM Depths )
Nora 4 SSE NWS: 1.6″
( 2″ AM Depth )
Clintwood 1 W NWS: 2.0″
( 2″ AM Depth )
UVA-Wise NWS: 2.5″
( 2″ AM Depth )
Norton Water Plant: 2.5″
( 2″ AM Depth )
High Chaparral: 3.0″
( 3″ AM Depth )
Eagle Knob: 3.5″
*( Variable Depths )
*Best estimate of snowfall is 3.0″ to 4.0″ with highly variable depths from near bare ground to 6″ or more in places.