The ALERT For Strong Winds Has Begun For Upper Elevations ( 3:00 PM ) With Downward Mixing Into Middle Elevations Expected Tonight
Caution For Possible Icy Patches From Refreezing Of Water And The Continuation Of Hazardous Travel On Untreated Roadways
ALERT For Strong & Gusty SSW-SW Winds Developing Across Mid-Upper Elevation Mountain Ridge-Plateaus During Monday Night Into Tuesday Morning
*Light freezing rain may be possible in sheltered mountain valleys by the predawn-morning hours of Tuesday, as well as on cold road surfaces running along northern slopes.
Overnight Into Monday Morning
Cold with high clouds. SSE-SSW winds at generally less than 10 mph below 2500 feet. SW-WSW winds 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, along exposed upper elevation mountain ridges & plateaus. Large vertical temp spread between snow covered mountain valleys with calm winds and exposed mid to upper elevation ridges. Temps varying from single digits and 10s in colder valleys to mid 20s-lower 30s on exposed mountain ridges ( wind chills in the 10s to low 20s ).
Sunshine & high altitude clouds. S-SSW winds increasing to 10-20 mph on mountain ridges & plateaus below 2700 feet. Winds SSW-SW 15-25 mph, with higher gusts, along ridges above 2700 feet. Temperatures in the 30s to low-mid 40s. Wind chills in the 20s & 30s ( coldest at high elevations ).
Tonight Into Tuesday Morning
Mostly clear skies giving way to clouds. A chance of light rain or showers by morning. Possibly freezing in sheltered valleys and on northern slope roads. Windy across exposed mid-upper elevation mountain ridges & plateaus. SSW-SW winds 15-30 mph, with higher gusts, on ridges-plateaus at elevations below 2700 feet. SW winds 25 to 35 mph, with gusts to 40-50 mph, on upper elevation mountain ridges. Temperatures varying from low-mid 20s in colder valleys to the 30s on exposed ridges & plateaus. Wind chills in the 10s & 20s ( coldest at highest elevations ).
*Some blowing and drifting of snow will be possible at high elevations as wind speeds increase Monday Night, especially across northern slopes and shaded sides of crests where snow tends to be shaded from direct sunshine ( keeping recent low density top layer snow loose & able to blow more efficiently ).
Weather Discussion ( January 24-25 )
The ALERT for strong SW winds has now started with recent gusts to between 40 and 50 mph along the high crestlines of the High Knob Massif and Black Mountain.
Although temperatures have risen into upper 30s to around 40 degrees, it feels like 20s along the high mountain ridges.
Following a MIN of 12 degrees at Clintwood 1 W the PM temp climbed to 44 degrees before dropping back to 38 degrees as of 5:00 PM. Low-Mid 40s have also been reported in Norton-Wise and the adjacent ridge communities on increasingly gusty SW winds ( and warm air advection ).
A low-level jet and wind speed max will be moving up along the western side of the Appalachians tonight, with greatest impact across mid-upper elevations of the Cumberland Mountains.
My Overnight Discussion
Upslope snow finally ending into early hours of Sunday and low clouds began to break for some locations. A real temp plunge took readings down to around 0 degrees or locally below in some places.
MIN Temperatures Sunday Morning
-2 below zero
Clintwood 1 W
South Fork of Pound
Upslope clouds held tough along and just north of the High Knob Massif to keep temps a bit “milder” into Norton-Wise, with upper single digits to lower 10s reported ( heatwave ).
The day featured beautiful blue skies and only scattered high altitude ice crystal clouds. A nice day for NASA to capture Landsat Images of widespread snow cover.
Observe that flat or rolling terrain tends to show snow better than mountainous, convex topography
Unless you are really into climatology, an aspect that is never talked about on a day like Sunday is that snow glare causes thermometers to read too high, that is unless they are shaded completely ( e.g., on northern exposures ).
Even National Weather Service MMTS Thermometers can read too high with intense snow glare reflecting sunlight upward into radiation shields from the ground.
That is one reason I like to use Nora 4 SSE observations, at the official NWS station of Wayne & Genevie Riner, where the thermometers are on the north side of the house and protected from radiation and intense snow glare.
The MAX temperature of 30 degrees was more representative of what elevations such as Wise truly had, with the elevation of this station being only 34 feet lower than Lonesome Pine Airport where the reported MAX reached 37 degrees.
*Snow glare radiation caused many Weatherbug Stations to read absurdly high during Sunday ( roof + snow glare ).
As always it seems amid this complex terrain, interesting weather variations are on display once again tonight with colder valleys 10 to 15 degrees at 2:45 AM ( Jan 25 ) verses a temp trend that has been rising along high crestlines into the lower 30s on steady and gusty SW winds ( WCF 10s ).
Speaking of which, SW winds are going to really begin to CRANK along the Cumberland Mountains late Monday into Tuesday Morning as this next weather maker arrives.
This low-level inversion will be stronger than the NAM predicts since valley temperatures in many places will drop off fast during Monday evening above snow, before rising overnight into Tuesday morning for places that have enough turbulent, vertical mixing to overcome stratification ( warmer air above cold air ) and recouple calm valleys back up with strong flow along top of the boundary layer field ( the recoupling point being dependent upon the local terrain features and varying with location ).
An inversion will further enhance this setting by aiding channelization of air flow between the High Knob Massif and Black Mountain, as SW winds stream up through the High Knob Landform corridor tonight into Tuesday.
A possible freezing concern will be any valleys that remain decoupled, with light to calm winds, since precipitation will be developing by the predawn-sunrise period of Tuesday. In addition, as past climatology shows, northern slope roads will also be a concern since surfaces will be very cold.
While precipitation amounts with this next system are yet to be fully resolved, the high-resolution NAM fits climatology with an axis of heaviest amounts extending northeast across the Cumberland range on strong SW flow.
*In particular, the upslope-downslope couplet being shown between the High Knob Massif-Black Mountain corridor and Russell Fork-Levisa Fork basins fits climatology of strong SW flow regimes well.
Although relatively close, the SW Upslope Flow snow potential with this system seems currently to be reduced by above freezing air forecast for the 825-775 MB layer. However, should that layer cool then the threat would increase. A trend to monitor today.