Mountain Area Forecast ( January 7-10 )
An Alert For ROARING SW Winds In Effect From The Overnight-Predawn Hours Of Tuesday Into Thursday, With Strongest Winds Expected At Middle To Upper Elevations During Much Of This Period.
**Blowing snow from the ground will be a factor overnight into Tuesday, especially at highest elevations. Some roads will be covered in places which had previously been plowed.
A prolonged period of very windy conditions, with high wind gusts, will be impacting the Cumberland Mountains during the Tuesday to Thursday period ( January 10-12 ). Despite milder air working into the area, these strong winds will continue to make conditions feel cold Tuesday & chilly through Wednesday. The strongest winds are expected to come in waves, centered on the daylight and evening hours of Tuesday as well as the Wednesday afternoon into Thursday time period. Stay tuned for updates.
Dense fog development, with wind driven rains, will also occur Tuesday Night into Wednesday, especially in locations along and southwest of the High Knob Massif & Tennessee Valley Divide. Rain amounts of 0.50″ to 1.00″+ are expected in the SW upslope flow corridor of the High Knob Landform through Wednesday afternoon ( with added run-off from melting snow ).
*Due to frozen ground and melting snow fog development could become very dense in places and more widespread in coverage than just the upslope flow corridor ( i.e., the Sandy Ridge, Norton-Wise, High Knob Massif & Lee County zone ) as moisture increases by late Tuesday into Wednesday.
ALERT For Bitter Cold Air And Wind Chills Continues Into Sunday – Bitter Air Persisting Into Monday AM – Along With Hazardous Secondary Roads.
Bitter cold will grip the mountain landscape into Sunday. Wind chills will continue to make bitter temperatures dangerously cold along middle to upper elevation mountain ridges, with 0 to -20+ degree below zero chill factors ( coldest along highest ridges ).
Sunday Night Into Monday Morning will offer the best conditions for extreme temperatures in mountain valleys, with diminishing evening winds. Temperatures may again plunge to below zero in the colder mountain valleys. I expect a large vertical temperature spread to develop into the overnight-Monday Morning as SSW-SW winds begin increasing again along higher mountain ridges ( with 20-30+ degree temperature differences between valleys and ridges becoming possible ). The factor that may limit temperature falls being an increase in mid-high altitude clouds which may help off-set some of the radiational cooling & cold air drainage effects.
Updated: Overnight Into Sunday Morning
Increasing clouds. Flurries and snow showers developing, especially along and north to northwest of the High Knob Massif-Tennessee Valley Divide ( on the upslope side of the mountains ). New snow accumulations of a dusting up to locally 0.5″ to 1.5″ . Bitter Cold. NW-N winds 5-15 mph, with higher gusts, on middle to upper elevation mountain ridges. Temps varying from 5 degrees above zero to -5 below zero, except colder in any snow covered valleys that can develop calm winds. Wind chill factors of 0 to -10 degrees below zero on middle elevation ridges, with -10 to -25 degree below zero wind chills upper elevation ridges.
Mostly sunny. Some increasing high clouds possible late. Bitter cold. Light WNW-NW winds. Temperatures varying from around 10 degrees at highest elevations to the upper 10s to around 20 degrees. Wind chills below zero in gusts at the highest elevations.
Sunday Night Into Monday Morning
A rapid evening temperature drop, especially in mountain valleys. Bitter. Increasing high altitude clouds. SSW-SW winds developing at 5-15 mph, with higher gusts, during the overnight-morning along higher mountain ridges. A large vertical temperature spread developing with variations from below zero in the colder mountain valleys to readings rising through the 10s into the lower 20s along exposed mountain ridges.
Mid-high altitude clouds. Becoming windy. SSW-SW winds 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, below 2700 feet. Winds SW-WSW 15-25 mph, with higher gusts, along mountain ridges above 2700 feet. Temperatures in the 20s to lower 30s, mildest in downslope locations from Pound to Grundy.
Monday Night Into Tuesday Morning
Mostly cloudy. Windy. SSW-SW winds 10-25 mph, with higher gusts, on mountain ridges-plateaus below 2700 feet. Winds SW 20-30 mph, with higher gusts, along mountain ridges above 2700 feet. Temperatures varying from near 20 degrees to lower 30s. Wind chills in the 10s to lower 20s, except single digits along high mountain ridges.
ROARING SW winds will continue and increase Tuesday, with a chance for rain showers developing. Wind gusts of 30-50+ mph are expected in the Cumberland Mountains.
A wet and generally mild pattern, with a heavy rainfall potential, is being monitored for later next week into next weekend during the January 12-17 period. Stay tuned for updates.
Weather Discussion ( Bitter Cold )
Early Monday Update
Following a new dusting of snow ( up to 0.5″ on High Knob ) into early Sunday the second half of this weekend turned mostly sunny but remained very cold ( as expected ).
Sunday afternoon temperatures struggled toward 10 degrees atop the High Knob Massif and finally reached 19 degrees in Clintwood. Better than Saturday MAXS, with Joe Carter of the City of Norton Water Plant recording a Saturday HIGH temp of just 14 degrees. Maximums remained in single digits, of course, atop the massif.
High clouds late Sunday held off long enough to allow colder mountain valleys to plunge below 0 degrees into Sunday evening ( well below zero in high valleys ), with a “balmy” 1.7 degrees being the MIN at lower elevations in Clintwood prior to some rise with increasing clouds.
Winds will be increasing into Monday morning at high elevations, then mixing downward over time into middle and lower elevations. By Monday Night, and especially Tuesday-Wednesday, SSW-SW winds are going to ROAR. This will keep conditions feeling cold through Tuesday.