Partly cloudy ( high clouds early, then increasing mid-level clouds toward morning ). WNW-NW winds 5-15 mph, with higher gusts, on mountain ridges-plateaus below 2700 feet. NW winds 10 to 20 mph, with higher gusts, upper elevation mountain ridges. Temperatures varying from the upper 10s to the mid-upper 20s. Wind chills in the 10s & 20s, except in single digits along upper elevation mountain ridges.
Becoming partly cloudy. W-WNW winds 5-15 mph, with higher gusts. Temperatures varying from low-mid 30s in the upper elevations to the lower-middle 40s. Wind chills mainly in the 20s & 30s ( upper 10s to around 20 degrees along highest mountain ridges ).
Thursday Night Into Friday Morning
Mostly clear. Windy along high ridges. SW winds 5-15 mph, with some higher gusts on mountain ridges-plateaus below 2700 feet. SW-W winds increasing to 15-25 mph and gusty along upper elevation mountain ridges. Large vertical temp spread from upper 10s to lower 20s in colder valleys to the lower-middle 30s along exposed ridges-plateaus. Wind chills in the 10s & 20s ( coldest along high ridges ).
Mostly sunny. Milder. SSW-WSW winds 5-15 mph, with higher gusts. Temperatures varying from middle-upper 40s to the middle-upper 50s ( coolest at highest elevations ).
Friday Night Into Saturday Morning
Partly-mostly clear. Generally light winds, except SW-W at 5-15 mph, with higher gusts, on upper elevation mountain ridges. Temperatures from 20s in colder valleys to the mid-upper 30s ( wind chills 20s-low 30s high mountain ridges ).
A period of rain will become likely later Saturday into Sunday. A mild pattern will follow during much of next week. Wintry air is not currently expected to return until final days of February into early March. Stay tuned for updates.
Weather Discussion ( Spring Snow )
Winter wonderland conditions developed at middle to upper elevations into early Wednesday as a fast hitting storm system dropped a period of heavy, wet snow.
A general 2″ to 4″ of snow fell above 2500 feet in Wise County and the southern portion of Dickenson County. As expected, little to no accumulation occurred below 2000 feet ( the exception being within mid-upper portions of Powell Valley where enough lift to support some sticking occurred down to around 1600 feet = the observed difference between 1600 feet under rising air and 1600 feet under sinking air in Clintwood where no sticking occurred ).
*And it is important to not forget northern Scott County where numerous families live above 3000 feet in the High Knob Massif where significant snow accumulated. This is often a “forgotten” area in terms of official forecasting. It is hoped that eventually forecasts will include this area north of the Clinch River.
It would be easy to identify it by saying northern Scott County or “north of the Clinch River” to clearly identify this area of highest terrain in Scott.
Preliminary Snowfall Reports
Clintwood 1 W: Trace ( 0.40″ with no snow accumulation )
City of Norton Water Plant: 0.5″ ( 0.44″ of total precip / 6.60″ in 2017 )
Nora 4 SSE On Long Ridge: 1.9″ ( 0.37″ water content with 2″ on ground )
University Of Virginia At Wise ( 0.37″ water content with 2″ on ground )
High Chaparral of High Knob Massif: 3.0″ ( 3″ of wet snow on ground )
Eagle Knob of High Knob Massif: 4.5″ ( 4″ of wet snow on ground )
Total snowfall amounts above 3000 feet in the High Knob Massif were held back some by freezing rain-sleet that fell with temps hovering around 30 to 32 degrees into the early overnight.
That was the only error in my forecast, with evaporative cooling in the vertical column not being able to overcome an apparently thin layer of above freezing air around 800 MB.
Although some rime did accumulate in upper elevations, it was wet snow that really stuck to trees-bushes-power lines and about anything else at the elevation of the High Chaparral community.
As expected, roadways became hazardous with the initial freezing rain-sleet in upper elevations followed by a period of wet, heavy snow. John Varner, veteran VDOT snow plow driver, reported 3″ of snow on State Route 160 near the VA-KY stateline on Black Mountain.
The ERROR in the Lonesome Pine Airport temperature sensor showed up well with 2″ of accumulation on almost everything as the LNP temp was never below 34 degrees.
NWS Cooperative observers Wayne & Genevie Riner, at nearly the same elevation as Lonesome Pine Airport, on adjacent Long Ridge of Sandy Ridge measured the same amount of snow as reported at UVA-Wise…BUT with an accurate air temp of 31-32 degrees.
The air temperature at Nora 4 SSE at 2650 feet, as well as the MIN recorded at UVA-Wise, reveals yet again the temp error at Lonesome Pine Airport that has now been observed for years ( but it is typically not noticed by most until these “marginal” settings occur – however, I would think pilots might be interested to have the correct air temperature ). Time has come to CORRECT this error. Let’s get it done!