030617 Forecast

Mountain Area Forecast ( March 3-6 )

ALERT For Strong S-SW Winds For Monday Night Through Tuesday For The Cumberland Mountains

Friday Night Into Saturday Morning

Mostly clear.  Cold.  Diminishing winds, except NW-N at 5-10 mph, with a few higher gusts, on upper elevation mountain ridges.  Temperatures dropping into the 10s and 20s ( near 10 degrees in colder valleys of upper elevations ).

Saturday Afternoon

Becoming partly to mostly cloudy.  Milder.  Light & variable winds.  Temperatures varying from 30s in upper elevations to the middle-upper 40s.

Saturday Night Into Sunday Morning

Mostly clear.  Winds W-WNW 5-15 mph, with higher gusts, along upper elevation mountain ridges.  Temperatures from the 10s to lower 20s in colder valleys to the 30s on exposed ridges and plateaus.

Sunday Afternoon

Mostly sunny & warmer.  Light SSE-SSW winds 5-10 mph.  Temperatures varying from 40s to around 50 degrees in upper elevations to the upper 50s to lower 60s.

Sunday Night Into Monday Morning

Increasing clouds.  S-SW winds 5-15 mph, with higher gusts, on mountain ridges & plateaus below 2700 feet.  Winds SSW to SW at 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, on mountain ridges above 2700 feet.  Temperatures from 30s in cooler valleys to the 40s on exposed ridges-plateaus.


Weather Discussion ( Back To Spring )

A weak upper air disturbance and upsloping NW winds worked together to produce a brief fall of moderate snow along the Cumberland Mountains into Friday morning.

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

A general 1″ to 2″ of snow fell amid upslope locations along and north to northwest of the High Knob Massif and Black Mountain, from Clintwood to Norton-Wise into adjacent Harlan County of southeastern Kentucky.

Ground Depth In High Chaparral of High Knob Massif – Elevation 3300 feet

Snow came down heavily at times in the High Knob Massif, with some pellets of graupel snow showing up in the ground accumulation measured by veteran snow observer Darlene Fields in the High Chaparral community.

Eagle Knob of High Knob Massif at 6:31 AM on Friday – March 3, 2017
*As often is the case, snow fell mostly horizontally on Eagle Knob of the High Knob Massif with ground variations from bare areas to several inches.  Roadways were covered and slick.

Caleb Ramsey measured 1.0″ of accumulation at the City of Norton Water Plant at the base of the massif.  A low density snow with only around 0.03″ of water content in the rain gauge ( in both Norton & Clintwood ), that likely included a little undercatch given gusty winds.

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

With clear skies the focus now is on a very cold night with temperatures in mountain valleys being coldest as winds decouple ( go calm ) and are replaced by drainage flows.

*MINS as low as single digits to around 10 degrees could occur in colder valleys of the High Knob Massif where some snow remains on northern slopes.  These valleys are proving to be the coldest in southwestern Virginia.

Looking ahead more wild weather swings are showing up, with a range from thunderstorms to more snow certainly possible during the next week to 10 days.

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

A WILD 5-10 day period is currently being predicted by the European Model Ensembles as a huge temperature gradient sets up between anomalous warmth over the Southwestern USA-southern Plainis and anomalous cold over the Upper Lakes and Northeastern USA.

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