ALERT For Unseasonably Cold Temperatures And Wind Chills Into Saturday – Accumulating Snow Will Also Be Possible Tonight Into Saturday Morning ( Especially Within Middle-Upper Elevations )
A prolonged period of cold conditions is expected from tonight into this weekend. Scattered hit-miss rain & snow showers will be possible today, with the best chance for more widespread snow by tonight into Saturday morning. A general 1-3″ of snow is possible at upper elevations, above 3000 feet, with 1″ or less in middle elevations below 3000 feet ( little to no snow accumulation is expected at elevations below 1500-2000 feet ).
Overnight Into This Morning
Partly to mostly cloudy. Chance for rain or snow showers. Turning colder. W-NW winds 5-20 mph, with higher gusts. Temperatures dropping into the 30s, with 20s above 3200 feet in elevation. Wind chills in the 10s & 20s ( coldest at the highest elevations ).
Partly cloudy with increasing clouds into late afternoon. Rain & snow showers developing. W-SW winds 5-20 mph, with higher gusts. Temperatures varying from the 30s in upper elevations to the 40s to middle 50s ( warmest in the downslope locations from Pound-Grundy ). Wind chills in the 20s & 30s at elevations above 2500 feet.
Tonight Into Saturday Morning
Rain & snow, changing to snow in most locations late. A period of moderate-heavy snow possible above 3000 feet. WNW-NW winds 10-25 mph, with higher gusts, along mid to upper elevation mountain ridges and plateaus. Temps dropping into mid-upper 10s at highest elevations to the mid-upper 20s to lower 30s ( warmest at low elevations ). Wind chills from 10s to around 20 degrees, except 0 to 10 degrees along high mountain crest lines.
Weather Discussion ( April 7-8 )
A chilly and windy Thursday graced the mountain landscape in wake of needed overnight rains.
Superintendent Andrew Greear and veteran technician Joe Carter reported 0.40″ of rainfall at the City of Norton Water Plant up to 9:00 AM on Thursday.
Superintendent Gary Hampton reported 0.63″ of rainfall at both the Big Stone Gap Water Plant and Big Cherry Lake Dam into the morning hours of Thursday.
A total of 0.18″ fell in Clintwood up to 7:00 AM on Thursday, with 0.36″ reported by Wayne & Genevie Riner at Nora 4 SSE.
Gusty showers mixed with snow in middle elevations, as mostly all snow fell at highest elevations in the High Knob Massif, during late afternoon-early evening on Thursday.
A temperatures of 41 degrees was observed at the Norton Water Plant at 6:30 PM as the activity began to develop.
The activity late Thursday afternoon formed beneath cold air aloft with puffy to towering cumulus clouds observed over Norton-Wise and Pound-Clintwood.
Focus now shifts to the next wave and cold front that will cause rain-snow showers to develop in earnest by late today into tonight. Depending upon how this activity sets up, via the best moisture stream, a period of moderate-heavy snow will become possible across upper elevations in portions of the Mountain Empire ( with several inches of sticking snow at highest elevations into Saturday morning ).
The high resolution NAM 4 KM Model has a bulls-eye centered over the eastern West Virginia highlands, with more than 6″ ( locally up to 10″+ ) above 3000 feet in elevation. As past climatology shows, and is well documented locally, the model tends to under-estimate snowfall in upper elevations of the High Knob Massif.
At this time, it appears that any snow accumulations below 3000 feet will be limited to 1″ or less, with little to no sticking snow at elevations below 1500-2000 feet.
The coldest air with this system will be felt Friday Night into Saturday and Saturday Night into Sunday Morning.
MIN temperatures will drop into the 10s in upper elevations of the High Knob Massif, with 20s widespread across most of the middle to lower elevations within the mountains & northeastern sections of the Great Valley ( from the TRI area northeastwards ).