The Storm Prediction Center Has Issued A Marginal Risk For Severe Thunderstorms Later Today-Tonight For Locations Along & North To Northwest Of The Cumberland Mountains
Overnight Into Saturday Morning
Partly cloudy. WNW-NW winds 5-10 mph, with higher gusts, along mountain ridges and plateaus below 2700 feet. Winds WNW-N 10-15 mph, with higher gusts, on mountain ridges above 2700 ft. Temperatures in the 40s to around 50 degrees, except dropping into the 30s in colder mountain valleys ( especially along and north of High Knob Massif ).
Partly cloudy & warmer. Chance of a hit-miss shower or thunderstorm. Becoming gusty. WSW-W winds 10-20 mph with higher gusts. Temperatures varying from 60s in upper elevations to the mid-upper 70s to around 80 degrees.
Saturday Night Into Sunday Morning
A chance for showers & thunderstorms. Some storms could be strong to locally severe ( prolific lightning & damaging winds being the greatest threats ). W-NW winds 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, along mid-upper elevation mountain ridges-plateaus. Temperatures widespread in the 50s.
Partly to mostly cloudy. Chance of a hit-miss shower or thunderstorm. NW winds 5-10 mph, decreasing late and becoming variable to Easterly. Temperatures varying from the 60s to the lower-middle 70s.
Sunday Night Into Monday Morning
Partly to mostly cloudy. Winds becoming SSW-SW at 5-15 mph along middle elevation ridges-plateaus. Winds SW-W 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, along upper elevation ridges. Temperatures varying from the 40s to lower 50s in valleys to the 50s to lower 60s across exposed mid-upper elevation mountain ridges & plateaus.
A rather active and stormy pattern looks to dominate much of next week, with occasional rounds of showers & thunderstorms.
Weather Discussion ( May 6-9 )
From cold and blustery weather the pattern is now shifting back into late spring mode with warmer air poised to spread across the mountain region this weekend.
*The greatest snowfall reports during recent days featured 3.7″ on Mount LeConte and 3.5″ in Mount Mitchell State Park, both sites being above 6000 feet. A total of 3.0″ was reported on Beech Mountain. Only a trace of snow occurred atop the typically snowy locations of the High Knob Massif and Snowshoe Mountain ( at 4850 feet ). The coldest air aloft passing south across the Great Smokies and southern Blue Ridge.
The focus now shifts back to May flowers & showers, with the Storm Prediction Center recently including much of southwestern Virginia within a marginal risk for severe thunderstorm development from late today into Sunday morning ( with WNW to ESE storm motion ).
This is in basic agreement with the latest European Model forecast, with higher storm chances from central-northern Wise County across Dickenson-Buchanan counties than across Scott & Lee counties.
The NAM Model group is a bit farther southwest, but clearly also shows a bias toward better coverage-chances toward the northeast verses southwest in far southwest Virginia.
Thunderstorms look to develop over western and central Kentucky during Saturday afternoon, and to spread east to southeast Saturday night into Sunday morning. It will be a very close call for this year’s Kentucky Derby, as to whether storms will impact the race or not.
While mean storm trajectories, via the mean flow field, will favor a E to ESE motion, outflow boundaries that interact with terrain features across central-eastern Kentucky could allow for storm development to build SE-S ( with new development often favored on the inflow side ).
Thus, all of the VA-KY border counties will need to be alert for the possibility of thunderstorms impacting any given location ( as well as parts of northeastern-eastern TN ).
As always, stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio for any possible watches and/or warnings that may be needed from late Saturday Into Saturday Night-Sunday AM.