Winter Weather Advisory issued for parts of the South

EVENING UPDATE

Additional areas have been added to the Winter Weather Advisory and some areas have been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning. The Winter Weather Advisory (purple) now extends into northern Georgia and into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The Winter Storm Watch for parts of the Appalachians has now been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning (pink) where half a foot of snow is possible.

ORIGINAL TEXT

Ahead of the next winter storm, Winter Weather Advisories have been issued for parts of the Mid-South, South, and Tennesse Valley. The Winter Weather Advisory is for Thursday and extends from eastern Arkansas, northern Mississippi, northern Alabama, and the western half of Tennessee. It’s possible this Winter Weather Advisory gets extended east to include the rest of Tennessee and possibly northern parts of Georgia. Join the Firsthand Weather Supporter Group!

Map of the Winter Weather Advisory (purple shaded counties)

Within the Winter Weather Advisory, a glaze of ice, in the form of freezing rain and possibly some sleet, followed by up to an inch or two of snow is a possibility. This will cause disruption to travel across the region. Higher snow totals are possible north of I-40 in Tennessee where 3 to 4 inches may fall. The wintry mixture will start early Thursday morning for areas near the Mississippi River in the Mid-South and spread east throughout Thursday. A freezing rain/sleet mixture will likely transition to wet snow during the event.

Animated future radar Thursday

It should be noted: a Winter Storm Watch, Winter Storm Warning, and Winter Weather Advisory extend northeast into the higher elevations of far eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia, and western Virginia.

More accumulating snow coming to parts of the South

If over half a foot of snow wasn’t enough for some of ya, more snow is on the way this week for parts of the South! My oh my, how quickly the weather patterns can change. The next chance for snow arrives Thursday. A weak surface area of low pressure will move out of Texas into the South and eventually the Southeast throughout the day on Thursday. This will be paired with an upper-level system diving southeast into the Mid-South and an associated cold front. A phasing of these systems over the South will allow for a shield of precipitation to develop across the Mid-South, Tennesee Valley, South, and Southeast. Join the Firsthand Weather Supporter Group.

The precipitation will start out as rain for many areas south of I-40 but will quickly mix with snow and turn over to snow for areas as far south as northern Mississippi, northern Alabama, northern Georgia, and possibly the northern fringe of Upstate South Carolina on Thursday. Accumulations are expected with this setup. The track of the weak surface low is important in determining just how far south accumulations occur. A farther south track extends snow accumulations farther south whereas a farther north track will nudge accumulations farther north. As it looks right now, light accumulations up to 1 inch are expected for the northern two most rows of Counties as far south as Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Closer to 2 inches is possible near the Tennesse border for these states. In Georgia, above 3,000 feet, up to 4 inches is possible. Much of Tennessee Can expect 1-4 inches with higher amounts along and north of I-40. This is where isolated 5-6 inch amounts are possible. Chatanooga will likely see less than half an inch. The snow accumulations will extend into the Ohio Valley, the mountains of North Carolina, and into the Mid-Atlantic. Yes, D.C. will see another several inch of snow after such a long snow drought. It should be noted, central and northern Arkansas will see snow as well as possibly the northern fringe of Upstate South Carolina. It should also be noted, the track of the surface low should keep most of North Carolina snow-free outside of the mountains. Join the Firsthand Weather Supporter Group.

Accumulation forecast

As always, this is a couple of days out so this forecast will need fine-tuning over the coming day.

Heavy snow band setting up over parts of the Southeast, Tennessee Valley, and the southern Appalachians

A heavy band of snow is setting up across parts of the Southeast, Tennessee Valley, and the southern Appalachians tonight. This band of snow band will slowly move from west to east across the aforementioned areas over the next several hours. A several-hour period of snow rates of half an inch to three-quarters of an inch is possible for this area with rates, at times, in excess of an inch per hour. This could lead to locally heavy, significant snow accumulations for the higher elevations. Join the Firsthand Weather Supporter Group.

Recent hi-res guidance suggests some areas in this circled pink area above could see 3-5 inches of snow with locally higher amounts. This includes northern Alabama, southern and eastern Tennesee, and northwestern Georgia.

A swath of snow possible from Texas into the Southeast on Sunday

Firsthand Weather first brought you the possibility of snow for parts of the South and Southeast a few days ago, and the chances of snow have continued to increase. A quick-hitting band of sleet and snow will develop early Sunday morning over eastern Texas and advance into northern and central Louisiana, southern and eastern Arkansas by late morning into the early afternoon hours before moving into central and northern Mississippi, Tennessee, central and northern Alabama, and northern Georgia Sunday evening, and into far Upstate South Carolina, and parts of North Carolina overnight Sunday into Monday morning. Join the Firsthand Weather Supporter group today!

NAM future radar on Sunday into Monday morning

It should be noted, it appears the precipitation over eastern Texas, parts of Louisiana, and parts of Arkansas will be mainly a sleet mixture with a few flakes, but other areas have a good chance to see wet snow. Despite the warm temperatures, pockets of moderate snow could allow for some accumulations across the aforementioned areas of Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina late Sunday. Any accumulations would be light and on elevated surfaces but right now, it appears up to one inch is possible with isolated higher amounts above 2,000 feet where a couple of inches could fall.

NAM snowfall forecast (see disclaimer below)

Keep in mind, the snow could accumulate briefly when falling within the moderate pockets, but then would most likely quickly melt due to temperatures at the surface being near or just above freezing. Please keep in mind, the model above is to give an idea of where the favored areas are to see snow. This model is likely overestimating the accumulations due to several variables. So keep in mind, a dusting to an inch is most likely with slightly more above 2,000 feet or the favored upslope areas.

Strong tornadoes are possible in the South today

12:20 PM CST UPDATE

A Tornado Watch has been issued for parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee until 7:00 PM CST.

AFTERNOON UPDATE

The enhanced severe risk has been expanded into northwestern Georgia. Also, a couple of strong, damaging tornadoes are possible per the Storm Prediction Center.

PREVIOUS INFORMATION

A hyper-active weather day is expected across the South this afternoon and evening. Severe storms are expected to develop west of the Mississippi River earlier in the day advancing east throughout later parts of the day. A severe threat will continue into the nighttime hours. An enhanced risk (level 3 of 5) is in place for parts of eastern Arkansas, northern Mississippi, southern Tennessee, and northern Alabama. A slight risk (level 2 of 5) and marginal risk (level 1 of 5) surround the enhanced risk area.

Within the enhanced risk (orange), this is where the highest chance for severe storms and the greatest coverage of severe storms is expected. This is also where the highest tornado threat exists today into tonight. Other severe hazards include damaging winds and large hail. There is also a tornado, wind, and hail threat for the slight (yellow) and marginal (dark green) severe risk areas.

Make sure you’re staying weather-aware throughout the day. It’s important to have a few reliable sources to receive weather warnings from and have a plan in place and know where to go if a warning is issued for your area.

Big chunk of Arctic air to move south

Tired of the warmth across southern parts of the country? No worries, it appears a strong cold front will bring an end to the warmth (for a bit at least) but we have to wait a few more days!

Models have consistently suggested a cold air mass building over western Canada and the Interior Northwest & U.S. Northern Rockies will move south and the time has come. A piece of the Arctic air mass will get dislodged, moving it south late this week into the upcoming weekend. While the air will modify as it moves south and east, due to the lack of snow cover across the Plains, it’ll still be quite cold and a shocker to the system after the recent warmth.

Timeline of the cold air

The cold air will move into the Southern Plains and Great Lakes throughout the day on Saturday into early Sunday. By Sunday morning, the cold air will rush into the Mid-South, South, Tennessee, Ohio Valleys, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic. Then by Sunday night into early Monday, the cold air will engulf the Southeast and Carolinas. South on Sunday, and through the Southeast overnight Sunday into Monday.

Animation of the cold front delivering below-average temperatures (blue, green, and purple colors) to southern and eastern parts of the country from late this weekend into early next week (WeatherModels.com)

How cold will it get?

While it’s too early for the exact specifics and numbers, here’s a snapshot of what you could expect:

Southern Plains, South, Mid-South, and Southeast

Highs: 30s & 40s

Lows: 20s

Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley, and Mid-Atlantic

Highs: 20s & 30s

Lows: 10s

Great Lakes and Northeast

Highs: 0s & 10s

Lows: -10s

Low-temperature forecast next Monday (WeatherModels.com)
High-temperature forecast next Monday (WeatherModels.com)

How long will the cold stick around?

The cold air will be quick-hitting. It appears the coldest air will last from Sunday through Tuesday before a quick moderate of the air mass with temperatures climbing back to seasonal averages.

A statewide burn ban issued for North Carolina

The North Carolina State Forest Service has issued a statewide burn ban for the state of North Carolina as of 5 p.m. Monday, November 29. The burn ban continues until further notice and has been issued due to increased fire risk in North Carolina. The burn ban means all open burning is not allowed and is against the law.

See the latest on the Pilot Mountain fire in North Carolina.

It is the fall wildfire season for the state and weather conditions this week will lead to explosive fire growth if fires start. In an effort to mitigate the threat of fires, the burn ban prohibits all open burning. Anyone violating the burn ban faces a $100 fine plus $183 court costs. Any person responsible for setting a fire may be liable for any expenses related to extinguishing the fire.

A couple of chances for snow enter the forecast for parts of the Carolinas and Tennesee

The weather is changing as we continue to advance through fall and that’s even more evident with snow chances entering the forecast for parts of the Carolinas over the next week. The first chance for quick-hitting snow arrives tonight for the mountains of North Carolina. A strong upper-level low, with quite a bit of dynamic cooling, will allow for the snow levels to fall to around 5,000 feet overnight. So whatever moisture remains, will fall in the form of snow above 5,000 feet. It also appears up to 1 inch of accumulations is possible above 6,000 feet.

Another chance for snow looks possible next weekend. There are still a lot of questions, but another storm system will swing east, pulling in a strong cold front. This will allow temperatures to quickly fall and it appears there will still be enough moisture behind the cold front for a quick bout of snow across the mountains of eastern Tennesse and western North Carolina overnight Friday (November 5) into Saturday morning (November 6). This is over a week out so a lot of changes and fine-tuning are likely, but models are suggesting this is a real possibility. For more details on this possible snow event, click here.

European model Saturday morning (November 6)

“Superbomb” storm in northeast Pacific

An interesting weather event is forecast to evolve in the northeastern Pacific over the next 24-48 hours. The remnants of Tropical Storm Namtheun are in the process of converting into an extratropical storm system in the northern Pacific. This process will continue on Wednesday and Thursday and the system will rapidly deepen and intensify.

The system will intensify so much that the central pressure is forecast to drop to 950 mb or lower. This is a greater than 48 mb drop in barometric pressure in a short period of time. Because of such a quick drop in pressure during the intensifcation process, this system will become what is known as a superbomb cyclone late Wednesday. This occurs when a storm system observes a drop in pressure of at least 48 mb within a 24 hour period.

European 850 hPa Wind Speeds in knots (WeatherModels.com)
European 500hPa Geopotential Height (WeatherModels.com)

This storm is forecast to bring impacts to parts of British Columbia and Alaska late this week.

Chilly air moving into the South & Southeast

The much anticipated cold front is racing through the Southeast this afternoon. Behind the cold front, drier and cooler air is surging south. This will lead to pleasant afternoons over the next couple of days with highs in the 60s & 70s and chilly mornings. Lows will fall into the 40s for many areas with a few upper-30s for Tennesse, northern Mississippi, northern Alabama, northern Georgia, and western North Carolina. Enjoy and bundle up!

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