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A White Halloween and SnowGating in the Whee

Published: 10.31.14 6:42am

Good Morning Folks! We close off the month of October with the 2nd Halloween snow event in the past 3 years, the other of course being influenced by Sandy back in 2012. Today through Sunday morning will be an interesting time frame and one that will make most folks double check the calendar, especially if they have not been following the weather or spoken to anyone around town. 

Today will feature increasing clouds across the region through the morning hours with temps starting in the low – upper 30’s, eventually rising to the mid 40’s – low 60’s depending upon elevation. By midday or shortly thereafter we expect mostly cloudy skies to be overhead as the upper level disturbance or shortwave, moves into the region from the northwest. This shortwave will work to trigger an impressive early season upper level low and one that if developed in the dead of winter, would drop staggering amounts of snow across the region. But alas, it is late October and even the snow potential this early in the game is a testament to the strength of this soon to be developing upper level low. By the 6 – 9pm timeframe we expect light snow to begin breaking out across the highest ridgetops directly along the TN line, with only flurries elsewhere. Winds will also pick up out of the NW around 10 – 20mph and continue throughout the night, ushering in much colder air which will bring temps down to the low – upper 20’s depending upon elevation (colder than previous forecast). 

Light – moderate snow showers break out in earnest after midnight and continue into the morning hours on Saturday, eventually becoming heavy across the TN line area. Areas south and west of the TN line, extending as far south as Balsam, SoCo Gap or the other high elevations ridgelines such as the Great Balsams will experience light – moderate snow throughout the day Saturday, while the rest of the SW NC deals with spotty snow showers breaking containment from the TN line. These areas include Cullowhee, Franklin, Bryson City and so on and with spotty showers and somewhat warmer temps (relative to the ridgelines), we expect minimal accumulations, ranging from a dusting to a half inch. It should be noted this will only be a synoptic snowfall for a brief period of time and more so a NW flow event, which of course favors the TN line and high elevations ridgelines facing NW but the nature of the upper level low may dump localized higher amounts than we cannot predict, so don’t be surprised if one spot gets an inch and 2 miles away your neighbor gets nothing. We can go into detail about accumulations but to make it easier and something you can pass along to others, check out the below SNOWCAST Map, which is the 1st of the season. 

Temps Saturday will only be able to reach the low 30’s – mid 40’s (colder than previously forecasted) and with NW winds around 10 – 25mph, it will feel even colder across the region. We recommend bringing tent tie downs, hot foods and warm alcoholic drinks with plenty of winter gear if you are heading out to the WCU tailgate and subsequent football game against UT Chattanooga at 2pm. Places like Cataloochee Ski Area will come out of this event with roughly 3” or more of natural snow and they will be able to make snow later on this evening, keeping the guns on through most of the weekend, ending Sunday early afternoon. With this in mind one can only speculate that they will be opening in the next week or so, but of course we will be sure to alert all of our followers on social media the moment they announce the opening date. Overnight into Sunday will end the snow across the region, more so for the TN line as the majority of the snow will come to an end for areas not along the TN line sometime during the afternoon hours Saturday. Temps Saturday night will plummet into the upper teens – mid 20’s depending upon elevation, making it the coldest night of the season to date; clearing skies for most of the region. 

We will make an update to the forecast around 3pm this afternoon. 


Sunday brings us mostly sunny skies with a few flurries along the TN line, mostly wind whipped as NW winds still remain steady around 5 – 15mph. Temps will push into the low 40s – low 50’s and we slowly begin to warm up to normal levels by Tuesday of next week. Temps hit the mid 40’s – low 60’s Monday and the upper 40’s - mid 60’s Tuesday. Sunshine will be around Monday and most of the day Tuesday, with increasing clouds after midday Tuesday as we expect some spotty showers to arrive Wednesday. 

Overall, increasing clouds today, snow tonight through most of tomorrow, sunshine returns Sunday followed by more sunshine Monday and increasing clouds Tuesday as we expect spotty showers Wednesday. ENJOY! 



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