Please defer back to last night's blog post on the latest with Sandy and the forecast impacts for our area. I'm just updating (below) with the latest public advisories from the National Weather Service.
Every type of winter weather condition possible (aside from freezing rain and sleet) will happen in Western NC during the next three days. Incredible for October!
**Importantly, this is such a rare and anomalous storm setup that most of our logic on local climatology for northwest flow snow events or sensible weather conditions we normally expect this time of year can be tossed to the curb. Such a rare setup means rare conditions are expected.**
A High Wind Warning has been posted for entire NC Mountain chain and even includes the northern Upstate mountain of Greenville, Pickens and Oconee counties. This wind warning goes all the way until 8PM Tuesday, so watch out while trying to drive in the high winds, especially if there is snow on the ground.
Winds of 15-35mph are expected across Upstate/NE Georgia areas south of the Mountains, while 20-40mph winds with gusts close to 60mph are expected in Western NC!
A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for high elevation areas and even areas around 2,500 feet along the plateaus somewhat close to the valley towns. Graham, Swain, Haywood, northern Jackson, Buncombe, Madison, northern McDowell, Yancey and Mitchell counties are included in the warned area. Depending on elevation, 2-8" of wind-driven snow is expected to accumulate through Tuesday evening and high winds will make for extremely tough driving with snow on the roads! Lesser snow amounts such as 1-3" are more likely in Buncombe, Graham, Macon and Jackson counties while the higher totals will happen in Yancey, Mitchell, Madison, Haywood, northern Swain, and northern McDowell counties. Also, scattered rain will mix with the snow close to the valley locations of Western NC, especially during the day-time hours.
I expect this "watch" will change to a Winter Storm Warning this afternoon or tonight. To the right is a graphic generated from a small-scale computer forecast model from the National Weather Service.
Also, a Freeze Warning has been posted for all of Western North Carolina until 8am Monday as temperatures are expected to range from 29°-32° before sunrise.
As expected, wind chill numbers will be very low over the next several days. Stay warm!