Spotty, off/on rain and some drizzle is in our forecast from Western NC into the Upstate & NE Georgia through the afternoon. Temperatures will warm slowly into the low-middle 50s for Upstate towns with upper 40s and low 50s in Western NC.
Once the upper-level system responsible for this rain moves from the Midwest into the Tennessee Valley later today, some heavier rain will develop and move in this afternoon and especially this evening for all areas Upstate and Western NC towns before a switch to snow in Western NC tonight.
A Winter Storm Warning has been posted for the ridge top locations/towns in Western NC This goes into effect tonight and remains for tomorrow for Graham, Swain, northern Jackson Haywood, Madison, Yancey and Mitchell counties.
Heavy snow streamers will develop on western-facing slopes (first - tonight) and this westerly to WNW wind direction will impact Graham, Swain, northern Jackson and portions of Haywood counties more directly tonight (as we have seen before in similar west to west-northwest wind events). Tomorrow, the wind will switch to more of a NW direction which will impact northwestern-facing slopes in Haywood, Madison, Yancey and Mitchell through the day tomorrow and tomorrow night. 5-7" of snow is possible above 3,000-3,500ft in every one of these counties mentioned with 1-4" of snow expected within the warned area below 3,000ft. I also wouldn't doubt that a few places which get caught with the same wind direction for a longer period of time could see a foot/12" of snow along the highest elevations.
Even though a Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Buncombe and Macon counties, many areas within those two counties will see mostly rain with only high elevation areas seeing more than 2-4" of snow. Places like Black Mountain, Weaverville, and the mountains west of Franklin can expect 2-4" of accumulating snow while towns like Asheville and Franklin may not see much more than an inch or so, although areas around and nearby Franklin COULD be impacted more if that westerly wind sets up longer than expected.
It probably goes without saying, but expect slick road conditions on many NC mountain roads tonight, Wednesday and Thursday too.
As far as the Upstate & NE Georgia is concerned, this rain will clear out tomorrow. Sunshine will probably return at times tomorrow, although clouds may be tough to leave some locations. The sun will be beaming down all day on Thursday and Friday. Temperatures will be spring-like this weekend so you can look forward to that!
National Severe Storms Preparedness/Awareness Week - Monday Topic: Some schools, businesses and groups around our area participated in a mock tornado drill this morning at 9am. Even though it might be cold outside today, we all know and understand that our weather conditions can change quickly, especially in March. That underlines the importance of staying alert and aware of severe weather as we move into late March, April and early May. The best advice when a tornado warning is issued to not to panic, but already have a plan in place so you can react in a calm manner. Kendra and I often mention this to schools and other groups when we talk with them.
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