Winter Weather Alert for the Mountains Friday
Rain will turn to snow tonight as colder air slides into the high country after a cold front pushes toward the coast. A winter weather advisory goes into effect for areas below 3500 feet after midnight, while a winter storm warning goes into effect for areas above 3500′ where winds will be stronger and snowfall totals could reach more than half a foot.
A few things are at play to provide this snowy outlook. First orographic lift, will help to push moisture up the mountain where it will cool and lock in place. Winds out of the northwest will aid in squeezing that moisture out like a sponge. While colder temperatures help change rain to snow. Although this winter setup may be a treat for skiiers and snowboarders. Travel will be dangerous Friday through Saturday morning.
Winds will be strong out of the northwest will be 20-25 mph with gusts 40-45 mph. This means blowing snow that could blind drivers. Snowfall totals will reach up to 2″ for areas below 3500′ with up to 6″+ for the higher elevations near the Tennessee border making travel slippery, or trapping people trying to get home or reach the ski resorts. The wind chill will also drive feels like temperatures into the single-digit category with highs remaining below freezing through the start of the weekend.
Moisture will finally fade Saturday with winds dying through the day. Travel and ski conditions will improve dramatically Saturday afternoon through Sunday.
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