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Sugar Mountain, NC

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Forecast Discussion

Summary

SYNOPSIS

... A weak cold front will move south through the region today, followed by a stronger cold front on Friday. Dry high pressure and cooler temperatures will settle into the area on Saturday and linger into Sunday. Moisture and warmer temperatures will gradually return early next week.

NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 630 AM Thursday...Main change needed this update was adding chance PoPs east of the mountains to account for the light drizzly showers on radar this morning. These will likely continue off and on ahead of the cold front, so have maintained chance PoPs ahead of the front through the morning hours. Otherwise, patchy mountain valley fog and low status continue this morning. Pockets of patchy fog and low stratus have the potential to develop east of of the mountains, especially across areas that have saw overnight. However, confidence on this is low with debris cloud cover limiting radiational cooling. Any fog and low stratus that develop should lift after sunrise. Lows this morning will be about 3-5 degrees above climo.

The aforementioned cold front will track across the western Carolinas and northeast Georgia today leading to another round of showers and thunderstorms. A reinforcing cold front will push in right behind the main cold front keeping shower and thunderstorm chances around this evening into tonight. Expecting the mountains to see the highest PoPs late this morning into late this afternoon. Areas east of the mountains will see the highest PoPs late this afternoon into late this evening. With 15-20 knots of 0-6 km Bulk Shear expected along and ahead of the front, steering flow looks to be stronger compared to the last few days. This should keep the flooding threat to a minimum. With SBCAPE values remaining about 1000-1200 J/kg, the severe weather potential will remain low. Still cannot rule out isolated strong to severe storms this afternoon and evening. The main potential impact with any severe storm that does develop is damaging wind gusts. High temperatures will be noticeably cooler today thanks to westerly flow, cloud cover, and precip. Expecting highs to be around 1-3 degrees below climo. Lows tonight will still be a few degrees above climo.

SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT/... As of 245 am EDT Thursday: Moisture along a weak frontal zone will linger near the southern tier of the forecast area Friday morning, as a second, stronger, reinforcing cold front crosses the region from the north through the day. Meanwhile, an amplifying eastern CONUS trough will bring a lobe of strong DPVA to western North Carolina Friday morning before the parent trough moves to the eastern seaboard Friday night. Giving the drying profiles in the increasingly northerly flow, PoPs will be isolated to scattered at best despite the upper-level and frontal forcing, with the highest chances along the southern tier. Instability will be too modest for much severe thunderstorm potential, and drying profiles and associated precipitable water values should negate any lingering flood risk.

The strong cold front will settle south of the area on Friday night, with a 1021 mb surface high center building over to the north and funneling much cooler and drier air into the region for the start of the weekend. Meanwhile, deep-layer, drying, northwesterly flow will develop between the trough and the upstream ridge centered over the southern Plains through Saturday. At low-levels, however, easterly flow into the Blue Ridge escarpment could produce some upslope clouds Saturday, but precipitation is not expected given the dry profiles. Anticipate Saturday min/max temperatures to run some 3 to 5 degrees below climatology.

LONG TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... As of 250 am EDT Thursday: An East Coast trough will continue to get reinforced in the Sunday through Wednesday period by various shortwaves diving southward from the Upper Midwest to the Appalachians. One wave will drive a weak cold front into the mountains from the northwest late Sunday into Monday, but with just a modest uptick in moisture. Otherwise, expect mainly diurnal, isolated shower and thunderstorm chances Monday through Wednesday, with a mainly mountain focus. Temperatures will be within a few degrees of climo each day.

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