According to the old folklore…if there is thunder in winter, snow will follow within seven days. Despite unseasonably warm weather, following thunderstorms earlier this week, winter weather warnings have been issued across the mountain.
The National Weather Service for Greenville-Spartanburg issued the winter weather warning just before 5 am Sunday morning. The warning covers: Swain, Graham and Northern Jackson Counties.
The winter storm warning is in effect until noon on Monday night and is calling for up to three inches with wind gusts as high as 45 mph.
Rain is expected to change over to snow from the high elevations and then down to the valleys after midnight. Although the ground is relatively warm because of the recent warm temperatures, the snow is expected to fall hard enough to accumulate, even on the roads. Untreated roads may remain slippery through the late morning Monday.
A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means that periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.
The Farmer’s Almanac explained that the old folklore surrounding thunder in winter is backed by scientific evidence. Winter weather is shown to follow thunder in the winter months about 70 percent of the time, especially from the East Coast to the Plains. Thunder in winter is an anomaly which typically occurs when there is a large dip followed by a large rise in the jet stream. As cold air moves south, it replaces warm air and lifts it up, often causing thunderstorms.
After the cold air behind the front settle, depending on the strength of the front, it may remain in the region for several days. When the next weather system arrives several—if not exactly seven—days later, if temperatures remain cold enough, the moisture in the system then falls as snow.