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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Daily Weather Briefing for Thursday, February 23, 2017

Weather Advisories and Warnings Across the USA

Weather Advisories and Warnings Across the USA


...Locally heavy rain possible across portions of the Florida Peninsula through Thursday morning...

...Record warm temperatures possible for much of the central and eastern U.S. through Friday...

...Winter storm expected to bring heavy snow and gusty winds from portions of the central and northern Rockies to the Upper Midwest...

An anomalous upper-level low is moving east across the northern Gulf of Mexico this afternoon, with the associated surface low pressure system bringing widespread rain and thunderstorms to much of Florida. The system will continue to move eastward through tonight, with widespread showers and thunderstorms expected to persist across eastern portions of the Florida Peninsula into Thursday morning. Locally heavy rain will be possible. Rain and thunderstorms will gradually wind down Thursday afternoon as the system moves east into the Atlantic Ocean.

Otherwise, most of the central and eastern U.S. will see well above average temperatures persisting through Friday, as high pressure at the mid and upper-levels of the atmosphere dominates the weather pattern. Afternoon high temperatures on Thursday are forecast to be 15 to 30 degrees above average from the southern and central plains to the East Coast. These warm temperatures are expected to persist into Friday for areas from the lower and mid-Mississippi valley to the East Coast. Temperatures could soar well into the 70s for many areas, with the potential for numerous locations to reach or surpass record highs.

In stark contract to the record warmth, a winter storm is expected to take shape from portions of the Rockies to the northern plains and Upper Midwest. A vigorous upper-level disturbance and associated surface frontal system moving eastward across the Great Basin this afternoon will snow to much of the central and northern Rockies tonight. By early Thursday morning, a new area of surface low pressure is expected to begin developing just east of the Colorado Rockies. As this occurs, the potential for heavy snow will begin to occur from the central and northern Rockies east into the High Plains. This area of low pressure is expected to deepen during the day on Thursday as it moves into the central plains, and into the Midwest on Friday. The system is expected to bring potentially heavy snow and gusty winds to a large area from the central and northern Rockies to portions of the Upper Midwest and Upper Great Lakes.

South of the snow area, rain and thunderstorms are expected Thursday and Friday from portions of the mid and upper-Mississippi valley to the southern Great Lakes and Ohio valley. Some storms could be severe on Friday across portions of the Ohio valley and southern Great Lakes. Please refer to products issued by the Storm Prediction Center for further details on the severe weather threat.


Brief drying develops today into early Friday before a significant cold front brings chances for rain and thunderstorms Friday night and Saturday. Overall, daytime temperatures will remain well above normal through Saturday, with a return to normal for Sunday. Above normal temperatures and chances for rain return for early next week.


National Surface Map for Thursday Feb 23rd at 7 am


Patchy dense fog before 10 am. Partly sunny with highs near 70. Calm winds until the afternoon when the shift to come from the south.

Thursday Night

Partly cloudy with lows near the upper 40s and light winds out of the southeast.

National Surface Map for Friday Feb 24th at 7 am


Partly sunny with highs near the lower 70s and winds 5 to 10 mph out of the southeast. Chances of showers and thunderstorms increase after 4 pm.

Friday Night

Mostly cloudy with lows near the upper 40s and light winds out of the southeast, shifting to come out of the southwest after midnight. 50% chance of rain. Thunderstorms could move into the area, mainly after midnight.

National Surface Map for Saturday Feb 25th at 7 am


Rain before 9 am, decreasing clouds to become mostly sunny with highs near the lower 60s.

Saturday Night

Mostly clear with lows near 30.


Dense fog is expected to form this morning. Please slow down, increase your following distance, and use your headlights on low beam so other drivers can see you.

As always, you can check to see what advisories, watches and warnings are in effect for Macon County by visiting


If you have an event you wish to be added to this calendar, please send the information, along with a flyer or photo, to
There is no charge for civic, educational or non profit groups.



A Mardi Gras Dinner to benefit REACH of Macon County will be held at Root + Barrel Kitchen on Main Street on Tuesday, February 28th at 6:30 pm.
Reserved tickets are $75 and open seating is $60.
More information is on the flyer posted here.

Be the Voice for a Child! Don’t let another child’s voice go unheard. The Guardian Ad Litem program is currently seeking volunteers in your community to be the voice of a foster child in court. The North Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program thrives on volunteerism, and its vital work is only made possible by dedicated volunteers who are committed to the cause of keeping children safe from future harm. We will have a training class for volunteers in Sylva starting March 16, 2017. We would love to have you join us. It's not too late to apply!
If you have an interest in becoming the voice for a child, contact Joe Allen at the Macon County GAL office at 828-349-7222 or Shannon Cowan at the Jackson County GAL Office at 828-587-2087. You can also find out more about the program by visiting or

Weather Extremes Almanac for February 23, 2017

North Carolina

High Temperature 85ºF in Tapoco, Graham County in 1996
Low Temperature -9ºF in Montreat, Yancey County in 1939
Greatest One-Day Rainfall 3.50 inches in Broadway, Chatham County in 1919
Greatest One-Day Snowfall 18.0 inches on Mount Mitchell, Yancey County in 1984

Macon County

High Temperature 75ºF in Franklin in 1980
Low Temperature 3ºF in Highlands in 1939
Greatest One-Day Rainfall 2.89 inches in Highlands in 1994
Greatest One-Day Snowfall 3.5 inches in Highlands in 1989


Twilight Begins: 6:45 am
Sunrise: 7:10 am
Sunset 6:24 pm
Twilight Ends: 6:50 pm
Day Length: 12 hours 05 minutes
Sunrise to Sunset: 11 hours 54 minutes

Moon Phase: Waning Crescent with 9% of the Moon's visible disk illuminated
Moonrise 5:03 am
Moonset 3:41 pm

Observing the Skies

Evening Events and Planets

Chart shows sky at 8:30 pm tonight

Evening Sky Chart for Thursday Feb 23rd

Venus and Mars are the bright evening planets.

Rises 8:25 am
Sets 9:18 pm
Brightness -4.4 Magnitude
Distance 0.386 AU
Constellation: Pisces

Rises 9:09 am
Sets 9:51 pm
Brightness 1.3 Magnitude
Distance: 2.001 AU
Constellation: Pisces

Morning Events and Planets

Chart shows sky at 4 am tomorrow morning

Morning Sky Chart for Friday Feb 24th

Rises 6:57 am
Sets 5:32 pm
Brightness -0.7 Magnitude
Distance 1.376 AU
Constellation: Capricornus


Rises 3:10 am
Sets 12:55 pm
Brightness 1.3
Distance: 10.366 AU
Constellation: Sagittarius

Rises 10:03 pm
Sets 9:23 am
Brightness -2.1 Magnitude
Distance: 4.738 AU
Constellation: Virgo

Sky Guides for this week

Sky and Telescope Magazine 
Astronomy Magazine

Earth Sky has an article on the eclipses of 2017. [LINK]

Heavens Above has an Android App that will assist you in observing the sky and even has a satellite tracker that will let you know when the International Space

Station and dozens of other satellites are overhead. [LINK]

Stellarium is also an app that will assist you in observing the sky. It is available in both Android [LINK] and iOS versions. [LINK]


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Published at 3:31 am on Feb 23, 2017

#WNCscan #MaconWx #MaconSafety

Be kind to one another.

Data and information sources: Sources (except where otherwise credited):, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, The National Weather Service, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Penn State University Electronic Wall Map, The State Climate Office of North Carolina, Storm Prediction Center, U.S. Naval Observatory, and the Weather Prediction Center.