The 20 January, 2001 Winter Storm in the Mountains of North Carolina.

The map above represents snowfall totals from the snow event, most of which fell during the afternoon and overnight hours of 20 January, 2001. This was primarily a "Northwest Flow" event with most of the snow accumulation occurring as northwest winds, behind low pressure exiting the region to the northeast, were lifted over the mountains. The cooling and moistening of the air as it was lifted resulted in a period of light to moderate snow, which affected the Tennessee border counties, and a few higher elevations a little further east.

The accompanying visible satellite image (click here for a larger picture), taken about 10 A.M the next morning, shows areas where snow had fallen the previous day. It had been a warm couple of weeks before the snow event, so most of the lighter coloring over the mountains represents new snow. There were a few rather impressive totals from the storm, with Mt.  LeConte reporting in with 12" of new snow. Up to 8 inches of new snow fell at the higher elevations of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Wolf Laurel in Eastern Madison County had 6 inches of snow and up to 8 inches was reported in northern Avery County.

 There is a thin finger of snow along the Haywood/Jackson County line (between Waynesville and Cullowhee). This area of heavier snow amounts, up to 4 inches, is along the higher elevations of the Plott Balsam Mountains, which run in a northwest to southeast orientation along the county line. This is a very typical snowfall distribution for northwest flow events.


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Page created 1/21/2001