by Itai Minovitz
by Deborah Scannell Photography
Low Confidence Past Wed; Rain Returns
December 5, 2021 (9:56am)
Good morning folks! Confidence in the forecast has dropped past Wednesday and even the Monday - Wednesday timeframe is not as solid as we would like, due to many factors, mainly the challenge of timing possible pieces of energy coupled with available moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Even though we (and every other outlet) feel less confident in the timing and amounts for each precip event, the pattern does look strong enough to deliver much needed rain to the region and we still have several rounds of precip with 1 - 2" of rain in play today (Sunday) through Thursday morning. The higher elevations above 3500 - 4000' will experience a back and forth between rain, wet snow/sleet/freezing rain and then back to rain starting Monday night, ending Tuesday morning, picking back up Tuesday night and once again ending Wednesday morning, only to return briefly Wednesday evening. Looking at the end of next week there are strong indicators on the models that a front will sweep the region and the Thursday - Saturday timeframe (9th - 11th) may end up being our wettest stretch as opposed to the Wednesday - Friday window we mentioned in our previous discussion. Temps all the while will go from a handful of degrees above normal Monday (low - mid 60's) to the low - mid 50's Tuesday through Thursday, rebounding to the low 60's Friday and possibly mid - upper 60's next weekend. For those searching for some semblance of normalcy as we approach the Winter Holiday season, this week and the following week (6th - 17th) offer no glimmer of hope as above average temps stick around through the middle of the month.
Kicking off the timeline Sunday evening we will find isolated showers peppering the escarpment and southern portion of the Great Balsams, taking most of the night to work their way into the rest of SW NC, but totals should stay below 0.15" regionwide. Temps tonight bottom out to the mid 40's - low 50's depending upon elevation.
Monday features a cold front sweeping the region, exiting sometime between 12 - 3pm and the uptick in southerly flow ahead of the front will push temps to the low 50's - mid 60's depending upon elevation. Scattered light showers will make up most of the action but there is a very small chance a rumble of thunder closer to the N GA/TN line; rainfall totals average out to a quarter of an inch regionwide. Backside moisture lingers in the northwesterly flow overnight into Tuesday and some token snowflakes are likely above 4500' for those who live close to the TN line; no accumulations expected. Temps settle into the low - upper 30's depending upon elevation, alongside NW winds around 10 - 20mph.
Tuesday starts the day with isolated shower chances but we should end up with a short lived window of dry weather as partly sunny skies take over by the mid morning hours. Temps only warm to the upper 30's - low 50's depending upon elevation, with northerly winds becoming southerly as the day moves along. This is when confidence begins to drop as some models show moisture returning to the region before sunset, whereas others hold off till Wednesday morning. If precip were to return Tuesday evening its likely to fall as snow above 4500', however accumulations may be hard to come by as temps sit in the low - mid 30's. Overnight lows dip into the mid 30's - low 40's depending upon elevation, ensuring all rain falls across the lower elevations.
Assuming precip returned Tuesday evening we will wake on Wednesday to scattered showers, with snow kicking over to rain once again for the higher elevations as temps warm to the low 40's - mid 50's. Wednesday should be a healthy rainmaker with 0.5 - 1.5" of rain falling over the 24 hour period starting around sunrise. As the system exits overnight, rain kicks back to snow along the TN line as temps bottom out to the upper 20's - mid 30's; no accumulations expected.
Thursday could be sunny or remain cloudy but for now we are going with other outlets and calling for mostly sunny - partly cloudy skies, followed by a regionwide rain event Friday into Saturday. We'll stop here because details this far out are pointless, knowing they will change with each passing model run over the next 24 - 36 hours. Our next discussion comes out Wednesday between 12 - 2pm.
Although confidence is low due to several different scenarios among the models, the take home is that rain chances remain alive and well this week and totals high enough to help make a dent in the current drought. The bigger questions center around how much rain and when, as the timing is crucial regarding wintry precip chances but also rainfall totals.
On the lower end scenarios we should pick up 1 - 2" of rain this upcoming week, while the higher end scenarios show upwards of 3 - 4" along the escarpment.
Windows of rain include Sun night into Monday afternoon, possibly Tuesday night into Wednesday evening, and Friday into Saturday.
Monday night and Tuesday night offer wintry precip chances for elevations above 4500', but nothing points to travel being impacted with little to no accumulations expected.
Temps go from the mid 60's Monday to the low - mid 50's Tuesday - Thursday, soaring back to the mid - upper 60's by Saturday.
Highlands is 3.55" from hitting the 100" mark on the year as of 12/4.
Next discussion comes out between 12 - 2pm Wednesday.