A Wintry Mix and Cold Rain Combo
January 23, 2020
Good morning folks! We are tracking our next round of precip that is currently to our south and west, pushing northeast into the region this afternoon. Currently (midday Thursday) temps are struggling to rise above the 40's and some spotty snow may fall before the main event arrives, but the airmass in place is dry enough to keep this possibility quite low. Showers push into the region tonight and expand in coverage from the south to north, continuing into Friday with several inches of rain likely by the time the event winds down Friday late afternoon. As the front pushes east cold air advection will occur out of the NW, kicking rain over to snow for the TN line and this may continue into the early afternoon hours on Saturday. High clouds with periods of sunshine will play out for most of SW NC this weekend, although temps will noticeably cooler starting Friday. Dry weather should continue into Monday and Tuesday of next week, with our next rain event possibly occurring on Wednesday.
As of midday Thursday it looks like we'll deal with a few pockets of freezing rain and sleet late tonight, mainly for the higher elevations along the escarpment (area in which the mountains drop off to the foothills; NC/SC line). The strong warm air advection tied with this system should cut off all wintry precip tonight and push all sites to a cold rain shortly before or after daybreak, but we still advise folks to check our social media feeds or your preferred news outlet for road conditions. An inch of rain is likely for the escarpment tonight, with a quarter - half inch possible for the more interior locations of SW NC as the main band associated with the frontal passage holds off till early Friday afternoon. Temps Thursday night will settle into the mid - upper 30's depending upon elevation.
Friday looks downright miserable with widespread rainfall across the region, coupled with temps only rising to the low - upper 40's depending upon elevation. Heavy rain will push through around or shortly after midday and coverage will begin to scale back to the TN line as the afternoon moves along, with most of the action over with before sunset. Another 1 - 2" of rain is likely across our region, with the higher amounts occurring along the SC state line; Highlands, Cashiers, and Lake Toxaway could pick up 3" from this event. Temps Friday night drop into the mid 20's along the ridgelines to the low 30's across the valleys. One more item to mention is that strong winds will accompany the frontal passage, gusting to 50mph above 5000', however the valleys will only deal with gust up to 25mph.
Saturday features light snow along the TN line as NW flow gets underway Friday night, while the rest of SW NC experiences passing clouds that should thin out as the day moves along. Sunday features more sun than clouds but we still expect moisture to stream into the region from the NW all weekend. Temps Saturday reach the low 30's - low 40's and warm to the mid 30's - mid 40's Sunday, with overnight lows in the mid 20's - low 30's each night.
Sunshine takes over Monday, carrying over into Tuesday and temps eventually warm to the low 50's across the lower elevations.
We'll circle back with another discussion sometime Saturday afternoon. Be sure to check road conditions before leaving the house Friday morning and prep for a rainy, cold day across the region.
Several inches of rain will fall Thursday night into Friday afternoon.
A window of freezing rain and sleet will occur late Thursday night into the pre dawn hours Friday, but coverage should be isolated.
A dry weekend for most of us, but temps will be a few degrees below avg.