Autumnal Equinox and Cooler Temps
Good Morning Folks! Today is game day in the Whee as WCU takes on VMI at 3pm this afternoon, so be sure to account for traffic around Cullowhee leading up to and after the game. We expect a good deal of sunshine today, with a front lingering just to our north. This front will slowly edge its way into the region overnight and through the day on Sunday, setting up a wet start to the work and school week as Monday rolls around, with shower coverage extending well into the middle of the week. The front is likely to hang around through Tuesday and then a second front is expected to arrive from the west Wednesday, possibly stirring up a handful of strong to severe thunderstorms. By the end of next week we will return to above normal temps and the typical summertime setup we have been used to as of late, even though today is the Autumnal Equinox (technically occurs at 9:54pm tonight). For those not a fan of the rain, the only silver lining moving forward will be the near normal temps Sunday through Tuesday, with a return to above normal temps by Friday of next week. The long range outlook shows a cool down sometime the 1st week of October, so hang in there as fall like conditions should arrive shortly.
Sunshine this morning will give way to partly cloudy skies late as isolated showers and thunderstorms develop along the ridgelines. We don't expect any shower activity for Cullowhee but of course this is no guarantee, so bringing a rain jacket to the game is not the worst of ideas. Temps will rise to the low 80's this afternoon but it will feel more like the mid - upper 80's as humidity levels remain above normal, setting up another foggy night for the valleys with temps dipping into the low - mid 60's.
Sunday through Tuesday offer up scattered light showers, with partly sunny skies Sunday and mostly cloudy skies Monday and Tuesday. Temps will respond to the cloud cover and rainfall, with the rain actually cooling the airmass down due to evaporational cooling. Temps Sunday hit the mid 60's along the ridgelines and the upper 70's throughout the valleys, cooling down to the low 60's and mid 70's respectively Monday and Tuesday. Rainfall totals over the three day span will be light, generally under an inch for all of SW NC as this is more of a light rain event for the region.
By the middle of next week a second front will swing through the region and may tap into some instability, allowing for strong to severe thunderstorms but we are not confident in this scenario just yet, so we will circle back Monday morning with another discussion. One thing that does look for certain is that temps eventually will return to the upper 70's - low 80's by the end of next week, but remember, a cool down is on the way for early October.