Good Morning Folks! Over the past 24 hours ending Tuesday morning at 9am, rainfall totals generally are in the 0.10 - 0.25" range across SW NC, however several locations along the escarpment have picked up over an inch. These locations include Hogback Mountain at 1.22" (Panthertown Valley area), Lake Toxaway at 1.26" and Cold Creek along the Jackson/Transylvania County line at 1.61". Shower chances remain high today through the end of the week, with periods of heavier rainfall expected and totals ending Saturday morning should average out to 2 - 3" for most of SW NC. The heaviest rain will move in tomorrow afternoon and several rounds of rain will push through Thursday afternoon and perhaps again Saturday afternoon.
The overall setup is one that remains summer like as above normal moisture levels and temperatures continue to dominate the pattern, mainly due to a lingering cold front that moves in tomorrow, coupled with a high pressure system off the Florida coast later this week that will keep moisture moving in from the south and west. The long range outlook does break this pattern down, but as we mentioned in our previous discussion, it may take till the first week of October to occur, so hang in there if you are not a fan of muggy conditions and wish fall like conditions would show up before winter becomes established.
Today will feature passing clouds overhead with isolated light to moderate showers moving into the region from the southwest, focusing the higher totals along the SW TN state line where up to a half inch could fall. Generally, the rest of the region will pick up under a quarter inch of rain, but the area will remain wet due to passing clouds and high temperatures, pushing into the mid 60's along the ridgelines and upper 70's in the valleys, perhaps hitting 80°F in places like Franklin or Downtown Sylva. Tonight temps dip back into the low - mid 60's across the region, with cloudy skies before midnight and then scattered showers moving in from the west during the pre dawn hours.
The showers that move through early Wednesday morning will be pre frontal as the actual front takes it time pushing through the area, setting up scattered strong thunderstorms during the afternoon hours. An inch or more of rain is expected across all of WNC with temps only reaching the mid 60's - mid 70's depending upon elevation.
Thursday through Saturday keeps scattered shower chances alive as the high pressure along the Florida coast pumps moisture into the region, coupled with upper level pieces of energy that will spark widespread showers for several hours, most notably Thursday afternoon and Saturday afternoon. Temps will cool off slightly due to the cloudy skies, hitting the low 60's - mid 70's Thursday but climbing back to the mid 60's - upper 70's this weekend.
We'll circle back Thursday morning but keep in mind the rain this weekend as Mountain Heritage Day is on the campus of WCU. Although we dont foresee a washout, we do think passing showers may hinder some of the action, but not to the point where should alter your plans. ENJOY!