Good Morning Folks! The tropical remnants of Wilma are passing overhead today (Thursday), while a low pressure system along the Gulf Coast moves east, eventually crossing the Florida panhandle tomorrow into Saturday. This setup will lead to widespread showers beginning late tonight, extending into tomorrow and winding down late Friday night. We don't expect a washout but there will be plenty of rain as most of SW NC picks up an inch from Thursday evening through early Saturday morning; highest amounts along the N GA line. A break in the action occurs Saturday, however an upper level trough moves overhead and funnels a piece of energy our way, combining with the lingering moisture from the departing Gulf system. This leads to another round of showers Saturday night into Sunday, but mainly for the TN line, with a third round of rain moving in Sunday afternoon that should deliver showers for all of SW NC, ending Monday morning. Temps all the while remain just below average, which translates to a slightly chilly next couple of days but the exciting part is that the Smokies and perhaps the Great Balsams will experience some wet snow Saturday and Sunday nights, with little to no accumulations expected.
Clouds pass overhead most of the day today and this will hold temps to the mid - upper 50's across the valleys, while the ridgelines sit in the upper 40's - low 50's. Overnight lows won't bottom out too much due to cloudy skies and showers developing by the late evening hours, peaking in coverage as we enter the daylight hours on Friday, with most of the region in the low 40's by sunrise.
Friday will be rather gray as cloudy skies sit overhead, widespread showers pepper the region and temps only rise to the upper 40's - low 50's depending upon elevation. With most of the region picking up an inch of rain not many of us will be outside but for those heading to a high school football game tomorrow night, be sure to pack the poncho or wear the rain suit as showers linger through the overnight hours. Temps overnight into Saturday settle into the upper 30's - mid 40's depending upon elevation, with no snow expected for the highest ridgelines. The highest rainfall totals will be found along the N GA state line due to the orientation of the incoming rainfall, with 1.5" possible for towns such as Murphy, Brasstown or Hayesville.
Saturday and Sunday offer up periods of sun and clouds, with isolated showers possible during the day on Saturday, however the best bet is for showers to develop along the TN line closer to sunset as the overall flow transitions away from the SW and establishes a NW flow across the area. The upper level trough moving in Saturday will bring a piece of energy into the area Saturday night, allowing for a wet snowfall across the Smokies and Great Balsams; no accumulations expected. With NW flow well established Sunday, a third round of precip moves in late Sunday and exits Monday morning, but not before rain turns to snow across the highest ridgelines with a light dusting up to an inch possible for the Smokies and nearby ridgelines above 5500'. Temps Saturday only reach the low 40's across the ridgelines and low - mid 50's for the valley, warming to the low 50's - low 60's Sunday respectively, however overnight lows Sunday night dip into the upper 20's - low 30's for the ridgelines, hence the chance for snow (lower elevations remain in the low 40's).
We'll provide another update Saturday morning to fine tune the next round of rain and the small snow event for the ridgelines. Till then, stay warm and dry!