Widespread Showers then a Sunny Weekend
Good Afternoon Folks! A front is slowly moving east as it moves across the TN valley as of the early afternoon hours on Thursday. This band of showers will enter our region this afternoon, peaking in coverage and intensities overnight into Friday, with a lull in the action expected by sunrise Friday. This lull will be short lived as spotty light showers return to the region Friday afternoon due to a piece of upper level energy swinging through the upper level trough. This second and much lighter round of rain will exit by the evening hours for most of SW NC, however some moisture lingers along the TN line as we transition to a WNW flow across the mountains. This will usher in drier air, but not before kicking rain over to snow for the Smokies and nearby ridgelines early Saturday morning. Sunshine this weekend will give way to showers overnight into Monday, but for the most part the WCU Homecoming football game looks to go off without a hitch.
Most of SW NC will pick up an inch of rain as seen below in the WPC precip outlook spanning today and tomorrow, however a 1.5" total is likely for locations closer to the TN/GA line. Temps tonight dip into the low - mid 50's with widespread showers pushing through the area and this somewhat warm temperature setup continues into Friday, with temps only rising to the low 60's. Winds will also be noticeable as they become steady around 10 - 20mph, gusting to 40mph along the ridgelines overnight. After a lull in the action Friday morning, isolated light showers pick back up after midday and wind down during the evening hours, with colder air rushing in as we transition to the WNW flow. This new flow will bring temps down into the upper 30's for the valley, but the ridgelines will dip into the upper 20's - low 30's and allow rain to kick over to snow for the usual suspects such as Mt LeConte and Clingmans Dome.
Saturday and Sunday both feature sunny skies and temps rising to the mid - upper 50's Saturday and upper 50's - low 60's Sunday for the lower elevations. If you haven't taken a drive to check out the colors, we highly encourage you to do so as peak colors move down the mountains into the valley floor. For those going to the WCU football game at 3:30pm, dress for temps in the upper 50's but bring a light jacket as temps dip into the 40's by games end. Overnight lows Saturday night dip into the low - mid 30's for Cullowhee and settle into the low 40's Sunday night due to increasing clouds.
A round of rain is expected Monday but how long that will last is the biggest question at this point in time. If you have outdoor plans Monday that would be impacted by showers, we advise you to reschedule or push them to Tuesday or Wednesday if possible. We'll circle back Saturday morning to provide another update regarding the upcoming rainfall early next week.