Several Inches of Rain; Freezing Drizzle Possible
Good Morning Folks! Showers are moving into the region as we type this discussion (8:30am Monday) and the next 48 hours will be soggy to say the least, with another round of showers sweeping the region Wednesday into Thursday. There is a small threat for freezing rain and/or drizzle early Thursday morning and we'll go into detail as to which areas across the SW NC mountains may be affected, however it seems to be more of a NW NC threat as opposed to a widespread mountain issue. Temps all the while will be below normal and sunny skies wont return till the weekend, so prepare for a soggy week with temps rather chilly at times.
A low pressure system lifting north across the area today and tomorrow will provide us with several inches of rain and the bulk of the rain will move through this morning through the late evening hours, winding down a bit late Tuesday and then pick back up Wednesday afternoon. Up to 2 - 3" of rain is likely for all of SW NC with the higher amounts closer to the N GA and SC state lines due to upsloping of moisture over the colder airmass in place and all of this will work to cap temps to the upper 40's today and tomorrow for the lower elevations, while the ridgelines only reach the low mid 40's. Tonight temps will settle into the low 40's for most of the region but Tuesday night will allow temps to drop into the low - mid 30's depending upon elevation, mainly due to partial clearing overhead.
With isolated showers returning Wednesday morning there is a small chance for freezing rain above 5000' but it wont last long as the warm nose takes over and pushes temps into the low - mid 40's depending upon elevation (another chilly day). Shower coverage increases as the day moves along, peaking in coverage Wednesday night with another 1 - 2" of rain possible across the region. Temps do drop into the low - upper 30's Wednesday night, mainly for the ridgelines and valleys closest to the escarpment (area in which the mountains drop off to the foothills), while our more sheltered valleys such as Sylva and Franklin hover in the upper 30's - low 40's. This is due to the effects of cold air damming and how the Great Balsams tend to shelter SW NC from the intrusion of cooler air when light precip falls, however when freezing rain and drizzle is in the forecast, we err on the side of caution and ask everyone to take it slow or wait an hour or two Thursday morning to ensure roads are safe.
Temps warm to the low - upper 40's Thursday and precip will wind down by the early afternoon hours as the low pressure system to our west pushes more northeast, allowing drier air to usher in after sunset, translating to partly cloudy skies before midnight. Sunshine returns by Friday and hangs around through Saturday, possibly into Sunday, but we are watching a system on the models that is slated to arrive Monday but could easily show up early so stay tuned for our next update Wednesday morning if you have outdoor plans on Sunday. Temps Friday through Sunday look to rise to the low 50's across the lower elevations, which is still below average for this time of year but not as cold as this past weekend.