Good Morning Folks! I'm sure not many of us are enjoying these chilly and wet days we have been dealing with as of late and although I wish I could say we are out of the woods, a second round of heavy rain will move through this afternoon, winding down by Thursday morning for most of the region. Some lingering precip Thursday afternoon and evening will kick over to snow for the highest ridgelines closer to the TN line and then dry air moves in, setting up a sunny end of the school and work week, followed by a handful of sunny days that should carry through the weekend and into early next week. Temps all the while are expected to warm up a bit once we get past Thursday but nothing that will justify the use of the word warm. Instead the pattern will favor a classic late fall setup with temps in the mid - upper 50's Friday into early next week for the lower elevations.
Showers will expand across the region as the day moves along, becoming widespread by the late afternoon/early evening hours and peak in intensities overnight into Thursday morning. Scattered showers should come to an end by midday Thursday, with only isolated showers peppering the region into the evening hours. Rainfall totals will be high but nothing to worry about as our part of the state can handle quite a bit of rain before flooding occurs, with most of SW NC picking up anywhere from 2 - 3" by the time its all said and done.
Of course the talk of the town is the potential for snow, sleet and freezing rain late tonight into Thursday morning. Before you run out to Ingles or any other store to buy supplies know that the cold air damming setup (high pressure to our northeast that funnels dry and cold air along the eastern slopes of the mountains) will not be strong enough to push cold air over the Great Balsams; that and wet bulb temps will not be low enough. With this in mind, towns in Haywood County have a much better shot at seeing some sleet and freezing rain early Thursday morning, especially above 3000' and for those who live in Cruso or the Lake Logan area, you should probably delay your Thursday morning exit by a few hours to ensure everything has melted as this area has the highest potential for wintry precip. Temps today (Wednesday) only rise to the low - upper 40's and fall to the low - upper 30's depending upon location and elevation, with the bulk of the region in the upper 30's, while those along the Great Balsams and within Haywood County dip into the low - mid 30's, prompting wintry precip to form after midnight. Again, this is not a major event but enough wintry precip is possible to our east and southeast to delay travel for a few hours Thursday morning.
Thursday features showers coming to an end and temps holding to the mid 30's along the ridgelines and low - mid 40's for the valleys, setting up a rather nasty day across the region. Overall flow transitions to the NW after sunset and temps dip into the low - upper 20's depending upon elevation, with rain kicking over to light snow along the TN line. Cataloochee Ski Area could pick up a dusting while the Smokies pick up an inch.
Friday through Sunday brings us sunny skies and temps in the low - upper 50's each afternoon for the valleys, with overnight lows settling into the upper 20's - mid 30's. We'll publish another forecast discussion Thursday morning to ensure any new updates regarding the wintry precip are passed along.