Warm through Monday; Winter Returns Tuesday
Good Afternoon Folks! Light to moderate showers are passing through the region as we speak and we expect this to continue into the pre dawn hours on Sunday, clearing out shortly after sunrise. Sunshine quickly fills in tomorrow morning and fair weather lingers into Monday with temps today through Monday above average. A front pushes in late Monday night that will usher in NW flow and colder temps, with a shortwave passing overhead late Tuesday into Wednesday that may produce some high elevation snow, especially along the TN line. We are not getting too excited at this time, mainly because the snow looks to fall in the usual locations during a NW flow event, but the chance remains for a light region wide event. Either way, past Tuesday temps remain seasonal and sunshine returns Thursday and possibly Friday as the models point to a late week or weekend rain/snow event.
Temps are in the low - mid 50's this afternoon across the lower elevations and upper 40's for the higher elevations, with light showers crossing the region. Most all of SW NC has picked up anywhere from 0.25 - 0.75" of rain since the pre dawn hours and over the past 24 hours, most of the region is closing in on an inch of rain. We'll pick up another quarter inch of rain through the rest of the night as showers eventually wind down closer to midnight, with clouds clearing out shortly after sunrise Sunday. Temps tonight will settle into the upper 40's - low 50's and rebound to the mid 50's - upper 60's tomorrow afternoon, mainly due to southerly flow and sunny skies setting up shop by the mid morning hours. Sunday night keeps clear skies overhead and temps only dip into the low - mid 40's as southwesterly flow continues across the region.
Monday offers up a pleasant start to the work and school week with temps rising to the mid 40's - upper 50's depending upon elevation, with another dose of sunshine. A front approaches the region during the day but does not arrive till after midnight and when it does push through colder air will move in as well, with NW flow becoming the new pattern through Wednesday night.
Temps dip into the upper 20's - mid 30's by sunrise Tuesday and clouds will quickly fill in by midday, with a noticeable thinning in cloud cover as one drives from the TN line to the SC state line. NW flow will push light moisture against the TN line ridgelines and squeeze out light snow showers with a possible shortwave crossing the region later in the day. This shortwave could provide enough moisture to lay down some snow across ridgelines closer to the TN line, while the rest of SW NC experiences intermittent light snow. This event is nothing to write home about but if its going to be cold, its nice to see some snowflakes, especially when the usual suspects (Smokies, Great Balsams, etc.) pick up snow and those of us in the valley get diddly-squat. Temps Tuesday only reach the mid 30's - mid 40's depending upon elevation, barely making it past the freezing mark on Wednesday for the ridgelines, while the valleys top out to the low 40's overnight lows in the upper teens - mid 20's. The event should be over sometime Wednesday and sunshine sets up shop once again, holding firm through at least Friday morning.
One silver lining of colder temps returning is that Cataloochee Ski Area will fire up the guns once again, possibly starting Monday night and not letting off the gas till late next week. We mentioned a late week and next weekend event, but we will not be able to confidently provide any details till Monday and will hold off till then to release our next forecast discussion. Till then, enjoy the warmer weather!