A Soggy End to 2018; Heavy Rain Thursday
Good Morning Folks! We'll close out 2018 with more showers and another 0.5 - 1.5" across the region depending upon location. Showers pick up this afternoon and become widespread closer to midnight tonight, winding down Tuesday morning. There will be a short break in the action Tuesday, however showers return Wednesday afternoon, becoming heavy and widespread Thursday, eventually winding down sometime Friday. The Wednesday through Friday event will be a two part play, with moist upsloping providing showers Wednesday into Thursday and then an upper level low swinging overhead Friday bringing us additional showers and even some high elevation snow! We don't have a firm grasp on the snow chances at this time but it does seem to be a high elevation event, perhaps above 4500 - 5000' and we are not too concerned about travel Friday and Saturday mornings; be sure to check back in Wednesday for a more detailed breakdown. Temps all the while will reach above normal levels today and tomorrow, however we'll notice a decline in temps as the week moves along, with temps in the upper 40's by week's end. Although showers continue to keep a dreary setup overhead, there is light at the end of the forecast as the weekend is expected to be sunny and somewhat warm.
Rainfall totals over the next 24 - 36 hours will range from 1.5" the closer you are to the N GA line as southwesterly flow is the primary mechanism today, with a half inch or so falling closer to the SC state line. Temps today will be comfortable, pushing into the upper 40's along the ridgelines and into the low 60's across the valleys. For those heading out tonight to ring in the New Year, we recommend an outfit that is suitable for scattered showers. There will be a line of heavy showers moving through, perhaps around 10 - 11pm, so keep this in mind if you are heading to your last stop of the night; temps dip into the upper 40's - low 50's.
Tuesday will bring an end to the shower activity, but this respite will be short lived as another round of rain moves in Wednesday afternoon. Temps Tuesday push into the low - upper 50's across the region and the reason for such a short range across elevation points is the lingering cloud cover and moist airmass. Temps bottom out to the upper 30's - low 40's Tuesday night.
Wednesday through Friday will be soggy to say the least with anywhere from 2 - 4" of rain falling across the region. Another upglide setup will bring light to moderate showers to the region Wednesday afternoon, ramping up to widespread coverage Thursday. There will be period of lighter rainfall but for the most part we expect showers to continue into Friday, where the possibility exist for stronger showers. Because the cold air damming setup will not push as far southwest into our region Thursday night, the chance remains for high elevation snow as temps cool to near freezing levels. This bodes well for Cataloochee Ski Area, although snowmaking temps will not show up till Friday night. Temps Wednesday will push to the upper 40's - low 50's depending upon elevation and cool down to the low - upper 40's by Friday afternoon.
The weekend ahead looks gorgeous as sunshine returns and temps warm up slightly. Check back in Wednesday morning for more details about the second round of rain and possible high elevation snow Thursday night!