Good Morning Folks! Showers are trying to push into the Southern Highlands Plateau as we type this discussion on Tuesday morning, however most of the region will remain dry till the early afternoon hours. Shower intensity ramps up tonight, winds down somewhat Wednesday and picks back up Wednesday night, with another lull on Thursday, only to ramp up once again Thursday night into Friday. The weekend ahead remains soggy as showers increase to widespread coverage Friday night, scaling back to scattered coverage Saturday and returning to widespread Sunday as yet another disturbance moves along in the dominant southwest flow across the Southeast region. It seems a front will sweep the Southeast sometime Monday, allowing sunshine to return to the region, however this will be short lived as the middle of next week promises additional rainfall; we just cant catch a break, thanks El Nino! Temps all the while will be on the rise, hitting slightly above normal levels by Thursday that will carry into next week, however we'll deal with a chilly and gloomy setup today and Wednesday. A small chance for a very light round of freezing rain exist tonight for the Southern Highlands Plateau, however this shouldn't amount to much as the cold air damming setup doesn't push far enough south and west to bring colder temps to area; more details below.
Temps today only hit the low - upper 40's depending upon elevation and fall into the low 30's across the Southern Highlands Plateau and along the escarpment, which includes towns such as Highlands, Cashiers, Lake Toxaway and perhaps as far into the region as Lake Glenville. Elsewhere temps dip into the mid - upper 30's, but for those in the low 30's the potential exist for a light round of freezing rain early Wednesday morning with forecasted accretion amounts around a hundredth of an inch. For reference, a tenth to a quarter of an inch is not safe to drive and a half inch of ice can bring down tree limbs and power lines. Showers this afternoon will bring us a quarter inch of rain for the most part, with another inch of rain likely for most of SW NC by sunrise Wednesday. For those who do experience freezing rain, warm air aloft will win out and become rain by the mid morning hours.
Showers take a good chunk of the morning to wind down, although spotty showers will linger the remainder of the day and with cloudy skies overhead, coupled with a lingering cold air damming influence across the Great Balsams, temps will only reach the upper 40's - low 50's (not much of a climb). Temps only drop a handful of degrees Wednesday night, settling into the upper 40's for most of the region and another round of widespread showers develops, dropping 1 - 2" of rain by sunrise Thursday.
Thursday features spotty showers as the bulk of Wednesday's night rainfall moves out, however another nocturnal round of rain pushes through Thursday night and winds down Friday morning, followed by yet another round of overnight showers Friday night into Saturday (an interesting pattern). Rainfall over the 48 hour period will reach 1 - 2" for the region, with the highest amounts found closer to the N GA line. Temps Thursday and Friday soar to the low - upper 50's, perhaps hitting the low 60's in our deeper valley towns, with overnight lows in the mid - upper 40's for the entire region.
Temps this weekend will hit the low 60's, possibly even the mid 60's Sunday, but for now we will discuss the timing of additional rainfall. Showers are expected to wind down to only spotty light showers by mid morning Saturday, allowing us to squeeze in an hour or two outside every so often, with widespread showers returning later that night and taking till the early afternoon hours to clear out Sunday. This timeline is likely to change but the overall setup should hold, with another 1 - 2" of rain on top of the 3 - 4" of rain from Tuesday into Friday. Fingers crossed the frontal passage on Monday remains true as we could use some sunshine, both to dry out but also to clear out the growing mental fog that accompanies a long stretch of rainy days.
Our next discussion will come out Thursday and we'll focus on the timing of the rain this weekend, as well as a more in depth look into early next week.