Good afternoon folks! I hope everyone is enjoying these above normal temps as several valley sites sit in the low 70's at this time, which is warmer than expected, but if you're going to be wrong its better to have pleasant weather instead of gloomy weather. Clouds will be slow to fill in across the area tonight but we'll notice an uptick in humidity as southerly flow picks up ahead of the front that is expected to push through Thursday night. Showers move in late Thursday evening and take till the late morning - early afternoon hours to wind down, with all precip ending by the evening hours. The models now point to moisture lingering across the region into Saturday, which translates to a mixed bag of sun and clouds and perhaps one or two pop up thunderstorms closer to sunset. Sunday will bring showers back to the region after midday as moisture increases ahead of a second frontal passage, which is slated to occur sometime around midday Monday. Temps all the while will warm, but especially warm this weekend as temps reach the mid - upper 70's and it seems we'll continue to enjoy slightly above average to above average levels into the middle of next week.
Temps tonight settle into the upper 30's - mid 40's across the region under some high clouds with periods of clear skies, however it will not be an ideal setup for radiational cooling, hence the warmer temps.
Sunshine and high clouds start the day Thursday and clouds fill in as the day moves along, with afternoon highs hitting the low 50's along the ridgelines to the upper 60's across the valleys, likely hitting the 70°F mark in the deeper valley towns like Bryson City, Franklin and Sylva. Showers develop after sunset during the evening hours and become scattered shortly after midnight, increasing to widespread coverage during the early - mid morning hours on Friday. Due to the southerly flow ahead of the front the first area in which showers will develop will be across the southern highlands plateau, expanding to all of SW NC as the morning moves along. Temps Thursday night only settle into the mid - upper 40's and rebound to the mid 50's - mid 60's Friday afternoon. Overall we expect an inch of rain to fall across the region, with 1.5" of rain possible for locations such as Highlands, Cashiers and Lake Toxaway. Showers end all together Friday evening and some clearing is likely to occur, however high clouds are likely to linger into Saturday.
Saturday and Sunday will be pleasant but not perfect as high clouds and periods of sunshine setup shop Saturday, with showers developing Sunday afternoon, continuing into Monday. Temps this weekend will be the enjoyable part as they push roughly 5 - 8 degrees above average to the low 60's along the ridgelines and mid - upper 70's in the valleys! The models point to another inch or more of rain Sunday into Monday, with the possibility for more coming from the chance of thunderstorms Monday afternoon.
Our next discussion will come out Friday afternoon to discuss the recently ending rain event but also the upcoming rain event Sunday into Monday.