Good morning folks! First off, I want to say congratulations to the the graduating students this weekend and welcome you all into the alumni fold! Unfortunately, this weekend will not be very welcoming for those visiting Cullowhee to see their friends and family graduate, but for those who have lived here for four plus years, this weather will not be much of a surprise. We expect upwards of 2 - 3" of rain across the region, starting today and ending late Sunday afternoon/evening, with the bulk of the rain falling Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. The only silver lining to this downer of a forecast is that temps will be slightly below normal starting Saturday, although the excessive humidity levels may make it feel a bit warmer than the actual temp reading. Looking past the weekend, it seems spring like conditions move into the region with below normal temps continuing into Monday, lasting through at least Wednesday; temps in the 30's are even possible!
Today (Friday) will be a muggy day but rain chances will only be isolated as the front remains off to the west, with isolated thunderstorms being the only threat at this time. Temps reach the mid 60's along the ridgelines and warm to the upper 70's - low 80's across the valleys this afternoon, with a mixed bag of sun and clouds overhead. Clouds move in tonight and a round of region wide showers moves through after midnight, dropping a quarter - half inch of rain before sunrise; temps dip into the upper 50's - low 60's.
Saturday and Sunday will be soggy to say the least as several rounds of rain push through the region, ending late Sunday afternoon/evening as a second front approaches from the northwest. Scattered showers continue before midday on Saturday, transitioning to widespread showers later in the day, alongside thunderstorms that will produce heavy downpours (nothing severe expected at this time). The bulk of the rain will push through Saturday night into Sunday morning as the upper level trough approaches our region, providing ideal conditions to funnel rain into the area from the south and southwest. Temps Saturday night dip into the upper 50's - mid 60's.
Sunday offers up scattered showers and thunderstorms as the day moves along, with a slow breakdown in coverage past midday, taking till the late afternoon/early evening hours to wind down. Clearing skies take hold Sunday night and sunshine is expected to return Monday morning. We'll pick up 1 - 2" of rain from Friday night into the pre dawn hours on Sunday, with another 0.5 - 1" of rain likely throughout the day Sunday. All of this rain will cap temps to the low 60's along the ridgelines to the low 70's in the valleys, with overnight lows falling to the mid 40's - low 50's depending upon elevation.
Monday through Wednesday brings us sunshine but the cooler temps will be the highlight as they hold to the mid 50's - low 70's each afternoon, with overnight lows settling into the upper 30's along the ridgelines, while the valleys enjoy temps in the mid - upper 40's.
Our next discussion will come out Sunday and we'll cover the ongoing rain event, but also focus on the week ahead and the gorgeous spring like conditions following this weekend's rain event.