Good afternoon folks! Temps are pushing into the upper 80's this afternoon as we sit under sunny skies and we expect this pattern to continue for Wednesday, with a slight chance for isolated showers on Thursday. Mostly sunny skies will dominate the Memorial Day weekend and we expect record level daily highs beginning Friday, peaking on Sunday and Memorial Day (Monday). Past the small chance for a pop up shower or thunderstorm on Thursday, the dry pattern is expected to continue as upper level ridging rebuilds across the region late in the weekend, allowing the heat and sunshine to linger into next week.
Temps are expected to reach the upper 80's Wednesday and Thursday for the valleys, although Thursday may be a degree or two cooler as partly cloudy skies develop late. The best chance for shower development will be closer to the NW corner of the state (Boone, Marion, etc.) as a weak wedge combines with an upper level piece of energy to develop scattered showers. In our part of the state we will only pick up a handful of showers and thunderstorms, with isolated coverage at best. Overnight lows settle into the low - mid 50's for the ridgelines, while the valleys settle into the low 60's, all under mostly clear skies.
Friday through Monday features mostly sunny skies, temps pushing to the 90°F mark, possibly the low 90's on Sunday and Monday for the more urban spots like Franklin, Bryson City, Sylva and Waynesville. The ridgelines will offer up a much cooler setup with temps rising to the low - mid 70's each afternoon, so if you need a break from the heat, just hop in the car and hit up the Parkway. Overnight lows settle into the upper 50's - mid 60's each night.
Temps this warm in May are likely to break records at several climate sites, including Asheville, Charlotte and GSP, although the max temp record on Monday may be a tough one to beat. In Asheville, the daily max temp record is 90°F on 5/24 (1939/1903), 89°F on 5/25 (1896), 88°F on 5/26 (1989/1916) and 93°F on 5/27 (1890).
Since the pattern is not changing much we will wait till Friday afternoon to release our next forecast discussion, with a focus on the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.