Good morning folks! In our last post on Monday we talked about the potential for 2 - 3" of rain from Wednesday into Sunday and since then the models have increased these totals, with a new forecast of 5 - 7" region wide from Wednesday into Tuesday of next week. There will be spots along and near the escarpment (area in which the mountains drop off to the foothills; SC state line) that pick up close to 10" of rain as the overall setup looks ideal for numerous rounds of heavy rain. Flooding may be an issue at times across the interior portion of SW NC, while areas along the escarpment will experience localized flooding as the 7 - 10" rainfall totals will not saturate as fast as we would like, even with the dry antecedent conditions. All of this is brought on by a front moving into the region Thursday, stalling somewhere near the SC state line and becoming the focal point for convection, while an upper level low moves close to the region Friday and high pressure to the northeast funnels additional moisture against the mountains; two large systems spinning moisture into the area. This setup will linger into early next week and clear out around Tuesday as a front sweeps into the region from the west.
Scattered to widespread thunderstorms will develop today as an MCS moves out of the Ohio Valley and heads east, with some upper level support that will keep shower activity going into the evening hours. We'll pick up a half inch up to an inch for the region over the next 24 hours and the cloud cover, coupled with passing thunderstorms, will keep temps to the mid 60's - upper 70's depending upon elevation. Shower activity will linger into the late evening hours and eventually wind down after midnight, with lows in the low - mid 60's across the region.
Thursday will be our driest day over the next five days but even though it will be the driest does not mean it will be dry. We expect pop up showers to develop as the front pushes into the region after midday, lingering well past sunset. Another quarter - half inch of rain is likely for all of SW NC, with temps rising to the mid 60's - upper 70's once again (perhaps a degree or two cooler than Wednesday). Since the front will arrive later in the day, its likely scattered showers continue overnight into Friday with lows once again in the low - mid 60's (not much movement with so much moisture in the air).
Friday through Sunday will be our wettest days as the upper level low inches closer to the region, developing southerly flow and a source of deep moisture into the area, while at the same time high pressure moves to our northeast, funneling additional moisture into the region from the east. In addition, the front that moves in Thursday will migrate ever so slightly south and setup shop somewhere near the SC state line, providing yet another focal point of development for showers and thunderstorms. If you live in Highlands, Cashiers, Lake Toxaway or Brevard (really anywhere nearby) prepare for a deluge as moderate - heavy rain is expected to setup shop Friday and not relent much till Sunday. Elsewhere across the region we'll deal with rounds of heavy rain, but either way it looks like a washout for all of SW NC and we recommend rescheduling any outdoor plans. 1 - 3" of rain (lighter amounts along the TN line, higher amounts along the SC state line) will fall Friday, with another 1 - 2" of rain on Saturday and then again on Sunday, amounting to 3 - 6" of rain from Friday into Sunday. Temps will respond to the constant rainfall, rising to the mid 60's - upper 70's Friday and cooling down to the low 60's - low 70's Saturday and Sunday; overnight lows generally in the upper 50's - low 60's.
Since so much is going on from now (Wednesday) through Sunday, we'll stop the forecast discussion here and circle back on Friday morning, focusing on the weekend and early next week, which is also slated for additional rain.