Good morning folks! Most of the region has picked up a half inch of rain since Wednesday, however numerous sites surpassed the one inch mark and a handful reached 1.5". We'll pick up another 0.5 - 2" across the region today (Friday), while this weekend brings us 3 - 5" of rain depending upon location. Monday and Tuesday keep the rain train going with another 0.5 - 2" over the 48 hour period and although we forecast these amounts, all it takes is one thunderstorm to stall over one location for a short period of time to exceed our forecasted totals. The models show a front swinging through sometime Wednesday, possibly clearing out the excessive moisture levels and bringing a dry setup for late next week, but reader beware, other models keep rain chances alive so don't bank on this possibility just yet. One silver lining to all of this rain is that temps will continue to be below normal by about 4 - 6 degrees each afternoon, with overnight lows slightly above normal due to high levels of moisture in the air.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms swung through the region this morning and we'll notice coverage scaling back this afternoon as some dry air mixes into the mid levels of the atmosphere, but this could help a thunderstorm or two fire up in a big way, so keep an eye to the sky or the radar as the day moves along. Temps hit the mid - upper 70's across the valleys today, only reaching the mid 60's along the ridgelines. Overnight lows will settle into the upper 50's - mid 60's, with showers continuing throughout the night.
As with most heavy rain events, the highest totals will be along the escarpment and across the Southern Highlands Plateau (Lake Glenville/Big Ridge south to the SC state line) as moisture banks against the sudden rise in terrain. With a low pressure system migrating just to our west in the TN valley this weekend and at the same time a high pressure system spinning moisture easterly into the mountains, we'll pick up anywhere from 3 - 5" Saturday into Sunday, with Saturday likely being the wettest of the two days. Locations such as Brevard, Lake Toxaway, Cashiers and Highlands will be the winners from this event, with 7 day totals (Wednesday to Wednesday) exceeding 8" and it wouldn't surprise us to a location or two hit the 10" mark (our money is on the Hogback Mtn rain gauge, just outside of Panthertown Valley in southern Jackson Co.). Expect a steady stream of thunderstorms and heavy rain showers Saturday, with coverage scaled back slightly on Sunday and although it wont be widespread and raining all the time, showers will keep on coming and carry over into Monday. Temps Saturday and Sunday hit the mid 60's - mid 70's depending upon elevation, with overnight lows in the low 60's each night.
Monday and Tuesday will keep temps to the mid - upper 70's across the lower elevations, under mostly cloudy skies as scattered moderate - heavy showers roll through the region. A front approaches the area on Tuesday and looks to cross the region Wednesday with a possible dry period setting up for late next week. With so much to cover and the uncertainty around the timing of the front and whether or not we dry out next week, we will stop here and post another forecast discussion Sunday; likely during the early afternoon hours. We'll focus on the ongoing rain event and we should have a much better handle on when we dry out next week (give the models more time to agree on a solution). Stay dry out there!!!