Good afternoon folks! Friday through the weekend and into early next week will feature an above average chance for showers and thunderstorms each afternoon. This is initially due to the persistent flow of moisture and heat into the region from the southeast and as we move into early next week an upper level trough will bring us cloudy skies and more uniform rain chances, as opposed to the pop up storms Friday through Sunday. Once we get past Sunday, it looks like we cool down to below normal levels, first off because of the cloud cover and on and off rain chances Monday into Tuesday, but then much drier air slides down from the northwest. This infusion of air from the north and west will be a treat for late July, with temps likely holding to the upper 70's - low 80's in the valleys. Although this is not set in stone, the synoptic setup looks favorable for some relief to our current pattern of high humidity and warmer than normal afternoons.
Friday is likely to be the most active day in regards to thunderstorm activity as an upper level piece of energy interacts with both a weak trough and a prime environment already in place; high moisture levels and above normal temps. Expect scattered thunderstorms after the 2 - 4pm time frame and with sunshine starting out the day, temps will soar to the low 70's - upper 80's depending upon elevation. Although it will not be perfect outside, remember it could be worse as the Piedmont deals with heat indices above 100°F Friday and Saturday! Overnight lows continue to settle into the mid 60's for most of the region, under partly cloudy skies past midnight.
Saturday will be our hottest day as temps come close to 90°F in the downtown areas (Franklin, Bryson City, Sylva), with the ridgelines holding to the mid 70's. Sunday should be a degree or two cooler, but not any drier as both days feature pop up showers and thunderstorms, first firing off the ridgelines and then slowly migrating east as the afternoon moves along.
Monday and Tuesday bring us scattered to possibly widespread showers and for now we expect mostly cloudy skies both days, which will hold temps to the low 70's - low 80's Monday and upper 60's - upper 70's Tuesday.
The real relief arrives Wednesday/Thursday with temps in the mid 60's along the ridgelines, while the valleys only reach the upper 70's, all under sunny skies. Although it wont be as dry as fall or winter, it will feel like it after the stretch of above average moisture levels this past week (it's all relative). We highly recommend spending some time outside and if you can, maybe take a day off from work to fully enjoy this mid summer treat.
Our next discussion will come out Saturday afternoon and we'll focus on the two day rain potential for Monday and Tuesday and of course the upcoming relief.