Good afternoon folks! We'll take a look at Sunday into Thursday as the models begin to diverge beyond that point in time. There is a fairly decent consensus that we'll experience building heat over the next few days, with showers returning late Tuesday. Scattered thunderstorms will continue into Wednesday as the front slowly works its way southeast, stalling across the Piedmont and Coastal Plain Thursday. Temps will return to near normal levels later in the week, but first we'll experience highs in the upper 80's, possibly touching 90°F in a few spots.
Sunday will be the driest day over the next five days and mostly sunny skies will push temps into the low - mid 70's along the ridgelines and mid - upper 80's throughout the valleys. An isolated thunderstorm or two is likely past midday, but the vast majority of SW NC will remain dry. Temps settle into the low - upper 60's Sunday night under mostly clear - partly cloudy skies.
Monday will feature a handful of showers and thunderstorms past midday and a cold front will enter the region late in the day Tuesday, kicking off scattered showers and thunderstorms closer to sunset. Temps will climb to the mid 70's across the ridgelines both days, while the valleys sit in the upper 80's, possibly coming close to 90°F in the more developed areas on Tuesday if sunny skies hold out longer than expected. Overnight into Wednesday afternoon seems to be the wettest period, with rainfall totals anywhere from a half inch up to an inch late Monday into Wednesday night. Temps Wednesday will cool down slightly to the low 70's - mid 80's depending upon elevation, mainly due to mostly cloudy skies and spotty showers developing throughout the day.
The front eventually reaches the Piedmont and slows down or stalls Thursday, however our region will slowly dry out, with temps cooling down by two or three degrees. Sunshine is expected Thursday and the models are showing a chance for spotty showers next weekend, but we will not know for sure till Monday or Tuesday.
Our next discussion will come out Monday afternoon and we'll extend the forecast into Saturday, with some more details on the end of the work week. Remember, WCU students begin moving back next week, so account for an uptick in traffic in and around Cullowhee.