Good afternoon folks! Scattered showers and thunderstorms dot the landscape today (Friday afternoon) and we expect an increase in coverage this evening, with showers scaling back to isolated coverage late tonight. The front moving into the region will work with a high pressure in Maine to establish cold air damming for the Carolinas, although our part of the state will only see minor effects from the setup, which is typically the case; those pesky Great Balsams and escarpment block all the fun. Regardless, we'll experience a wet weekend with temps below normal as they only reach the mid 70's Sunday and Monday, slowly moderating back to the low 80's by Tuesday/Wednesday of next week. For late August, normal temps across the lower elevations are in the low 80's so this return to the 80's will not be above normal but it's going to be hard to let go of temps in the 70's; late September can't get here soon enough. Shower coverage begins to wind down a bit Sunday and will pick back up late Tuesday as another front swings into the region, this time from the west. Late next week we expect full sunshine to return to the region.
Saturday and Sunday will be comfortable, even with muggy conditions as scattered showers and thunderstorms develop across the region after midday Saturday, followed by light and spotty showers Sunday; a drizzle fest along the ridgelines, dress for rain if you're hiking the Parkway area. Temps will only reach the low - mid 60's across the ridgelines, while the valleys enjoy temps in the mid 70's, all due to mostly cloudy skies and on and off shower activity. The area likely to pick up the most rain this weekend (for SW NC) will be along the SC state line and nearby the Great Balsams (Jackson/Haywood county line) as easterly flow becomes established late Saturday afternoon, not letting up till Sunday evening. Overnight lows will not move much due to the saturated airmass, with temps settling into the upper 50's - low 60's each night. Rainfall totals this weekend will likely exceed an inch for the majority of the region, with most of it falling on Saturday.
As an aside, Thursday late night into Friday morning saw heavy rain moving through the region, with over 4" of rain reported across numerous stations; highest total was out of Cowee at 4.69".
Monday will be similar to Sunday with perhaps a bit more break in the cloud cover as the wedge begins to break down and by Tuesday we'll be back to our normal setup of a mix of clouds and sun, with late day thunderstorms, this time due to a front moving in from the west. This frontal passage timing is not set in stone, but for now it seems Tuesday into Wednesday will be another period for showers, followed by sunshine Thursday. Temps go from the mid - upper 70's Monday to the low - mid 80's by Wednesday across the lower elevations.
Our next discussion will come out Sunday early afternoon and we'll focus on the cold front timing Tuesday into Wednesday and subsequent sunshine Thursday and Friday. Enjoy the weekend!