Good afternoon folks! The interior portions of SW NC and areas closest to the TN line picked up much more rain than anticipated with region wide totals around 1.5 - 2.5"; areas along the escarpment picked up forecasted amounts of 1.5" plus. We expect another soaking rain event to occur late Monday into Tuesday, clearing out quickly to allow sunshine on Wednesday and Thursday. The models point to a late week rain event but are not in complete agreement regarding the exact timing and rainfall amounts, but they do agree that late this week, sometime around Friday, there will be another region wide rain event that should last well into next weekend. Temps this week will be fairly normal for late October, although there will be one day below normal as cold air rushes into the region following the frontal passage. If you are wanting to catch peak color season, you may want to try for Thursday or wait till next week, especially since the upcoming weekend is not looking friendly for those wanting to cruise the Parkway; cloudy, rainy, chilly.
Monday will feature increasing clouds as the day moves along and temps will be held to the upper 50's - upper 60's depending upon elevation. Light showers are likely to break out by the late evening hours, which will lock in overnight lows to the low - mid 50's. Showers gradually increase in both coverage and intensity as the night moves along, peaking sometime during the mid morning hours Tuesday as the front crosses the region. There is a possibility for thunderstorms before midday Tuesday and rainfall totals for the event are likely to exceed 1 - 1.5" for the entire region. The highest amounts will be found along the N GA and SC state lines due to upslope shower development before the front arrives. Temps Tuesday won't move much, warming only to the upper 50's - mid 60's and once the rain and clouds clear out late Tuesday afternoon, much colder air will rush into the region from the NW. Cold air advection Tuesday night will bring us NW winds around 10 - 15mph for the valleys, while the ridgelines deal with steady winds around 15 - 25mph and gust up to 45mph. Temps will settle into the low - upper 30's depending upon elevation.
Wednesday and Thursday will be pleasant for late October as sunny skies sit overhead and dry air continues to pour into the region. Temps Wednesday climb to the upper 40's - mid 60's but feel a bit chilly due to NW winds taking most of the day to wind down. Temps warm a few degrees on Thursday to the low 50's - upper 60's, but we should hold to the 60's, perhaps coming close to the 70°F mark in Downtown Sylva, Franklin, and Bryson City. Overnight lows dip into the low - upper 30's Wednesday night but settle into the low - mid 40's Thursday night as clouds increase ahead of our next rainmaker.
We can confidently say it will rain Friday through early Sunday, but we are not sure as to exactly how much, where the highest totals will be found and the overall timeline of the event. Since the models don't have a firm grasp on the synoptic setup just yet, we'll wait till our next discussion which will come out Tuesday afternoon. Till then, stay dry!