Good morning folks! We kick off a new work week with cloudy skies overhead and the occasional light shower through morning hours, followed by a slow increase in coverage as we approach sunset. A front will push widespread showers into the region overnight and heavy rain is likely early Tuesday morning, scaling back during the afternoon hours. In typical frontal passage form, NW flow will develop after the front swings through, allowing for light - moderate snow along the ridgelines Tuesday night. Sunshine dominates the landscape Wednesday and Thursday, however temps go from 10 - 12 degrees above normal Monday and Tuesday to a few degrees shy of normal Wednesday. The models are trying to work out the kinks for the Friday - Sunday time frame, as they go back and forth as to when and how much rain will fall across the region; a small chance for wintry precip remains. All in all, a soggy start to the week followed by a cold but sunny stretch of days, culminating in yet another round of rain as we approach the weekend.
Most of SW NC will pick up an inch and we would not be surprised to see a few locations closer to the N GA line reach the 2" mark; ridgelines facing SW will pick up the most rain. Shower coverage remains isolated before midday Monday, ramping up to scattered around sunset and then widespread closer to midnight. The front will be slow moving, hence the 1" region wide rainfall forecast, exiting sometime during the early - mid afternoon hours Tuesday. Showers become heavy around daybreak Tuesday, with a thunderstorm possible but nothing severe is expected at this time. Shower coverage will scale back to the TN line during the afternoon hours Tuesday, kicking over to snow around sunset, with light - moderate snow showers continuing till midnight; an inch or two at most is expected for the TN line and nearby ridgelines. Temps go from the low 50's - low 60's Monday afternoon, settling into the upper 40's - low 50's Monday night. Tuesday's high temps will occur before midday as they peak around the upper 40's above 4500' (valleys reach the upper 50's), falling sharply by the mid - late afternoon hours as NW flow ushers in colder air. Temps Tuesday night bottom out to the low - upper 20's.
One more thing to mention with this event is that wind speeds will be quite strong above 4000' beginning Monday night, not relaxing till Wednesday evening. Wind speeds around 20 - 30mph are expected for the higher elevations, with gust up to 50 - 60mph Monday night, softening a bit Tuesday with gust up to 30 - 40mph.
Keep in mind the stronger than normal wind speeds as we move into Wednesday, because with temps only reaching the upper 20's - low 40's, it will feel much colder with NW winds around 10 - 20mph and gust up to 35mph. One silver lining to this sudden change in temps will be that Cataloochee Ski Area will fire up their guns (we assume) Tuesday night, possibly continuing throughout the day Wednesday with snowmaking temps holding strong till roughly Thursday early afternoon. As winds calm down Wednesday night, clear skies and low moisture levels will allow for ideal radiational cooling conditions and this translates into the valleys being colder than the ridgelines; upper teens for the valleys, low - mid 20's along the ridgelines.
Thursday keeps sunshine going, high temps in the low - low 50's and clouds move in Friday, high temps in the mid 40's - mid 50's. Past Thursday the crystal ball becomes murky so we'll stop here to allow the models more time to work out the kinks, with our next discussion coming out Wednesday. Stay safe out there!