Good afternoon folks! It's Wednesday afternoon and we are focusing on the Thursday through Tuesday time frame for this discussion and it looks wet, not just passing showers wet, but the kind of prolonged rain to where you might pay for it to end. Luckily there will be a break in the action on Sunday that should alleviate major flooding issues, but smaller creeks and streams will certainly jump. We are tracking an upper level trough that will inch eastward and in combination with an approaching front, bring us scattered showers Friday followed by widespread and heavy rainfall Saturday. The front clears out Saturday night and sunny skies return Sunday but another front combined with a favorable setup will bring showers back to the region Monday, sticking around through Thursday of next week. Over the next 5 - 7 days rainfall totals will surpass 3" region wide, however there will be numerous sites reporting totals of 4 - 6" and a few that could make a run at the 7" mark.
We'll start the discussion with Thursday and although sunshine starts the day, clouds fill in as the afternoon moves along, with temps warming to the mid 40's - mid 50's depending upon (after a cold and frosty start). Isolated showers develop first along the escarpment (area in which the foothills become the mountains; SC state line) after midnight and expand slowly as we enter the late morning hours Friday. Overnight lows Thursday night stay above freezing as they settle into the upper 30's - low 40's.
Friday will offer up scattered showers across the region and it will be a hit and miss type of day with totals under a half inch region wide, so nothing to worry about as we close out the work and school week. Temps will push a few degrees above Thursday's high, reaching the upper 40's - upper 50's depending upon elevation. Low temps bottom out to the upper 40's - low 50's and shower coverage slowly expands to widespread after midnight, with another quarter - half inch by sunrise on Saturday.
Saturday is the main act as a front crosses the region, with moisture levels well above normal, coupled with increasing instability to create the ideal setup for heavy downpours. It looks like our region will be spared the worst of the storms, however heavy rain is a good bet and at times strong thunderstorms are likely. We'll pick up anywhere from 2 - 3" Saturday late morning into the mid afternoon hours. Temps will take advantage of the increase in southerly flow, soaring to the mid 50's along the ridgelines, while the valleys make a run at the upper 60's! Shower intensity winds down a bit post frontal but widespread coverage remains well into the evening hours, followed by a sharp dropoff in coverage as we approach the midnight hour. Temps overnight settle into the low - upper 40's.
Sunday gives us one day to enjoy time outside and temps remain well above normal, pushing to the low 50's - mid 60's across the region. Showers return Sunday night and become widespread once again Monday into Tuesday, extending into Wednesday and Thursday, although coverage may scale back a bit. Temps Monday through the middle of next week remain in the 60's for the valleys, so although we enter a very wet period at least temps will be enjoyable; nothing is worse than a 33°F rain.
We'll circle back Friday morning with a new discussion and offer up better timing pertaining to the frontal passage Saturday, in addition to a more detailed look at early next week. Stay dry!