Good morning folks! Today and Monday will be downright gorgeous for early February and we highly recommend taking advantage of the sunshine and well above normal temps as a prolonged stretch of rain moves in Tuesday morning. This stretch of rain will start during the pre dawn hours Tuesday and wind down sometime Friday afternoon, with a backend round of snow for the TN line that extends into Saturday. We expect rainfall totals for all of SW NC to reach the 3" mark, however there will be a handful of locations along and near the escarpment and N GA line that will fall into the 4 - 5" range. Temps all the while will go from 16 - 20 degrees above normal on Monday to roughly 8 - 12 degrees above normal Tuesday through Thursday, dipping to levels a few degrees below normal Friday into the weekend. All in all, this week will be more spring - like than wintry but we should return to normal by the weekend.
Temps today push into the mid 40's along the ridgelines, while the valleys come close to the 60°F mark, all under sunny skies. Although it will be noticeably warmer, bring a light jacket as westerly winds top out to 20mph across the valleys and 50 - 55mph along the ridgelines! Windy conditions continue tonight above 4500', however they will die down to a light breeze across the valleys, bringing temps down to the mid - upper 30's across the lower elevations, while the ridgelines sit in the low 40's. Wind speeds above 4500' will gust up to 50mph, with steady westerly winds around 15 - 20mph throughout the night.
Monday is hands down the weather pick of the week as sunny skies sit overhead most of the day and its likely high clouds develop closer to sunset. Even with increasing clouds late, temps will make a run at the 70°F mark across the valleys, while the ridgelines warm to the mid 50's! The average temperature for the valleys in early February is 50°F, so this warm up will be close to 20 degrees above normal! Clouds fill in overnight into Tuesday and isolated showers are likely past midnight, with temps settling into the low - mid 40's across the region.
Tuesday features scattered shower coverage and rainfall totals will reach a quarter inch for most of SW NC by the end of day, with a few spots hitting the half inch mark. Temps warm to the low 50's - low 60's depending upon elevation, settling into the upper 40's - low 50's overnight into Wednesday. Shower coverage increases to widespread after midnight, with periods of heavy rain likely around sunrise.
Wednesday and Thursday will be the wettest days of the week as widespread showers continue during the 48 hour period. We expect a period of heavy rain late Wednesday afternoon and again Thursday evening, with the second round of heavy rain possibly including thunderstorms and showers will likely be non stop over the two day period. During this 48 hour period rainfall totals ramp up and accounting for Tuesday, rainfall totals ending Thursday evening will likely reach the 3 - 4" mark across the region. Temps both days low - upper 50's each afternoon, with overnight lows in the upper 40's - low 50's each night.
Shower intensities wind down early Friday morning, but scattered to widespread coverage will continue into the evening hours with another half inch up to an inch of rain before the event is done. Cold air advection will begin after midnight Thursday and it will take most of the day to fully kick in with temps only making it to the upper 30's along the ridgelines, while the valley struggle to reach the mid 40's. There is a possibly for wet snow along the ridgelines on Friday as colder air rushes into the region, but we cannot say for certain this far out in time.
Dry weather should return by Saturday but as we mentioned above, this is too far out to be certain and we will circle back on Tuesday with another discussion. We should have much better handle on when the two rounds of heavy rain will occur, as well as the timing of the cold air and the possibility for snow along the ridgelines Friday. Until then, enjoy the warmth and sunshine!!!