Heavy Rains again Wednesday Night
Good Morning Folks! It's Tuesday morning and the rain continues, however we will see a lull in activity this afternoon and overnight, with light spotty showers making up the action after the front crosses the region early this afternoon. This front will hang up across the Carolinas tonight and slowly move north tomorrow as a warm front, while at the same time a surface low pressure system moves out of the Gulf South region and marches toward the TN valley. This will setup another round of light - moderate showers Wednesday afternoon, mainly due to upglide atop the stalled front. The bulk of the heavy rain with this second round will stay to our west in the TN valley, however we'll still deal with a frontal passage late Wednesday night that will tap available moisture to bring us an inch or two of rain overnight into Thursday morning. Shower activity and coverage wanes past midday on Thursday, with coverage scaling back to the TN line as we transition to a NW flow setup. This new setup will usher in colder air Thursday night, enough to kick rain over to snow for the TN line, while the rest of us experience clearing skies. High pressure moves east to from the Ohio Valley to the Northeast and we'll enjoy a full day of sunshine Friday, with temps slightly below normal. Fair weather should roll into Saturday and the models are having a tough time nailing down the details for yet another round of rain and snow Saturday night into Monday. So far, the highest rainfall total is out of Trout Farm, just below the GSMNP boundary in Raven Fork, with a whopping 4.72" since late Sunday night.
With only have a day left to discuss, we'll focus the discussion from Tuesday night through Saturday and circle back Thursday morning with more details regarding the late weekend precip possibilities.
Tuesday night keeps spotty light showers going across the region, but this will be a typical night where fog develops, most things remain wet and temps dip into the low - mid 40's; another tenth of an inch is likely by sunrise.
Wednesday features spotty light showers moving into the region from the south and southwest during the morning hours, building to widespread coverage by the evening hours. Temps will not move much at all, only reaching the upper 40's along the ridgelines to the mid - upper 50's in the valleys, all under cloudy skies. Wednesday night is when we expect another round of heavy rain as the front crosses the region sometime after midnight. 1 - 2" of rain will fall across SW NC, with the highest amounts along the N GA and SC state lines, as well as ridgelines facing southwest. In addition to the heavy rain rates, wind speeds will pick up to 20 - 30mph out of the south, gusting to 40 - 50mph above 4500' into the early morning hours. Temps Wednesday night dip into the mid 40's - low 50's.
Thursday starts the day with heavy rain across the region, alongside strong southerly winds, however this will die down to scattered light showers as we near midday. Temps will warm to the mid 40's - upper 50's depending upon elevation due to strong southerly flow, but sometime around the mid afternoon hours we'll notice a change as we go from southerly flow to westerly, then northwesterly by the mid evening hours. Temps will eventually dip into the low - upper 20's Thursday night and precip coverage scales back to the TN line, with rain kicking over to snow as soon as 8 - 9pm above 5500'. Light accumulations under 2 - 3" are expected for the typical NW flow snow locations, while flurries fall elsewhere and of course it wouldn't be a NW flow event without NW winds around 10 - 20mph, gusting to 35mph.
Everything settles down Friday as high pressure takes over, allowing full sunshine to sit overhead, however this high pressure system also provides us with cooler temps. Afternoon highs will only make it to the upper 20's - low 40's depending upon elevation, which is roughly 5 - 8 degrees below normal for mid February; overnight lows dip into the upper teens - mid 20's under clear skies.
Saturday will also be sunny but we'll stop here to allow the models more time to fine tune the details regarding the likelihood of yet another round of rain and high elevation snow Saturday night into Sunday. The next discussion should come out by the late morning hours Thursday.