Good afternoon folks! A line of strong to severe storms will sweep across the region early Thursday morning, followed by clearing skies, strong winds, and dropping temps. A round of light snow showers is possible Thursday night for the highest ridgelines above 6000' and Friday will remain breezy, yet sunny with temps well below average. Freezing temps setup shop Friday night and will prompt a widespread freeze Saturday morning, however temps will return to near normal levels Saturday afternoon under more sunshine. Showers return Saturday night and become widespread throughout the day on Sunday, winding down Monday morning with heavy rain likely on Sunday.
The strong to severe storms will roll through the region just before sunrise on Thursday, with rainfall totals around a half inch up to an inch for all of SW NC. Temps will reach the mid 50's - mid 60's after midday but as soon as the front passes, we'll notice an uptick in wind speeds out of the NW. With NW winds around 15 - 25mph across the region temps will not feel as warm, even with sunny skies taking over by midday. A few clouds will stream overhead Thursday night as temps plunge into the mid 20's along the ridgelines, holding to the low 30's across the valleys. A few light snow showers are likely late Thursday night across the highest ridgelines closer to the TN line, while the rest of us continue to deal with strong NW winds around 15 - 25mph.
Friday will be a chilly day as temps only make it to the upper 30's - mid 50's depending upon elevation, which is 12 - 14 degrees below normal for mid April. NW winds will remain strong throughout the morning hours but should begin to relax as we head into the late afternoon hours, as high pressure moves directly overhead. With high pressure overhead Friday night, we expect little to no wind, clear skies, and dry moisture levels, which will result in ideal raditional cooling conditions. Temps should bottom out to the mid - upper 20's across the region and its possible the valleys will be colder than the ridgelines, with a widespread freeze for all of SW NC by sunrise Saturday.
Temps Saturday afternoon will negate the cold start as they warm to the upper 40's - mid 60's, which is a couple of degrees below normal but warm enough to shake off the early morning chill. Sunshine will dominate the day but clouds move in during the evening hours, followed by showers after midnight.
Sunday into Monday show potential for heavy rain and Sunday in particular looks like a washout, with several inches of rain possible over the 48 hour period. These rainfall totals are not set in stone, but what does look certain is a wet end to the weekend and start to the new work week.
We'll stop here and circle back on Friday with more details about the upcoming cold snap and heavy rain possibility for Sunday and Monday.