Severe Weather Sunday Night
Good morning folks! Widespread freeze this morning will give way to a pleasant afternoon as temps warm to near normal levels under sunny skies. A lot will change over the next 36 - 48 hours as we expect a round of widespread rain Sunday, followed by a round likely severe weather late Sunday night. As of this morning all signs point to a line of strong to severe storms crossing our region during the pre dawn hours, with wind gusts up to 50 - 60mph as the line passes the area. Showers and storms quickly move east Monday morning and sunshine with NW winds will take over to start the new work week, followed by a pleasant spring day on Tuesday. Another round of precip moves through the area Tuesday night and its possible some precip will fall as snow across the highest ridgelines above 5500' after midnight, but this is not a lock this far out in time. Slightly below normal temps should linger the rest of the week, with a mixed bag of passing clouds and sunshine.
Temps today will climb to the low - mid 50's across the ridgelines, while the valleys warm to the mid - upper 60's under sunny skies. We'll notice an uptick in wind as we near sunset, with SW winds picking up to 10 - 20mph overnight, gusting to 30mph in some locations. This SW flow will usher in clouds ahead of tomorrow's rain event, which will cap temps to the low - mid 40's across SW NC.
Clouds thicken through the morning hours as the precip onset looks delayed compared to our previous discussion. Isolated showers will begin developing by the mid morning hours, first along the escarpment and as the day moves along coverage will expand to widespread with all of SW NC dealing with moderate rain by the mid afternoon hours. We'll pick up 1 - 2" during this first round of rain, with a short lived lull occurring during the evening hours before the main event arrives shortly after midnight. Temps Sunday will push into the upper 50's - mid 60's and only settle into the low - mid 50's overnight as SW flow holds temps to above average levels.
The round of strong to severe storms occurs during the pre dawn hours and this of course is never the best time for any severe weather as the vast majority of us will be asleep. We highly recommend folks make sure their weather radios are operational before tomorrow as there is a chance for tornadoes with this QLCS event. The most likely threat for our region will be high winds around 40 - 50mph, gusting to 60mph at times across the higher elevations. With an inch or two of rain on the ground before the strong winds move through, this increases the chances for downed trees and power outages. We'll also deal with heavy rain and possible downpours that will amount to 1.5 - 2.5" across the region, bringing our event total from Sunday mid morning into Monday morning up to 3 - 4" across SW NC; highest amounts along the escarpment.
The event will wind down by the mid morning hours on Monday, with the severe weather portion off to our east by sunrise. Clouds clear quickly and sunshine takes over before 11am, coupled with NW winds around 15 - 25mph that will linger throughout the day. Temps will push to the upper 50's - low 70's depending upon elevation, falling into the low - upper 30's overnight into Tuesday under mostly clear skies.
Tuesday keeps sunshine overhead but showers return later that night, winding down by the mid morning hours on Wednesday. Temps Tuesday warm to the low 50's - upper 60's depending upon elevation, falling to the mid 30's - low 40's overnight. There is a chance for snow along the highest ridgelines but this is not a lock and something to watch as we move into early next week.
We'll stop here and circle back Monday morning. We want to reiterate to everyone to be safe Sunday night and prepare now for likely power outages and downed trees; make sure your weather radio is ready to go!