Good afternoon folks! We're halfway through the Memorial Day Weekend and it looks like we'll continue to experience scattered showers and thunderstorms each afternoon Monday through the end of the week, likely extending into next weekend. Each day this week provides a slightly different setup and no one day is a complete washout but the setup does not look good for those who have outdoor plans or work. This wet pattern is brought to us by a backdoor front moving into the region Sunday evening, lingering nearby throughout the day on Memorial Day, giving way to easterly flow Tuesday and Wednesday and finally capped off by a passing front Thursday into Friday that could stall and keep showers going into next weekend. Temps all the while will go from a degree or two below normal Memorial Day to a few degrees above normal by the weekend (upper 70's to the low 80's; 78°F is normal for Cullowhee in late May).
We'll kick off the discussion on Memorial Day and for those with outdoor plans, we highly recommend having a backup plan or at the least a spot to ride out passing showers. We expect coverage to increase from isolated around sunrise to scattered by midday, continuing till the late evening hours. Moisture levels will be very high and muggy conditions persist, which also means any thunderstorm that develops will produce heavy rainfall rates. Temps warm to the mid 60's along the highest ridgelines, maxing out to 77°F in the valleys, all under mostly cloudy skies. Overnight lows settle into the upper 50's - low 60's across the region and scattered light - moderate showers will persist throughout the night.
Tuesday and Wednesday have a similar setup but Tuesday will feature much more precipitable water than Wednesday, translating to a higher chance for heavy downpours. Easterly flow will be the driving force for showers both days and all of SW NC should experience a passing shower or two, with the higher amounts along the escarpment where up to an inch could fall on Tuesday (quarter - half inch on Wednesday). Temps will be held to the low 60's - mid 70's each afternoon, with Wednesday a degree or two warmer than Tuesday but either way it should be muggy. Overnight lows continue to settle into the upper 50's - low 60's with light shower activity Tuesday night, increasing to scattered coverage Wednesday night.
Thursday into Friday looks pretty active as coverage should increase to widespread sometime late Thursday as thunderstorms develop along the frontal boundary. The front looks to swing through late Thursday and sort of stall to our southeast on Friday, but this is not set in stone. This would also mean next weekend remains wet as the frontal boundary keeps shower activity going across the region. We'll stop here but don't think because we have not provided many details for Thursday and beyond there is a chance it won't rain. The lack of details is centered around timing not chances for rain, so plan for rain if you have outdoor plans later in the week. We'll circle back on Tuesday.