3 - 5" of Rain Monday - Saturday
Good afternoon folks! We'll keep it short today with the discussion extending to Saturday, peeking into early next week. The models bring several rounds of rain to the region this week and from this afternoon (Monday) to Sunday morning, most of SW NC will pick up 2 - 3.5" of rain, with several locations making a run at the 5" mark. Most of the rain will fall Wednesday into Thursday, with a secondary round occurring Friday into Saturday; a wet NYE is likely. We will experience a round of rain Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning but coverage will be much lower than the Wed/Thur and Fri/Sat events. This will be enough rain to push Highlands past the 100" mark on the season, making it four years in a row above 100" (last year recorded 136.50" for a record). Temps all the while remain spring-like as they sit 12 - 15 degrees above average Monday through Friday, peaking on Tuesday with several valley locations hitting the 70°F mark. Temps cool down slightly on Sunday to the 50's and hopefully winter weather returns early next week, with the models hinting at normal temps and possible wintry precip Mon/Tues (too far out for specifics or guarantees).
Kicking off the timeline on Tuesday we'll enjoy (or not) a spring-like day in late December as temps soar to the upper 60's across the lower elevations, pushing to 70 - 72°F in a handful of towns, more likely Andrews, Franklin, Bryson City, and Dillsboro. Clouds sit overhead as SW flow picks up across the Southeast, funneling moisture into the region and just enough to spark scattered light showers past midday. Strong winds out of the SW are worth mentioning, gusting to 35 - 45mph above 4500'. Temps bottom out to the low - mid 50's Tuesday night under cloudy skies with scattered light showers continuing into the morning hours on Wednesday.
Wednesday into Thursday will be our wettest period but the main event does not start till the late afternoon hours on Wednesday, with regionwide moderate - heavy rain falling across the region, alongside a handful of thunderstorms. The Plateau, Great Smoky, Unicoi, and Snowbird Mountains will be the winners with this setup as they pick up 1.5 - 3" of rain from Wednesday morning to sunset on Thursday, most of this falling Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning. The rest of SW NC picks up 0.75 - 1.5" of rain, with lower amounts on the Haywood side of the Great Balsams. Temps climb to the mid 50's above 5000', while the valleys reach the upper 60's; overnight lows in the 50's Wednesday night and 40's Thursday night under clearing skies.
Friday starts out dry but ends the day (and year) on a wet note as showers return to the region after midday, peaking during the late evening - pre dawn hours. Shower coverage winds down Saturday morning and if you have NYE plans, be sure to account for regionwide showers; silver lining is at least it will be warm out. Temps hit the low - mid 60's Friday and Saturday, but drop to the 50's Sunday, possibly the 40's on Monday.
I'll stop here and circle back Wednesday late morning, closer to midday. ENJOY!