< 32°F Wed/Thur Nights; Washout Saturday
Good afternoon folks! Change is afoot as the cold front swings through the region this morning, with wind speeds ramping up to 10 - 20mph and temps gradually dropping throughout the day. A few snow showers will develop along the TN line and a light dusting is possible by sunrise on Thursday for the highest elevations in the Smokies. All of SW NC will experience a freeze tonight as temps dip into the 20's regionwide. Sunshine returns for Thursday but temps only manage to hit the upper 50's - low 60's across the lower elevations, alongside westerly winds around 10 - 15mph, easing slightly as we head into the evening hours. Another round of frost is likely Thursday night as temps settle into the mid 20's - low 30's depending upon elevation. Moisture will return to the region on Friday and it will take most of the day to really saturate the atmosphere, but we should see a few showers develop closer to sunset, with clouds building most of the day and temps slightly warmer in the mid 60's. Saturday will be a washout and if you have outdoor plans we recommend shifting them to Sunday. We'll pick up an inch of rain for most of SW NC on Saturday, with 2 - 3" in play for the Southern Highlands Plateau. Temps moderate quickly from the upper 50's - low 60's on Saturday to the low 70's Sunday under sunny skies, pushing even further into the upper 70's - low 80's Monday and Tuesday, also under sunny skies. There is a small chance for frost Sunday night and when looking at the long range for next week, this should be our last freeze/frost threat for a while, but you can never say never here in the mountains.
Temps tonight plummet to the low - upper 20's across the region and the highest ridgelines above 5800' will experience temps in the teens, with a light dusting of snow possible across the Smokies. Windy conditions will continue with northwest winds around 10 - 25mph, gusting to 40mph at times; mostly clear skies for the majority of SW NC.
Thursday will remain windy and cool with temps only warming to the upper 50's - low 60's across the valleys, even as sunshine sits overhead all day. Wind speeds around 10 - 20mph will start the day and its possible they calm down to a light breeze after sunset across the lower elevations, while the higher elevations hold onto breezy conditions till at least midnight. Overnight lows settle into the mid 20's - low 30's across the region, prompting another round of freeze and frost to develop.
Friday features increasing clouds as the day moves along, with temps warming to the low - mid 60's, followed by isolated showers developing sometime before or shortly after sunset. Coverage increases slowly overnight, becoming widespread by the mid morning hours on Saturday. Temps overnight into Saturday dip into the low - upper 40's across the region.
Saturday will be a day for housework, afternoon naps, reading, or watching your favorite TV show as we deal with widespread showers throughout the day, dropping 1 - 2.5" of rain depending upon location. Temps will hold to the upper 40's - upper 50's depending upon elevation and drop into the low - mid 40's overnight into Sunday. Showers will wind down Saturday night and sunny skies will be overhead by the early morning hours on Sunday, if not by the time the sun rises.
Sunshine takes over Sunday through Tuesday and we'll warm up quite nicely with temps in the low 70's Sunday, hitting the low 80's by Monday or Tuesday. Overnight lows dip into the mid - upper 30's Sunday night but level out to the low - upper 40's for early next week.
We'll stop here and circle back on Friday with more details about the upcoming washout on Saturday. ENJOY!