A 50/50 Weekend; Widespread Rain Next Week
Good afternoon folks! We're on the tail end of this rain event with numerous sites across SW NC reporting 1 - 2", which is higher than we anticipated. The highest totals really impressed with Cullowhee, Sylva and right outside Robbinsville all exceeding 3.25", while 2.5" fell along the escarpment (Highlands to Lake Toxaway). Shower coverage winds down Friday evening and we'll enjoy a sunny Saturday as remnants of Beta pulls away from the region. Sunday on the other hand will bring showers back to the region later in the day, but coverage will only be isolated as moisture levels slowly increase with a changeover to southerly flow. Scattered shower coverage sets up Monday as we patiently wait on the frontal passage that could be held up according to the latest model runs. As the front approaches, whether this occurs on Tuesday or Wednesday, we'll experience an uptick in both shower coverage and intensities and this will be somewhat short lived, with dry and cooler conditions arriving either Wednesday or Thursday. Confidence with the timing of the front is low at this time, so be sure to check back in late Sunday afternoon as the models should have a better handle on the timing for the upper level low cutoff and frontal passage for our area. We also need to keep our eye peeled to the Friday and Saturday of next week (10/2 - 10/3), as freezing temps are modeled to occur each night, possibly giving our region it's first widespread frost/freeze of the season!
Saturday will be dry and sunny but also warm as temps push to the upper 70's across the valleys, while the ridgelines warm to the mid 60's. Temps bottom out to the low - upper 50's under mostly clear skies.
Sunday starts off the day with sunshine and clouds slowly build as we move past midday, with isolated showers possibly showing up before sunset. Isolated shower activity rolls into the overnight hours and Monday morning, increasing to scattered coverage by the afternoon hours. Temps cool off slightly to the mid 70's both days across the lower elevations, struggling to break past the low - mid 60's above 4500'. Rainfall totals Sunday evening into Monday night will be around a quarter - half inch for most of the region.
Shower coverage and totals will increase for Tuesday and Wednesday, however we are uncertain as to when the bulk of the rainfall will occur as this is tied to the frontal passage. Its a safe bet at this time to say we'll pick up 1 - 2" of rain Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday night, possibly extending into Thursday morning or perhaps it will all be over by the Wednesday afternoon; check back in Sunday for a better timeline. Temps will cool down even further to the upper 50's - low 70's depending upon elevation Tuesday and Wednesday.
Assuming the front is out of the picture by Thursday morning we're likely to enjoy a stretch of sunny days lasting into next weekend, with temps across the valleys only reaching the upper 60's Thursday, falling to the low - mid 60's next Saturday. The exact details will change but colder air is on its way, enough to have a plan if we foresee freezing temperatures Friday into Saturday.
We'll stop here and circle back late Sunday afternoon.