A Soggy Start to 2021
Good morning folks! We're halfway through the week and although the rain event doesn't begin to ramp up till Thursday afternoon, we'll experience cloudy skies and light drizzle today due to a weak wedge across the Carolinas. Precip has already begun along the escarpment with isolated light showers and drizzle, which will be the norm for the rest of the day, followed by scattered showers Thursday morning, increasing to widespread coverage Thursday afternoon. Latest model runs show the bulk of the rain shifting to Friday morning, which is likely the nail in the coffin for Highlands to break the annual state rainfall record as it needs roughly 3" before midnight and will likely fall an inch short of the record (139.94"). All of SW NC will pick up at least 1.5 - 2" of rain Thursday into Friday, with 3 - 4" falling along the escarpment and it wouldn't surprise us to see a 5" total somewhere nearby as heavy rain and downpours make up the event during the second act. Rain will wind down Friday afternoon for our region as the front slides across the region and we'll enjoy a sunny Saturday with well above average temps for early January. Sunday into Monday still holds low confidence among the models with some models bringing us another round of rain early Sunday, while other models keep the upper level low to our south and east, resulting in a second day of sunshine. Past this uncertainty there is enough confidence to say early next week will be dry with temps moderating back to normal for early January.
Temps today reach the low - upper 40's depending upon elevation and the further southwest you are, the higher the chance you have to see some sunshine poking through the cloud cover before noon, however all of SW NC will under cloudy skies by the early - mid afternoon hours. Moisture riding over the wedge will produce isolated showers and drizzle for the SC state line and nearby Southern Highlands Plateau, continuing overnight into Thursday with little change in coverage or intensities. Low temps tonight dip into the low - mid 40's across the region.
New Year's Eve will be warmer and shower coverage will begin to increase by the mid morning hours with coverage becoming widespread by the mid - late afternoon hours. Temps Thursday reach the upper 40's above 4500', while the valleys push into the mid - upper 50's as southerly flow ramps up across the Carolinas. Rainfall intensities will increase overnight and become heavy at times, with several downpours likely. From the late evening hours into Friday mid morning is when rainfall coverage and intensities peak. By midday on New Year's Day coverage will begin to wane and should completely end by the late afternoon hours. Temps overnight into Friday settle into the mid 40's - low 50's and rebound to the low - upper 50's Friday afternoon. Clouds gradually clear after midnight Friday night and temps dip into the mid - upper 40's across the region.
Saturday will be sunny and confidence is low regarding Sunday, but for now we will go with mostly sunny skies with a decent chance this changes to include more cloud cover or perhaps isolated showers (we are "team dry" at the moment). Temps Saturday soar to the low 60's across the valleys and Sunday cools down slightly to the upper 40's - low 50's across the lower elevations.
Monday and Tuesday will be pleasant with temps in the upper 40's - low 50's under mostly sunny skies. Check back in Friday late morning for an update regarding the potential for rain Sunday as the models should come together in agreement by tomorrow afternoon.