A Tale of Two Fronts
Good afternoon folks! The forecast hasn't changed much since our last discussion on Wednesday, with a slight tweak to Sunday and Monday but nothing that will keep you from enjoying time outside. Speaking of being outside, on this day 57 years ago the Wilderness Act was signed and we couldn't be more grateful to those who worked in bringing Shining, Middle Prong, Joyce-Kilmer Slickrock, Southern Nantahala, and Ellicott Rock under the protection of a Wilderness Area designation (these are SW NC only, many more are present across Southern Appalachia). Locally, be sure to check out www.wildernessstewards.org for more information on how the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards partner with the Forest Service to manage these untrammeled landscapes.
Back to the weather, we expect dry conditions to continue well into next week but that doesn't mean showers will not develop, as this is SW NC after all and its not often we have a rain free day across the region. Saturday features mostly sunny skies and perhaps a shower or two developing across the highest ridgelines along the Great Balsams, but the vast majority of the area will remain dry. The high pressure overhead Saturday will slowly break down and give way to southerly flow on Sunday, as a cold front approaches from the northwest. Its likely to take most of the morning hours for the front to swing through the region, but during this 48 hour period we expect isolated showers to develop late Sunday afternoon, increasing to scattered coverage overnight into Monday and leveling off to isolated coverage after midday Monday. If you have camping plans for Labor Day weekend, no need to change them, just keep an eye to the sky and work around any passing shower that develops. Southerly flow returns Tuesday but doesn't amount to much as isolated showers dot the landscape alongside mostly sunny skies. A second front approaches the region Wednesday, which looks to be stronger than the first frontal passage on Monday and scattered showers are likely after midday. NW flow following the second front will bring cooler temps to the area for latter half of next week, with highs running 2 - 4 degrees below normal.
Kicking off the timeline on Saturday, we expect a gorgeous day for Western football, with sunny skies overhead and temps warming to the mid 80's (see what we did there). Isolated showers are possible but 99% of the region will remain dry and for those attending the game, bring a long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt as temps drop from the mid 70's at kickoff (6pm), to the low - mid 60's by game's end (10pm). Overnight lows settle into the low - upper 50's under partly cloudy skies.
Sunday and Labor Day will keep the pleasant weather moving along with another round of sunshine to start the day on Sunday, followed by partly cloudy skies and isolated showers to end the day as the front approaches from the NW. Scattered showers dot the landscape overnight into Monday and coverage will decline as we approach midday on Monday, likely ending the day under mostly sunny skies as NW flow takes over for a short period of time. Temps Sunday and Monday climb to the low 80's across the valleys, while the ridgelines above 5500' struggle to climb out of the 60's! Overnight lows settle into the mid 50's - low 60's Sunday night and low - upper 50's Monday night.
Tuesday offers up more sunshine and a slightly noticeable uptick in moisture levels as southerly flow returns, but this will be short lived with the second front arriving Wednesday. Temps hit the mid 80's Tuesday and low 80's Wednesday, with most of the action taking place after midday, ending later that evening.
Temps level out to the mid 60's - upper 70's depending upon elevation Thursday into next weekend, but we'll stop here and circle back on Sunday with a more detailed look at the end of next week. ENJOY!