Chilly Saturday; Light Snow Mon (TN line)
Good morning folks! Light rain is peppering the region this morning (Thursday) and will continue to do so the remainder of the day, expanding in coverage and intensities as we enter the evening hours. A cold front is responsible for this change in the weather, crossing the region later tonight after midnight, with precip ending during the pre dawn hours for most of the region. Sunshine and dry air take over on Friday but the previously forecasted cold air advection has been delayed till Saturday morning as a second and weaker front pushes across the area. We'll end the week on normal note related to temps as they reach the low 60's in the valleys, but Saturday will be noticeably chiller for all elevations as temps struggle to reach the upper 40's - low 50's across the valleys. In fact, above 4500' and closer to the TN line temps will drop shortly after midday as colder air pours into the region, so if you have hiking or leaf peeping plans above 4500' on Saturday, pack the extra layer as temps drop during the afternoon. Temps warm a few degrees on Sunday under more sunshine but a third disturbance swings into the region Sunday night and reinforces the below normal temps, also developing some light snow along the TN line and nearby NW facing ridgelines, with very little in the way of accumulations expected. Sunny skies spill over into Monday for most of SW NC and this fair weather will continue into Wednesday with temps warming from the mid 30's - upper 40's Monday to the upper 40's - mid 60's by Wednesday. All in all, a fairly typical fall weather setup over the next 5 - 7 days and a gorgeous, albeit chilly, day is on tap for the last WCU home football game of the season (2pm kickoff).
Fun fact: Cullowhee (and most other valley locations) experienced a 51° swing in temps on Tuesday, starting the day at 28°F and ending the day at 79°F. This was much higher than forecasted.
Timeline starts on Friday after SW NC picked up anywhere from a half inch of rain across most of the region, maxing out to 1" across the Plateau and escarpment. Precip will linger the longest across the TN line as we transition into NW flow around sunrise, although this will be short lived and over by the mid morning hours. Elsewhere across SW NC, sunny skies take over with a NW wind around 5 - 10mph in the valleys and 15 - 25mph above 5000'. Mostly clear skies sit overhead Friday night and temps settle into the upper 20's - mid 30's depending upon elevation.
Saturday will be chilly and a bit breezy but overall a pleasant day to be outside as sunny skies reign supreme, alongside NW winds around 5 - 15mph, gusting to 30mph above 5500'. Temps warm to the upper 40's - low 50's and do so in a normal fashion, whereas the higher elevations above 4500' (more so for those who are closer to the TN line) will see temps decline soon after midday, with a high around 34 - 37°F above 5500' by noon, dropping to the upper 20's just before sunset, eventually bottoming out to the low - mid 20's by sunrise on Sunday. The valleys will settle into the mid - upper 20's under mostly clear skies.
Sunday keeps sunny skies overhead and temps moderate slightly as they reach the low 40's - mid 50's depending upon elevation, dropping to the mid 20's - low 30's Sunday night under increasing clouds. This uptick in cloud cover will be the result of a third disturbance, with a light round of snow for the favored NW facing slopes closer to and along the TN line.
Light snow will pepper this area throughout the day on Monday but only a skiff or an inch of snow is possible with this light event, while the rest of us across SW NC enjoy sunny skies. Temps drop back into the upper 40's for the valleys, while the high elevation ridgelines hold to the mid 30's, followed by clear skies Monday night and overnight lows in the low - mid 20's regionwide; possible temperature inversion.
Tuesday and Wednesday will gradually warm back into the 50's (Tuesday) and 60's (Wednesday), with a possible late week precip event but this is not set in stone and only worth mentioning this far out in time. We'll stop here and circle back Saturday mid - late morning with a better handle on the light snow event occurring Monday. ENJOY!