Warm through Thursday; Chilly by Friday
Good afternoon folks! If you haven't noticed peak color is underway along the ridgelines and moving down the mountainside, with peak color beginning to unfold around 4000' - 5000'. The recent rainfall did a number on a few peaks above 5800' but for the most part the higher elevation canopy was spared, making this week and upcoming weekend a perfect time to hit the Parkway or your favorite leaf peeping road. We'll enjoy a dry week this week and the dry spell could extend all the way into late next week, which is typical for fall and welcomed by many after our numerous 1 - 2" plus rounds of rain this season. Temps will run 4 - 6 degrees above normal Wednesday and Thursday but a cold front moving through Thursday night will set the stage for below normal temps Friday through the weekend. Even though most of SW NC snuck by with patchy frost a few weeks ago, we're likely to experience it Friday night and this weekend, possibly marking the end of the growing season.
Wednesday and Thursday offer up sunny skies, with little to no clouds across the region and temps will warm to the low 60's above 5500', while the valleys push into the low - mid 70's. Overnight lows will be chilly but not cold Wednesday night as temps dip into the mid - upper 40's across the region under mostly clear skies and things change Thursday night, with isolated showers and clouds capping temps to the mid 40's - low 50's.
The front should push through before sunrise on Friday and it will take most of the morning hours for dry air to encompass the region, allowing isolated showers and a handful of clouds to pepper the TN line while the rest of SW NC remains dry. Eventually sunshine takes over for all of SW NC and temps will be noticeably colder, only hitting the upper 40's above 5500', warming to the low 60's in the valleys. Add in NW winds around 10 - 20mph and it will feel slightly cold in the shade but nothing a light jacket can't fix. Overnight lows settle into the upper 20's - low 30's Friday night under clear skies, allowing frost to form by sunrise on Saturday.
The weekend ahead looks gorgeous as sunshine prevails and temps hold to the upper 40's above 5500', peaking to the low - mid 60's across the valleys. Overnight lows will continue to dip into the 30's Saturday night but warm up slightly to the upper 30's - mid 40's Sunday night.
We'll stop here and circle back on Thursday with a look at the incoming cold front and below normal temps this weekend. ENJOY!