Dry Tues & Wed; Rain returns Thursday
Good afternoon folks! If you're a fan of fall weather then these past three days have been perfect and although we do not expect any major changes to the pattern looking ahead, we do expect an uptick in temps and moisture levels, enough to bring showers back to the region by weeks end. We'll still have dry weather on Tuesday and Wednesday as moisture takes its time in getting to the region, arriving sometime late Wednesday evening, setting up Thursday with cloudy skies and passing showers. The models differ in whether or not our region will be in play for heavy rain Friday into the weekend and for now we are going with only scattered showers, however this could increase, so stay tuned. Temps have been 10 degrees below normal each morning (low of 28°F atop Mt Mitchell Monday morning) and slightly below normal each afternoon. This will change as we expect above normal lows beginning Thursday night, leveling out to normal for daily highs by Friday. If you haven't been to the Parkway recently you haven't missed much if you are trying to time the color change. A handful of trees are beginning to turn with a muted green across the majority of the ridgelines, pointing to a peak in color sometime around early October for elevations above 5000'.
Tuesday and Wednesday are pleasant enough to lump together. Temps will warm to the upper 50's above 5000', while the valleys climb to the low 70's each afternoon, under sunny skies Tuesday and high, thin clouds Wednesday. Partly cloudy skies Tuesday night will allow temps to dip into the mid - upper 40's and increasing clouds Wednesday night should hold temps to the upper 40's - low 50's depending upon elevation; normal overnight low temp for Cullowhee is 52°F.
Cloudy skies Thursday caps temps to the upper 50's - upper 60's depending upon elevation, with only scattered light showers developing throughout the day. Shower cover increases slightly on Friday and could hold or increase for Saturday but we are not sure due to model discrepancy as of Monday morning; stay tuned. Temps warm slightly to normal levels, hitting the upper 50's above 5000' and low 70's across the valleys. We'll stop here and circle back on Wednesday with more detail about the increasing rain chances Thursday into the weekend.