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Dusty through Wed; Rain is Returning

Good morning folks! Soon we can put this stretch of hot and dusty weather behind us with relief arriving Thursday into Saturday, followed by a slight cool down Sunday into next Tuesday. The Thursday through Saturday timeframe is our best chance for regionwide rainfall, however amounts will be on the lighter side of normal, only amounting to a half inch of rain Thursday afternoon into Saturday afternoon; around 0.25 - 0.40" falling Friday night. Temps will certainly cool down as we head into the weekend, but first we'll deal with another three days (Tues - Thur) of afternoon highs in the mid - upper 80's across the valleys. By Friday temps will struggle to climb past the low - mid 80's and Saturday may be capped to the upper 70's due to cloud cover, with low 80's returning Sunday into Monday. Although the low 80's are not a cool down for Sunday into Monday, the overnight low temps each night will be a nice treat as they settle into the upper 40's - low 50's across the lower elevations! Showers are likely to return by the middle of next week, so all in all things are beginning to normalize and fingers crossed we'll see normal rainfall totals for the month of June.

Tuesday through Thursday features a slow and steady increase in shower chances with each passing day, however temps will still be able to push into the mid - upper 80's across the lower elevations. Shower coverage will be isolated today (Tuesday) and Wednesday, inching up to scattered levels Thursday afternoon with a better chance for thunderstorms compared to today and Wednesday. Areas that have the best shot at seeing rain today through Thursday include the highest ridgelines and nearby hollers and coves across the Unicoi, Snowbird, Cowee and Great Smoky Mountains as they benefit from increasing southwest flow. The Great Balsams and Cataloochee Divide come in second but boiled down this will be a hit and miss setup, with some folks picking up light rainfall and the vast majority of us remaining high and dry. Temps each night settle into the mid 50's - low 60's depending upon elevation. As always you can escape the heat by climbing higher than 5000', where temps will be in the low - mid 70's each afternoon.

Friday and Saturday offer up scattered showers, with a few hours of widespread rainfall Friday night, that should result in a healthy 0.25 - 0.40" of rain for most of the region. This will certainly keep the dust down but we'll need a few more inches of rain to get back on track, although we are not in a drought at this time. Temps Friday into Saturday warm to the upper 70's - low 80's across the valleys, with overnight lows in the upper 50's Friday night, bottoming out to the upper 40's - low 50's Saturday night as high pressure takes over the Southeast. If you have camping plans Friday night, keep them but also prepare for several hours of rain and a few thunderstorms. Don't let this keep you from being outside, just prep your site to stay dry and enjoy the rain Saturday morning as things should dry up by the early - mid afternoon hours; clear skies before sunset.

We'll stop here and circle back on Thursday to provide more details on the upcoming rain event. ENJOY!

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