Elsa Exits; Pop Up Showers Take Over
Good afternoon folks! Elsa is moving out of the Carolinas as we type this discussion midday on Thursday and as westerly flow sets up in its it wake later this evening, scattered shower chances will linger into the early morning hours on Friday; favoring the TN line. A break in the action occurs Friday morning but this will be short lived as a front approaches from the west, sparking another round of showers between 12 - 4pm. The front will be off to our east by Saturday morning and we'll gradually transition to a classic summertime setup over the course of the weekend. Lingering high clouds coupled with scattered afternoon showers make up the day on Saturday and a bit more sunshine pokes through the broken cloud cover on Sunday, but this will lead to the development of pop up showers later in the day. An upper level ridge and high pressure system will conspire and bring about a healthy southerly flow Sunday into the middle of next week, all but guaranteeing we experience muggy conditions, slightly above normal temps, and afternoon pop up showers/thunderstorms. This setup favors the higher elevations and more so the Southern Highlands Plateau, but all of SW NC is in play for shower development each afternoon Sunday - Wednesday.
We'll start the timeline on Friday with quick moving clouds out of the west during the morning hours alongside a slightly drier airmass than Thursday, but changes quickly as the front approaches after midday. Frontal passage is likely to occur during the early afternoon hours but showers are expected to develop as soon as 12pm, lingering into the mid afternoon hours before fizzling out later that evening. Temps only reach the upper 60's - low 80's depending upon elevation due to cloud cover and shower activity, falling to the upper 50's - mid 60's overnight into Saturday under partly cloud skies.
Typically a frontal passage will help scour out higher than normal moisture levels and this is the case on Friday but the window will be short lived, with Saturday morning the best chance to be outside if you need to avoid rain. Scattered showers return later in the day, with temps a degree or two higher than Friday as some sunshine pokes through the high, thin cloud cover. Overnight lows dip into the mid 50's - low 60's once again, with shower activity fizzling out just before sunset.
Sunday offers up slightly more sunshine than Saturday and this will help spark a few showers and thunderstorms across the region, where exactly no one knows but the setup will be conducive for pop up showers. Temps warm to the low 70's - mid 80's depending upon elevation and shower activity once again dies off past sunset, with temps bottoming out to the upper 50's - mid 60's.
Monday through the middle of next week will be repeat of Sunday, although coverage may increase with each passing day as southerly flow peaks early next week. This setup will favor the Snowbird, Cowee, Unicoi mountains as well as the Southern Highlands Plateau, but even central the valleys in Macon, Jackson, and Haywood counties should get in on the action as showers develop off the nearby county line/divide ridgelines and migrate north - northeast. Temps each day push into the mid - upper 80's depending upon how much sunshine makes it through the broken (partly cloudy) cloud cover.
We'll stop here and circle back by late morning on Saturday. ENJOY!