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Five Plus Inches of Rain; Sunny Sunday?

Good afternoon folks! We're off to a wet start and we'll continue to experience rain across the region over the next five days, with most of the 2 - 6" falling over the next three days (Mon - Wed). The highest totals ranging from 4 - 6" will be found along the southern sections of Macon and Jackson counties, including most of Transylvania County. Elsewhere across SW NC we'll pick up a healthy 2 - 3.5" over the same three day period, with central Haywood County the driest area, but even they will pick up 1.5 - 2". This prolonged rainfall is due to a combination of factors, mainly an upper level low in the MS valley working in tandem with a high pressure system to our northeast, using an old cold front to keep copious amounts of moisture funneling into our region from the southeast over the next few days. Tuesday late morning into Wednesday evening will be our window for heavy rainfall and widespread coverage, with showers not letting up too much as we enter Thursday, although intensities will scale down to light rates, while coverage slowly begins to taper down as we move through the day. The upper level low and ridge will begin to lift north Thursday into Friday and we'll notice shower activity slowly winding down, but not completely drying out, as this may take till Saturday evening. An upper level trough and cold front is expected to reach our region sometime Saturday night and this should be all we need to switch over from a soggy setup to sunshine, salvaging at least one day this weekend for those who want to spend outside. Temps do not move much at all as we move through the week, with highs in the upper 50's - upper 60's depending upon elevation Monday through Wednesday, inching into the low 60's - low 70's Thursday and Friday; overnight lows hold to the mid - upper 50's through Thursday night. All in all, this week will be a washout of sorts, followed by a slow winding down Friday into Saturday, capped off with a sunny end to the weekend on Sunday.

We'll start the timeline on Tuesday with shower coverage expanding from isolated around sunrise to widespread by the mid afternoon hours, with heavy downpours likely, especially along the escarpment and Highlands Plateau. Temps barely move as they start the day in the mid - upper 50's, only warming to the upper 50's - upper 60's depending upon elevation. Most of SW NC will pick up anywhere from 0.5 - 1.5" of rain, while the Highlands Plateau collects 2.5 - 3" of rain over the 24 hour period. Shower activity never winds down as we move through the overnight hours, however intensities should scale back from heavy rain to a light - moderate showers as instability drops to near zero.

Wednesday is a repeat of Tuesday, with rainfall intensities dropping down a peg or two, however another 0.5 - 1" of rain is likely for most of SW NC, while the escarpment and southern portion of the Great Balsams pick up another 1.5 - 2" of rain over the 24 hour period. This slight shift in highest totals is due to a shift in overall flow from the southeast to more of a northeasterly flow, impacting Lake Toxaway - Pisgah Forest area more so than Highlands - Cashiers. Temps only make it to the upper 50's - upper 60's once again after starting the day in the mid - upper 50's.

Coverage scales back to scattered levels Thursday and Friday, with another 0.25 - 0.50" for the bulk of SW NC over the 48 hour period, while the escarpment collects another 1 - 1.5" of rain. Temps warm slightly to the low 70's across the valleys and a few periods of sunshine may sneak through the mostly cloudy skies on Friday.

Saturday starts out cloudy with scattered showers but ends the day with isolated showers and a mixed bag of sun and clouds, followed by sunny skies on Sunday. Temps should reach the mid - upper 70's on Sunday across the lower elevations, which is roughly 6 - 8 degrees warmer than normal, but hey, at least we get a break from the rain! We'll stop here and circle back on Wednesday with a better breakdown of the transition from rain to sunshine this upcoming weekend. ENJOY!

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