From 5" of Rain to Temps in the 40's
Good morning folks! Not much has changed since we last spoke on Saturday, with a slight adjustment in the timing of the cold front, an upward adjustment to rainfall totals, and a few tweaks to daily high/low temps. We still anticipate a solid soaking to move through Monday night into Tuesday, easing up later in the day and then ramping back up Wednesday afternoon, ending early Thursday morning. Highlands - Cashiers - Lake Toxaway - Brevard all stand to pick up 3.5 - 5" of rain from this morning (Monday) to early Thursday morning, with most of this falling Tuesday morning. The interior portions of the region will pick up 0.75 - 1.5" of rain over the 36 hour period. The timing of the front is still in question but we are going with a late afternoon passage Wednesday, followed by clearing skies around sunrise Thursday and sunny skies the rest of the day. Dry and cooler air rushes into the region on Thursday, setting the stage for a fall like end to the week and weekend. Normal valley temps for late September are in the mid - upper 70's and we'll be lucky to hit 70°F Thursday, warming slightly to the low - mid 70's Friday through Sunday; overnight lows dip to the 40's across the region, while the ridgelines touch the 30's.
We'll start the timeline on Tuesday and widespread rain will be present as we step out of the door Tuesday morning, continuing through the remainder of the morning hours, winding down sometime around 1 - 3pm. Isolate showers will continue to pepper the region the rest of the day and into the overnight hours, however the bulk of the action will be before midday. Temps will hold to the low 60's - mid 70's depending upon elevation Tuesday afternoon, settling into the mid 50's - low 60's overnight into Wednesday. The Highlands Plateau and directly along the escarpment will pick up 1.5 - 3" of rain starting this morning, ending Tuesday mid morning, with another 1" likely before the early afternoon hours on Tuesday. This amounts to 2.5 - 4" of rain from Monday morning into Wednesday morning for the plateau.
Wednesday morning provides a break in the action, although isolated showers will continue to pop up in the soupy airmass. We expect another round of widespread rain to swing through Wednesday afternoon and because the frontal passage may be delayed, shower activity could extend into the Thursday morning. This second round of rain Wednesday afternoon will bring us another 0.25 - 1" of rain, with the higher amounts along the escarpment and the lowest amounts in the interior valleys like Franklin, Bryson City, Cherokee, Waynesville, etc. Temps Wednesday warm to the low 60's - low 70's due to consistent cloud cover but temps will plummet to the low - upper 40's Wednesday night as cooler temps invade the region post frontal passage.
Any shower activity present at sunrise Thursday will quickly dissipate and the same goes for cloud cover, as pure sunshine will be overhead by the mid morning hours, coupled with a steady NW breeze around 10 - 15mph. Low dewpoints, sunny skies, and temps only making it to the mid 50's above 5000' / upper 60's in the valleys, will setup a perfect fall like day across the region. Temps bottom out to the mid 30's - mid 40's overnight into Friday under clear skies. Not sure if the wind will let up enough for frost to form above 5000', but temps will be in range, all we need is for wind speeds to die down to zero or a light breeze.
Friday through Sunday will keep the fair weather train moving along and this is perfect timing for the Mountain Heritage Day Festival at Western on Saturday. Sunny skies and temps in the low - mid 70's along the valley floor will make up the action Friday through Sunday, with overnight lows holding to the mid - upper 40's. The higher elevations should break into the 60's by Saturday but overnight lows will continue to dip into the upper 30's - low 40's, which will kick the color change into high gear above 5000'.
We'll stop here and circle back Wednesday morning sometime around 10:30am. ENJOY!