Annual Rainfall Record set in Highlands
Good afternoon folks! Although we cut our forecast totals in half just as the event was unfolding, the final totals ended up somewhere between the two with most of SW NC picking up 2 - 2.5" of rain Monday evening into Thursday morning. The Southern Highlands Plateau did quite well, collecting 4 - 5" from Highlands to Toxaway Mountain and back up and along the Great Balsams, with Highlands in particular picking up just enough to break its own annual rainfall record of 125.46" set in 2018 (currently at 125.58" on the year)!!! These records go back 140 years so this is truly an impressive feat and with only 49 days remaining in the calendar year, Highlands will need to collect 0.29" of rain each day before midnight on December 31st to hold the NC Annual Rainfall Record, currently held by Mt Mitchell at a whopping139.94" back in 2018. We're rooting for you Highlands!
Back to the forecast, a cold front is marching across the Piedmont as of Thursday afternoon and dryer air is already infiltrating the region and will continue to do so into Friday. A high pressure system will eventually make its way east over the weekend, while at the same time a cold front approaches from the west, crossing our region sometime Sunday morning, resulting in a slight chance for showers. Once the front pushes east much cooler temps will invade the area, with highs running 3 - 5 degrees below normal Monday through Wednesday, while overnight lows generally dip to normal levels (frost and freezes return). All in all a dry, cooler stretch of weather lies ahead with a short lived window for isolated showers Sunday morning.
Friday will be a pleasant change with sunny skies overhead, a steady NW breeze, and temps warming to the mid 60's for the valley, while the ridgelines sit in the low - mid 50's. Overnight lows dip into the low - upper 30's Friday night as winds calm down and its likely the valleys will be colder than the higher elevations.
The weekend looks pleasant for the most part, with full sunshine overhead Saturday, followed by increasing clouds Saturday night and isolated showers before noon on Sunday. Afternoon highs for both Saturday and Sunday reach the low 50's - mid 60's depending upon elevation, however Saturday night will hold temps to the low - mid 40's, dropping to the upper 20's - mid 30's Sunday under clearing skies.
Monday through Wednesday will be sunny and cooler with highs in the low - mid 40's above 5000', climbing to the mid - upper 50's across the lower elevations. Normal temps for the valleys in mid November are in the upper 50's so this isn't too far out of line, but this will be our first cool down in roughly a week so it may surprise some folks. Overnight lows hold to the upper 20's - mid 30's each night, prompting frost to develop Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings.
We'll stop here and circle back on Sunday, focusing on the exiting front and the week ahead.