Highs near 70°F Next Week; 2 - 3" of Rain
Good afternoon folks and Merry Christmas! Asheville just set the record for the warmest Christmas Day on record with a high of 69°F and clouds are beginning to build across the region before the front arrives. We'll experience scattered light showers this evening that will extend into the pre dawn hours, ending before sunrise on Sunday. Dry weather wraps up the holiday weekend with temps 3 - 5 degrees warmer than today (upper 60's). Clouds fill in on Monday ahead of a weak frontal passage later in the day, prompting light showers to develop closer to sunset, extending into the morning hours on Tuesday. Southwesterly flow will build across the region Tuesday, maintaining light shower chances with scattered coverage and a strong frontal passage is slated to arrive sometime Wednesday afternoon. As we move through the day on Wednesday coverage will increase, becoming widespread by the mid afternoon hours, alongside a few thunderstorms. Moderate - heavy rain rates occur overnight into Thursday morning and the front should exit the area shortly after sunrise, however it will stall nearby and we'll continue to deal with spotty showers most of the day Thursday. Friday keeps a few showers around but it will mostly be a mixed bag of clouds and sun, with temps a touch cooler than previous days, but still very much above normal. New Years Eve celebrations will not be impacted much, as isolated showers hold strong across the region, increasing on Saturday with a new frontal passage. Temps all the while remain well above freezing no matter the elevation, with afternoon highs in the mid - upper 60's most of the week. The warmest day of the week will be Tuesday at 68 - 71°F, with Friday being our coolest day of the week at 61 - 63°F and the normal high for the end of December is 48°F for the valleys.
Kicking off the timeline Sunday morning we'll have clear skies and warm temps to welcome us back home for those returning to the area. Temps hit the upper 60's in the valleys, while the ridgelines above 5000' sit in the low 50's. Overnight lows settle into the low - upper 40's depending upon elevation, under increasing clouds after midnight.
Monday brings us light rain and totals ranging from 0.01 - 0.15", which is very light by our standards and some folks may not see rain at all. In fact the best shot for rain will be along the TN and GA state lines as opposed to the favored SC state line and adjacent Plateau. Temps reach the mid - upper 60's in the valleys and settle into the upper 40's - low 50's overnight into Tuesday, with shower activity waning as we approach sunrise on Tuesday.
Shower coverage takes most of the day Tuesday to go from isolated to scattered coverage as southwesterly flow ramps up ahead of the approaching front. This will bring temps into the low 70's for a few valley towns and it will feel more like spring outside than the middle of winter. Rainfall amounts remain paltry as only 0.10 - 0.20" of rain falls across the region throughout the day and night, with overnight lows in the low - upper 50's (this is warmer than our average daily high).
Wednesday into Thursday is our wettest period with upwards of 2 - 3" of rain falling across the Plateau over the 48 hour period, while the rest of SW NC picks up 1 - 1.75". Temps level out to the mid 60's Wednesday and Thursday, with a cool down to the low 60's Friday post front. Shower coverage and rainfall intensities peak Wednesday afternoon through the late evening hours, with thunderstorms a possibility. This amount of rain should push Highlands over the 100" mark on the season, making it four years in a row at or above 100".
We'll stop here but mention warmer temps continue into Friday and Saturday as we welcome the new year, with another round of rain Friday night into Saturday afternoon. ENJOY!