Isolated Showers and HOT this Weekend
Good morning folks! The heat continues as an upper level ridge slowly works its way west today (Thursday) through Sunday and eventually flattens or weakens by Monday or Tuesday of next week. We'll experience one more day of scattered showers and thunderstorms this afternoon, followed by some dry air working into the region on Friday that translates into lower coverage, but possibly stronger storms. Mostly sunny skies will be overhead on Friday but the dry setup takes over on Saturday, extending into Sunday, with only isolated shower chances both days and most of the action will be confined to the non populated ridgelines above 5500'. The upper level ridge brings with it above normal temps as they push into the upper 80's each afternoon Friday through Monday, but it will also deflect the growing tropical system in the Gulf and move it west of our region (initially, the remnants could still reach our region). A cold front approaches the region late Monday into Tuesday and this arrival is being delayed with each model run, so its likely Monday will be one more day of sunshine, plus heat and isolated showers, which is a change from our previous discussion. Muggy conditions are likely by Monday as we transition to southwest flow and scattered showers return Tuesday, maybe increasing to widespread by the middle of next week, if the remnants of the tropical system move overhead (this is merely a possibility at this point).
We'll start the timeline on Friday morning and after a rainy Thursday afternoon, coupled with drier air trying to work its way into the region, we should experience some dense fog across the valleys. This fog may linger into the ten o'clock hour and as always, this helps keep the heat at bay but we still think temps will reach the upper 80's across the valleys by the early afternoon hours. Normal high for our valleys in SW NC by late August is 83°F, so we'll be running 5 - 6 degrees above normal. Sunny skies dominate the morning hours, followed by partly cloudy skies and some pop up thunderstorms around 3 - 7pm, fizzling out to nothing after sunset. Overnight lows settle into the mid 50's - low 60's depending upon elevation, under partly cloudy skies.
Saturday will be similar to Friday, but shower coverage should take a slight step down with most of the action occurring along the Cowee Mountains, Great Balsams, and the Smokies. If you're heading out to the Greening Up the Mountains Festival on Saturday, dress for the heat as temps will reach 90°F off the pavement in downtown Sylva, under mostly sunny skies for most of the event (ending 4pm). We hit the repeat button for Sunday, with temps a degree higher as we reach the hottest day of the 7 day forecast. Overnight lows both nights dip into the upper 50's - mid 60's under partly cloudy skies.
Monday looks sunnier than our previous forecast, with mostly sunny skies giving way to partly cloudy skies later in the day as a few showers develop, but overall it should be a dry day for most. Temps reach the mid 70's above 5500', while the valleys once again hit the upper 80's and this should be our last day above normal, with temps Tuesday into Friday holding to the low - mid 80's due to an uptick in shower and cloud coverage.
We'll stop here and circle back on Saturday, focusing on early next week and passing along any notable updates for Wed - Fri of next week as it relates to widespread rainfall chances. ENJOY!