Light Showers Christmas Day; Upper 60's!!!
Good morning folks! The forecast has been challenging to say the least, with a failed forecast on Tuesday (called for no rain and ended up with regionwide rain and sleet; snow above 5800') and again yesterday, much cooler than previously mentioned. I'll try to take another stab at this but there will be some timing issues related to the frontal passage Saturday as the models waffle back and forth between Saturday morning and late afternoon. We'll experience a warmup beginning Friday as temps push into the low - mid 60's due to southerly flow increasing ahead of the front, peaking this weekend to the upper 60's for both Saturday and Sunday. A brief window of dry weather occurs Sunday, however several low pressure systems will impact the region beginning Monday, bringing rain chances back to the region that will stick around through most of next week. Temps next week remain above average, translating to yet another disappointing week for those who wish winter weather would return.
Update on Highland's attempt to hit 100" on the year. As of today (12/23) Highlands is 0.44" away from reaching 100" and should be able to pick up this amount, adding 0.10 - 0.20" on Christmas Day and night, followed by another 0.50 - 0.75" of rain Mon - Thur of next week. It'll be close but confidence levels have increased with the latest model runs.
Kicking off the timeline on Friday we'll experience another round of sunshine and southerly flow will bring temps into the upper 40's above 5500', while the valleys push into the low - mid 60's. Normal high for late December in the valleys is 49°F; roughly 10 - 12 degrees above average. It will also be breezy after midday, with gust up to 40mph along the highest ridgelines, while the rest of us in the valleys experience SW winds around 10 - 20mph. Temps Friday night settle into the low - mid 40's as clouds build across the region; winds remain steady around 10 - 20mph throughout the night.
If the front arrives before noon we can expect light showers to break out across the area on Christmas Day, sometime between 10am - 1pm. Light shower coverage will extend into the evening hours and wind down as the night moves along, with temps reaching the mid - upper 60's in the valley, settling into the low - upper 40's depending upon elevation under mostly cloudy skies. This timeline could bust as some models show a frontal passage closer to sunset, but we are leaning toward the earlier arrival.
Sunday brings high pressure back into the region but this will be short lived, although perfect timing for those who are traveling back home after Christmas Day. Sunny skies and temps in the mid - upper 60's will make it feel more like spring than winter, with clouds building overnight into Monday; low temps in the low - mid 40's.
Monday through Wednesday shows the potential for light - moderate showers each afternoon, with Wed/Thur timeframe showing a regionwide event. Forecasted rainfall from Mon - Thur shows an inch for the escarpment/plateau, while the remainder of SW NC picks up a half inch, perhaps more if the middle of the week event comes in stronger. Temps will continue to push into the mid - upper 60's all of next week.
We'll stop here and circle back Saturday afternoon, sometime between 2 - 5pm. ENJOY!