More Rain Thur/Fri; Sunny this Weekend
Good morning folks! We are well on our way to reaching and likely exceeding the forecasted rain totals released on Saturday and again on Monday. The Highlands Plateau and escarpment have picked up anywhere from 2 - 4" since Sunday and another 1.5 - 3" will fall today (Wednesday). Across the interior portion of SW NC we have picked up 1.5 - 2.5" of rain, with Sylva leading the way at 2.38" as of mid morning on Wednesday; another 0.5 - 1" will fall today. The upper level low providing our region with excess moisture levels will continue to spin to our west across MS valley, moving north of the region by Thursday night, with shower activity taking till Friday afternoon to truly scale back in coverage and intensities. We'll experience another round of moderate - heavy rain Thursday mid morning as the upper level low migrates north, with another 0.5 - 15" of rain falling across SW NC on Thursday (higher closer to the SC state line). Friday's rainfall will be spotty but persistent as we deal with easterly flow throughout the day, favoring most of Transylvania County and the eastern portion of Haywood County. Friday's forecasted totals are under a half inch for the region, but excess moisture levels are likely to produce a few heavy downpours, mainly along the escarpment and southern portion of the Great Balsams. We transition to a dry yet warm pattern starting Saturday as an upper level ridge builds overhead on the heels of the departing ULL and high pressure system that has brought us copious amounts of rain Sunday through Thursday. Sunshine will push temps to the mid 70's across the valleys Saturday through the middle of next week, which is not terrible, but its early October and temps should be closer to 70°F; moisture levels should also be much lower.
For those timing their leaf peeping trips, pencil in a drive/hike this week weekend as the high elevations above 5500' are beginning to peak. The highest ridgelines above 5800' are currently peaking but its been a slow transition down to the 5000' level, with greens switching over to yellows this past Sun/Mon, which is a sign full color is only a handful of days away. With most of the Parkway above 4800', next week will be prime time for a leaf peeping drive. The picture on the main page is of Hwy 215 (Lake Logan Rd), just below the Parkway with the surrounding ridgelines around 5700 - 6100' in elevation.
We'll kick off the timeline on Thursday with another round of regionwide showers moving across the region from the mid morning hours to the early afternoon hours. Scattered coverage sticks around into the evening and overnight hours, never really letting up till the early - mid afternoon hours on Friday. Temps will hold to the upper 50's above 5500', while the valleys reach the low 70's both days. Overnight lows continue to sit well above normal as they settle into the low - upper 50's depending upon elevation both nights; partly cloudy skies develop after midnight Friday night.
Saturday into Tuesday of next week will be dry and sunny, with afternoon temps hitting the low 60's - mid 70's depending upon elevation. Moisture levels will be much lower than today or Thursday but still well above normal for early - mid October, which is keeping overnight lows to the upper 40's - upper 50's each night, even with mostly clear skies overhead.
We'll stop here and circle back Friday morning. Stay Dry!