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Pattern Change on the Horizon

Good morning folks! Please excuse the no show yesterday, something came up and I didn't have signal to post a new discussion. The good news is that the weather remains boring so you didn't miss anything and the icing on top is that we'll finally see a pattern change occurring this weekend! After dealing with sunny skies and well above normal temps all week long, we'll be treated to a frontal passage sometime Saturday evening, possibly late Saturday night. This cold front will bring us much cooler temps, as we go from the low 80's Thursday to the upper 60's Sunday across the valleys! Normal high temp for the valleys on Oct 17th is 69.7°F, so a high around 66 - 68°F on Sunday is perfect. To not completely ignore the work and school week ahead, sunshine will dominate the landscape Monday through Friday and temps will respond to the upper level ridge overhead, climbing from the mid - upper 70's today to the low 80's Thursday and Friday. Clouds move in ahead of the approaching cold front on Saturday and this will cool temps down a bit, with late day showers likely. Sunshine then takes over Sunday post frontal but with a much cooler airmass in place, one that will bring overnight lows back into the 30's for the highest elevations. This will certainly kick the color season into high gear after what appears to be a stalled season over the past two weeks.

Starting the timeline on Tuesday, temps warm to the mid 60's above 5500', while the valleys climb to the upper 70's, running roughly 6 - 8 degrees above normal. Sunshine dominates the forecast and clear skies will follow suit each night, with overnight lows leveling out to the low - upper 50's, alongside patchy fog in the valleys. We hit the repeat button Wednesday through Friday and temps peak to the low 80's Thur/Fri as mentioned above, followed by some cloud cover (partly cloudy) building Friday night ahead of the approaching cold front. One thing to note is that the Highlands Plateau and escarpment area may deal with partly cloudy skies or fog much longer than the interior portions of SW NC, mainly due to a continuing NE flow that will bank moisture against the sudden ride in terrain. This is likely to continue into Thursday morning.

Saturday may start out with some sunshine but clouds will quickly take over and temps will only make it to the low 70's across the valleys, with shower chances increasing after midday. We don't know the exact timing of the front and will likely not know till Wednesday, but at this time point in time everything points to a late evening - pre dawn window for showers to move through, fully clearing sometime around sunrise on Sunday.

We'll stop here and circle back Wednesday morning (I promise), with a better handle on the frontal passage and post front conditions. ENJOY!

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