Rain on the Horizon; Cloudy this Wknd
Good afternoon folks! We are breaking daily and monthly records across the Southeast as above normal temps continue across the area today (Friday). A cooldown is on the horizon this weekend, beginning Sunday and a return to our normal pattern of increased shower chances and rain events every handful of days is expected by the middle of next week. Saturday provides some high cloud cover across the region as high pressure to our northeast spins moisture into the area, which will also bring temps down to the mid - upper 60's; still 9 - 11 degrees above normal. Temps drop further on Sunday as they only reach the upper 50's - low 60's across the valleys, under thickening cloud cover, followed by late day showers. A round of scattered light showers will pepper the region Sunday night into Monday afternoon, dropping a quarter of an inch on average across SW NC. The frontal passage on Monday will keep southwesterly flow alive and well, holding temps to the low 60's across the valleys, however post frontal temps are expected to drop into the low - upper 20's with some token flakes falling above 5000' before midnight. Tuesday will be dry as we wait on Gulf moisture to return to the region, which should occur sometime Tuesday late afternoon or overnight into Wednesday. Temperature and dewpoint levels Tuesday night should allow for a mixed bag of wintry precip to fall after midnight, however the timing is the crucial and since we are four plus days out we are not very confident this will materialize. Whatever falls Tuesday night into Wednesday morning will give way to a cold rain as we welcome our first moderate rain event in roughly 2.5 weeks with several inches of rain likely Wednesday into Friday morning! Temps mid - late week will sit right at or a few degrees above normal for early December (mid - upper 50's in the valleys).
Kicking off the timeline Saturday morning we will see a few light showers along the Great Balsams, Smokies, and perhaps the escarpment, but coverage will be sparse and duration short lived, ending before 9 - 10am. Elsewhere across SW NC high clouds will stream overhead as high pressure provides a steady supply of moisture but not enough to initiate shower activity. Temps will reach the low - mid 50's above 5000', while the valleys warm to the upper 60's once again, with Haywood County in particular likely only reaching the low - mid 60's in the valleys as it sits in front of the Great Balsams/Cataloochee Divide/Plott Balsams, whereas the rest of SW NC sits on the other side and is protected (mostly) from CAD events. Overnight lows settle into the low - mid 40's under mostly cloudy skies.
Clouds thicken and lower as the day moves along Sunday, holding temps to the upper 40's - low 60's depending upon elevation. Light showers are likely to develop as soon as the mid - late afternoon hours along the escarpment and Plateau, expanding in coverage slowly during the evening hours, with most of SW NC in play by sunrise. Temps bottom out to the low - upper 40's across the area, with rainfall totals around a tenth of an inch by sunrise.
Light showers pepper the region as we start the new work and school week, peaking in coverage (scattered) closer to midday and winding down throughout the afternoon hours, with the TN line and the Smokies holding onto coverage till midnight Tuesday. Temps bounce back to the low 60's across the valleys and another 0.10 - 0.15" of rain is possible throughout the day across SW NC. Token flakes will fall on the backside of the front Monday night, but no accumulations are expected with overnight lows in the low - upper 20's, alongside NW winds around 10 - 20mph.
Tuesday offers up a short lived break in the action and showers could pick up as soon as the mid - late afternoon hours, expanding in coverage overnight into Wednesday morning. There is a chance for snow and sleet to fall across the area as precip begins Tuesday evening/night, however a warm nose will eventually take over, leading to a quick round of freezing rain and then all rain as we approach sunrise Wednesday. Temps Tuesday reach the low 40's - mid 50's depending upon elevation, dropping to the low - upper 30's Tuesday night and rebounding to the low 40's - mid 50's Wednesday afternoon. Much needed rain is on the way and the models show anywhere from 2 - 4" of rain falling Tuesday night into Friday morning, most of this occurring Wednesday and Wednesday night.
We'll stop here and circle back Sunday mid morning with a better handle on the wintry precip chances and also how much rain we can expect Wed - Fri of next week. ENJOY!