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Showers & Cooler Fri; Cloudy & Warm this Wknd

Good morning folks! It's been tough staying cooped up and inside at work yesterday and today, while we have spring-like weather playing out across the Southeast, but it also means I can open wide the windows and give the air unit a break. We'll enjoy a very warm afternoon today under sunny skies and a weak front approaches the region late tonight, crossing the area Thursday with little to no precip; high clouds build closer to sunset. This front becomes stalled across the region Thursday evening, while at the same time a disturbance approaches our region from the southwest. We expect light precip to break out across the region early Friday morning, falling as snow/sleet for several hours across the highest elevations (5000'), while a cold rain plays out across the valleys. Shower activity winds down Friday night and although shower coverage scales back to isolated on Saturday, mostly cloudy skies are likely to linger across the region throughout the day. Shower coverage increases late in the day on Sunday and a regionwide event is likely Sunday night into Tuesday morning with manageable totals (0.75 - 1.5"), nothing major, just a prolonged stretch of rain (again). One silver lining to all of this rain is that temps will be warmer than normal Saturday through Tuesday (Friday is a touch below).

Temps return to the mid - upper 60's across the lower elevations this afternoon, while the highest ridgelines above 5800' flirt with the upper 40's, all under sunny skies. Temps tonight settle into the low - upper 30's depending upon elevation and there is a very slight chance for a snow shower or two across the higher elevations above 6000', but for the most part it will be a dry night with a few clouds passing overhead.

Thursday will start off under mostly sunny skies, with clouds developing closer to the evening hours, becoming mostly cloudy before midnight. Temps remain warm on Thursday, pushing to the upper 40's - mid 60's once again. Isolated showers will develop after midnight and with temps dipping to the low - upper 30's depending upon elevation, a mix of sleet and snow is likely above 5000', while a cold rain falls across the lower elevations.

Wintry precip should kick over to rain around midday on Friday, but not before light accumulations of an inch of wet snow falls across the highest ridgelines. Coverage increases to scattered by the mid morning hours and widespread by the early - mid afternoon hours during the peak of the event. Even though the Cold Air Damming influence will be weak across our region (thank you Great Balsams), temps will still be held to the low 40's - low 50's depending upon elevation, setting up a gloomy end to the work and school week. Rainfall totals will reach 0.75" for all of SW NC and good portion of the region will pick up around 1.25", while the Southern Highlands Plateau and along the escarpment make a run at the 2" mark (ending Saturday morning). Shower coverage winds down Friday evening to isolated coverage and temps bottom out to the upper 30's - low 40's across the area.

Saturday and Sunday are not a wash at this point and we expect that you can easily and comfortably get out and about to your favorite trail or do some yardwork, but it will not be sunny and perfect like last weekend. Mostly cloudy skies and a light shower or two will make up the forecast for Saturday, while Sunday features continued cloudiness and shower coverage expanding to scattered by the late afternoon - early evening hours. Temps both days will be above normal, pushing to the upper 40's - mid 60's depending upon elevation. Overnight lows settle into the mid 40's - low 50's each night. As of right now rainfall totals for the weekend, starting Saturday morning and ending Sunday evening, should amount to roughly 0.25 - 0.50" depending upon location.

Shower coverage holds steady Sunday night into Monday, possibly not ending till Tuesday morning with a few breaks in the action over the 36 hour period. The bulk of the heavy rain will be off to our west in the TN valley, however SW NC is still in play for an inch or more of rain Sunday night into Tuesday morning and this time the highest amounts will be along the TN line as opposed to the SC state line. Temps Monday and Tuesday hold steady to the upper 50's - low 60's for the lower elevations.

We'll stop here and circle back Friday morning with a better look at the weekend and early next week rain event.

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