Showers Return; Muggy Wed - Sun
Good morning folks! The extra 24 hours was all that was needed as we now have better confidence in the latter part of the work week and upcoming weekend. We're not expecting a washout but shower activity will ramp up beginning Wednesday and hold steady through the weekend. We'll transition from southerly to southeasterly flow over the next several days as remnants of Nicholas swing across the Southeast, in tandem with a developing tropical system off the Carolina coast. A cold front approaches the region from the west on Wednesday, stalling and taking till the end of the week to cross the area. All of this combined sets the table for daily scattered showers and thunderstorms Wednesday through Sunday. Rainfall totals will be light, in the 0.50 - 2" range Wednesday into Sunday across SW NC, with the highest totals occurring along the Highlands Plateau. One silver lining to this uptick in moisture levels and shower activity is that temps will hold steady to the upper 70's - low 80's each afternoon, while our neighbors across N GA, the Upstate, and the Piedmont climb to the mid - upper 80's. For the higher elevations, this is likely to not impact the timing of the color season but it may keep colors subdued as we enter the cooler weeks ahead (pulling this from WCU Dr. Beverly Collin's Leaf Forecast). Currently there are no freezing temps in the forecast for the next 7 - 9 days, at any elevation.
We'll start the timeline on Wednesday as moisture levels continue to increase across the Southeast, due to a strong fetch of moisture off the Gulf. We'll notice muggy conditions all day and clouds will thicken after midday, followed by scattered showers and thunderstorms that will spill over into the evening hours. The Highlands Plateau will start the day with shower activity, whereas the interior portions of SW NC, in particular Haywood County, will take a bit longer for shower activity to begin. Temps warm to the upper 70's - low 80's across the valleys, while the highest ridgelines above 5500' hold to the mid 60's. Overnight lows will not move much at all, dropping to the mid 50's - low 60's depending upon elevation. Scattered shower activity will continue through the night, although intensities will be lighter.
Thursday and Friday offer up a bit more cloud cover and temps will be a degree or two cooler than Wednesday, but shower coverage remains the same, with a slight uptick in thunderstorm activity on Thursday. Overall flow shifts from the south to the southeast and this will keep the Highlands Plateau, all of Transylvania County, and the southern end of the Great Balsams under a steady stream of shower development, however intensities should remain light - moderate.
The weekend maintains daily scattered shower coverage but some dry air does work its way into the Southeast as both the remnants of Nicholas and the tropical system off the coast leave the region. I am not saying it will be fall like or even more comfortable outside, but we should see a mixed bag of sun and clouds as opposed to mostly cloudy skies like on Thursday and Friday. As sun pokes through the high cloud cover, this will help fire up scattered showers and we'll play this back and forth game both days, possibly clearing out by early next week. Temps hold to the upper 70's - low 80's across the valleys and if you have plans to drive the Parkway, temps will only reach the upper 60's above 5500'.
We'll stop here and circle back late Thursday morning, closer to noon. We have an exciting announcement coming soon and hope to have everything lined up by Thursday. ENJOY!