Soggy Sunday; Chilly yet Dry Monday & Tuesday
Good morning folks! Most of the region is starting out in the low - upper teens this morning (Saturday) and we'll enjoy a nice warmup to the upper 40's - mid 50's across the lower elevations, while the ridgelines above 4500' hold to the upper 30's - low 40's. Southwesterly flow increases today ahead of an approaching cold front that is scheduled to arrive Sunday afternoon. We'll enjoy sunshine today with some late day clouds building before sunset, followed by isolated showers developing during the pre dawn hours along the GA and SC state lines. Along the escarpment and Plateau freezing drizzle could occur just before dawn, so drive slow and/or stay at home before sunrise on Sunday to avoid any icy patches on roads above 4000'. Sunday brings us a healthy round of rain with most of SW NC picking up 0.75 - 1" of rain and several locations near or along the Unicoi, Snowbird, and Cowee Mountains will reach the 2.5 - 3" mark by sunrise Monday. As the front swings through the region Sunday night, a transition to NW flow will occur, allowing rain to kick over to snow for the favored locations, however accumulations will be light; 1 - 2" for the Smokies, maybe a half inch for Cataloochee Ski Area. NW flow maintains a chilly yet sunny Monday and Tuesday, with temps moderating slowly as we move through the week, going from the low - mid 40's Monday and Tuesday to the low - mid 50's Wednesday and Thursday. Showers and possibly high elevation snow returns Friday into Saturday, but we'll only mention the possibility this far out in time.
Now for some supporting details to the above timeline. Cloudy skies will start the day on Sunday and showers are likely to breakout for all of the Plateau and locations near the GA and SC state lines by 6 - 9am, however the rest of SW NC will take till midday for scattered coverage to occur. Moderate rainfall rates will occur during the afternoon hours (widespread coverage) and temps will warm to the low 50's across the valleys, with showers extending into the evening hours. Coverage winds down from widespread around 4 - 6pm to isolated by 10 - 11pm, with rain kicking over to snow after midnight for the higher elevations closer to the TN line. Overnight lows settle into the low - upper 20's depending upon elevation, with NW winds around 10 - 20mph by sunrise.
Monday will be dry but chilly with NW winds around 10 - 20mph throughout the day, alongside temps warming to the low 30's - upper 40's depending upon elevation. Temps bottom out to the low - upper teens Monday night under clear skies, with temps a touch cooler on Tuesday, only reaching the upper 20's- mid 40's depending upon elevation; under more sunshine. Overnight lows settle into the mid teens for the valleys, while the ridgelines sit in the 20's Tuesday night due to an inversion.
Wednesday and Thursday raise the thermostat a bit as temps hit the low - mid 50's, under sunny skies Wednesday and partly cloudy skies later in the day on Thursday. Showers are expected at some point in the day Friday, likely closer to sunset but this timeline is likely to change so just plan for a wet end to the week. Temps hold to the low - mid 50's Friday afternoon across the valleys.
We'll stop here and circle back on Monday, likely after midday. We should have a better handle on the Friday - Saturday rain and snow potential. ENJOY!