Soggy Weekend; Dry Work Week
Good morning folks! Congratulations to those graduating from WCU this weekend and although the weather is not ideal, we hope you and your family/friends have a wonderful time celebrating. Shower activity since Friday night has dropped a wide swath of 0.25 - 0.60" of rain across SW NC, with a few isolated pockets north of 0.75". Cullowhee is leading the day at 0.96" as of 9am (24 hr total). The setup remains ideal for scattered shower activity across the region today (Saturday), continuing through the night and into Sunday morning. The front will eventually move east late Sunday morning and clearing skies will take over, alongside strong westerly winds around 10 - 30mph. Northwest flow takes over by Monday morning and we'll continue to experience sunny skies with temps this go around around normal for mid December; low 50's across the valleys. Tuesday through the end of next week remains sunny as we sit too far away from the main event, a low pressure system that will develop along the Gulf coast, eventually moving across the SC coastline. There isn't much hope for this to trend northwest, but we'll take this current window of rain and keep an eye out for our next round, which may not happen till after Christmas Day.
Kicking off the timeline Sunday morning we'll wake up to light showers peppering the region, winding down as we approach midday. Cloud cover will exit shortly after the rain ends and westerly winds begin to pick up from the early - mid afternoon hours. Temps will vary quite a bit on your location and elevation as the TN line area above 4500' will only make it to the upper 30's - low 40's, with a high occurring before noon and temps dropping the remainder of the afternoon. Whereas the Plateau and southern portions of Macon, Jackson, and Haywood counties, they will experience a normal diurnal swing with temps hitting the upper 40's - low 50's. Temps overnight drop to the low - upper 20's depending upon elevation, alongside NW winds around 10 - 20mph above 3500'; clear skies overhead.
Monday through Friday will be dry and sunny for most of the region, with partly cloudy skies developing Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons along the escarpment and larger ranges like the Smokies, Great Balsams, etc. Temps will be near normal Monday, climbing to the upper 30's - low 40's above 5000', while the valleys warm to the low - mid 50's. Tuesday into Friday features a gradual uptick in afternoon high temps, reaching the upper 50's - low 60's by Friday across the lower elevations; mid - upper 40's above 5000'. We'll experience a few more temperature inversions this upcoming week, likely occurring Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. The valleys may bottom out to the mid 20's, while the ridgelines settle into the mid - upper 30's. This is the range we called for this past week and ended up seeing a 25° inversion setup two mornings in a row, so take our call with a grain of salt.
We'll stop here and circle back Monday morning, closer to noon. Enjoy the weekend!