Sunny this Wknd; Wintry Mix Sunday Night
Good morning folks! We're off to a sunny start and we'll keep the sunshine going all day long with temps slightly below normal this afternoon, dropping off like a rock tonight under ideal radiational cooling conditions for the valleys. Sunday hits the repeat button and temps will push a handful of degrees higher than today's high temp, followed by increasing clouds during the evening hours and light precip after midnight. This round of precip looks to be a mixed bag of cold rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow with elevation being the primary driver for what type of precip you will see, however this still looks to be a light and quick hitting event, ending sometime Monday afternoon. The front pushes east of the region later in the day Monday and clearing skies take over Monday night, followed by high pressure entering the region Tuesday into Wednesday. This will setup another round of sunshine for the middle of the week and temps will run 5 - 10 degrees above normal for late February! A second system is possible Thursday but it looks to dry to produce anything substantial, mainly high clouds throughout the day. A third system moving through sometime Thursday night into Friday has caught our eye as this could bring us another round of wintry precip to the area, however we are too far out in time to discuss any details beyond mentioning the possibility.
Temps today push into the upper 40's - low 50's across the lower elevations, similar to yesterday where it reached 51°F in Cullowhee, alongside a light NW wind. Congrats to the WCU Baseball team for winning their season opener against Towson 23 - 1 yesterday afternoon! Temps tonight will plummet to the mid - upper teens across our deeper valleys due to ideal radiational cooling conditions setting up across the region; little to no wind, clear skies, very dry/low dewpoints. The higher elevations will likely bottom out to the low - mid 20's under clear skies.
Sunday keeps the fair weather train moving along with another sunny day on tap, pushing temps to the upper 30's - mid 50's depending upon elevation. A few high clouds are likely to build out of the west just before sunset as the front nears the region, however southerly flow will be the primary driver for cloud development during the evening hours. This will help cap temps to the upper 20's - mid 30's depending upon elevation and precip is likely to break out sometime after midnight, falling as a cold rain throughout the lower elevations and a mixed bag of freezing rain and sleet for the escarpment region and elevations above 3500'. For the highest elevations above 5000', this is likely to be an all snow event early Monday morning and into the early afternoon hours, with light accumulations possible (Dusting - 1").
All of this translates to a gloomy start to the work and school week with temps only warming to the mid 30's above 5000', while the valleys push into the upper 40's. Precip ends by the early afternoon hours and clouds begin to clear overnight into Tuesday, allowing temps to settle into the low - upper 20's depending upon elevation.
Tuesday and Wednesday will be almost spring like as temps push into the mid 40's - upper 50's Tuesday and upper 40's - low 60's Wednesday, both under sunny skies! The normal high for a late February day across the lower elevations is 52°F, so this is not too far off from normal but after this recent stretch of wet and cold weather, this will have all of us yearning for spring and the warmer weather months.
We'll stop here to avoid talking about the Thur - Fri timeframe as there are many details to iron out but the possibility is there for some wintry precip later in the week and we'll circle back on Monday with a detailed look at the end of the week. ENJOY the sunshine this weekend!