Two Lives Lost; Devastation in Cruso
Good morning folks! The footage from Cruso, Bethel, and Canton is devastating and we continue to steer folks to the growing list of organizations that are leading the the cleanup effort through monetary donations but also volunteer sign ups for home care and debris removal. Smoky Mountain News and The Mountaineer continue to provide the best coverage and have compiled a detailed list of ways you can help those impacted, some who have lost everything. The worst news from this event is the loss of two lives and numerous still missing, with a count of 17 unaccounted for as of 8am Friday morning. State and local officials have closed off 276 and 215 to locals only and stress this will be a long duration search/rescue and cleanup. This will certainly go down as one of the most, if not the most, destructive flood for southern Haywood County and we will provide updates to the search/rescue and cleanup efforts as they come along, but be sure to our local news outlets and local leaders for the latest announcements.
We'll continue to experience pop up showers and thunderstorms today (Friday) but this trend will come to an end this weekend as high pressure begins to influence the region, resulting in more sunshine than cloud cover, especially Sunday. Dry-ish and sunny weather will roll into Monday, however the high pressure system off the Southeast coast will migrate closer by Tuesday, setting up a healthy fetch of moisture off the Atlantic and this will bring back excessive moisture levels (tropical mugginess). We expect pop up showers and thunderstorms to return by Tuesday but not enough to knock down the increasing temperature trend, as temps hit the upper 80's, near 90°F in the more paved downtown areas. Moisture and southerly flow will win out by Wednesday and a healthy mix of clouds and sun, coupled with afternoon showers will be our new setup moving into the latter half of next week. The models show a possibly tropical disturbance impacting the region late next week, but even if it this does not pan out, the overall setup will lead to scattered - widespread showers Thursday and Friday. Past Thursday our confidence drops.
Temps today (Friday) will push into the low 80's across the valleys as we deal with a mixed bag of sun and clouds today, alongside a handful of pop up thunderstorms by the early afternoon hours. NW flow aloft will begin to take over late tonight and temps will settle into the mid 50's - low 60's depending upon elevation, with patchy valley fog by the pre dawn hours. So far this month we have seen 12 out of 20 mornings with fog in the valleys.
Saturday and Sunday are shaping up to be a hot but gorgeous weekend as sunshine dominates the forecast, however this is still SW NC, so we can't say it will be completely dry as we still expect isolated showers to develop along the highest (5000') ridgelines. Temps soar to the upper 80's each afternoon, likely hitting 90°F on Sunday in downtown Franklin, Sylva, and Bryson City. If you need to escape the heat there is always the Parkway but be sure to check out the closure map as parts of the southern section remain closed due to cleanup efforts. Overnight lows will settle into the mid 50's - low 60's each night under partly cloudy skies.
Monday keeps the sunshine train rolling along and this should extend into Tuesday, but there will be a noticeable difference in moisture levels Sunday into Tuesday, going from pleasant to gross over the 3 day period. This is due to NW flow switching over to southerly flow as the high pressure system inches closer to the Southeast coastline. Both days should be perfect water days with above normal temps and ample sunshine. Although it will be sunny on Tuesday, we do expect an uptick of shower development along the highest ridgelines, but not enough to cancel lake or river plans.
Scattered showers return Wednesday and its possible coverage increases to widespread by Thursday. One silver lining from the uptick in shower coverage will be cooler temps as they return to the mid 80's by week's end. We'll stop here and circle back on Sunday with a better look at the end of the work and school week.