Two Small Windows of Rain; Mon & Wed
Good morning folks! We have new season low, this time from Mt LeConte with a low of 36°F, occurring early Saturday (9/4) morning! Last time they dipped into the 30's was late June. We are halfway through the holiday weekend and we still expect a round of rain to move through the region Sunday evening, ending sometime Monday late morning as a weak front passes through the region. Tuesday brings about a shift from westerly flow to southerly flow and this will initiate a handful of showers after midday, but nothing to alter your outdoor plans. A second front swings through Wednesday morning, exiting later in the day and this should bring us a slightly higher shower coverage compared to the Sunday PM - Monday AM timeframe. After this front swings through sunshine will return on Thursday, with confidence a bit lower for Friday and Saturday. Most of the models keep a low pressure system that forms in the Gulf to our south and east, however some models bring it north and into our neck of the woods. For now, we are leaning towards a dry end to the week and weekend, with cooler but average temps for early September, however this may change so be sure to keep an eye on the forecast if you have outside plans for the 9/10 weekend.
We'll kick off the timeline on Labor Day (Monday) and for those heading home or simply starting your day around town, you'll wake up to isolated showers and partly sunny skies. Eventually cloud cover will lessen and more sunshine will poke through as we approach midday, however this will only lead to isolated thunderstorms shortly after midday, ending by the mid afternoon hours. Most of the region will pick up a light shower from Sunday evening to midday Monday, but rainfall totals should remain under a tenth of an inch. Temps Monday hit the upper 60's - low 80's depending upon elevation and settle into the mid 50's - low 60's Monday night under partly cloudy skies.
Southerly flow takes over Tuesday as high pressure inserts itself into the picture, although this will be temporary as a front approaches from the NW, arriving Wednesday morning. Pop up showers alongside mostly sunny - partly cloudy skies will make up the action on Tuesday and temps will respond to the increase in southerly flow and upper level height rises, pushing into the mid 80's across the valleys (touching the low 70's above 5000'). Overnight lows settle back into the mid 50's - low 60's, alongside some valley fog after midnight.
Wednesday will be our wettest day of the week but this is a misleading fact as most of the action will center around a handful of moderate showers that will result in rainfall totals around a 0.25", but coverage will be spotty and some folks will not pick up a drop. Temps once again push into the mid 80's but cool down nicely overnight into Thursday after the front exits the region, with overnight lows in the low - upper 50's under mostly clear skies.
Thursday through Saturday remains dry in the forecast for the time being and we hope to put a stamp of confidence on this timeframe when we circle back Tuesday morning. The NWS is also leaning in this direction so go ahead and make or keep those outdoor plans for the latter half of next week and weekend. Temps will feel a touch cooler with afternoon highs in the upper 70's - low 80's across the valleys, coupled with a drier airmass (always nice to not to deal with muggy conditions). Overnight lows dip back into the upper 40's above 4500' each night, while the valleys settle into the mid 50's. The real winners will be locations above 5000' with daily high temps struggling to climb past the low - mid 60's Thursday through Saturday! Its still early but we are only two weeks away from the color change season starting above 5000', with an expected peak date for color above 5500' the 1st week of October.
If you haven't looked it over, WCU's very own Dr. Beverly Collins released the annual fall foliage forecast and you can read it here.
We'll stop here and circle back on Tuesday morning, around 10:30am, with a more confident outlook for the latter half of the work week and weekend. ENJOY!