Warm Wednesday; Rain & Chilly Thursday
Good morning folks! It's another warm one out there today (Tuesday) with temps hitting the low 70's across the valleys, when normally we should be in the low 60's for the first 1/3 of November. Wednesday will be even warmer, pushing temps into the mid 70's across the lower elevations as high pressure slides east, setting up a strong southwesterly flow across the region. This transition in overall flow will seed cloud development as we approach sunset on Wednesday, followed by light drizzle after midnight for the escarpment, expanding with light shower coverage as we start the day on Thursday. All of SW NC will get in on the action as the day moves along Thursday, with scattered showers becoming widespread for a few hours as the front reaches the mountain during the afternoon hours. Temps Thursday will be noticeably cooler, dropping from the mid 70's Wednesday to the upper 50's - low 60's Thursday as cooler air accompanies the front. Most of the area will pick up a half inch but the Plateau will collect an inch of rain, pushing Highlands closer to the 100" mark on the year; currently at 4.93" away as of 11/9. The front exits the region early Friday and sunshine then takes over, lasting through at least Sunday but temps will remain on the cool side of normal with highs hitting the low 60's Friday, dropping to the upper 40's - low 50's across the valleys Saturday and Sunday. The models point to a small chance of NW flow snowfall Sunday night into Monday evening, but this would only be for the usual suspects along the TN line and high elevation/NW facing ridgelines.
The timeline begins on Wednesday and if you have outdoor chores then this is your day as temps will start in the 30's across the region, eventually warming to the mid 70's by the late afternoon hours. These wild temperature swings are common during the fall months as we are treated to a dryer than normal airmass Oct and Nov. The ridgelines above 5500' will warm to the low 60's, when they normally they would be in the upper 40's. Clouds build closer to sunset and this will help cap temps to the low - upper 40's Wednesday night, with only light drizzle developing along the escarpment/SC state line.
Thursday will be a washout of sorts for the Plateau (Highlands - Cashiers - Lake Toxaway) as light - moderate rain peppers the area all day, with one inch of rain expected from Wednesday late night into Thursday evening. Elsewhere across SW NC, we'll endure scattered showers most of the day except for a 2 - 3 hour window of widespread, light - moderate showers after midday. This will lay down a half inch of rain, with central Haywood County the driest spot, only expecting 0.25 - 0.50" of rain over the 24 hour period. Temps hold to the upper 40's - upper 50's depending upon elevation , with a steady westerly wind around 5 - 15mph. Overnight lows drop to the upper 30's - mid 40's depending upon elevation, with precip ending for most of the region after midnight.
As the front clears the region before sunrise on Friday, clouds will follow suit and sunshine will take over just after sunrise, setting up a dry and comfortable end to the work and school week. Temps warm to the low 60's, which is right around normal for Cullowhee, while the highest ridgelines hold to the mid 40's, dropping sometime after midday to the 30's as cold air advection takes over post frontal. Temps bottom out to the mid 20's - mid 30's Friday night under mostly clear skies, however NW winds will likely hold steady around 10 - 15mph.
Saturday and Sunday offer up more sunshine but noticeably cooler temps and Saturday will be the cooler of the two days by a degree or two, with highs hitting the upper 40s' - low 50's Saturday and low - mid 50's Sunday. Overnight lows settle into the upper 20's - low 30's each night for the valleys, while the higher elevations above 4500' stay in the 20's each night.
We'll stop here and circle back Thursday morning, taking a deeper look into early next week and any chance for snow across the NW flow favored locations. ENJOY!