Washout Thur PM; Gloomy Fri & Sat
Good morning folks! Temps soared to the low 60's yesterday which was a nice treat and this will carry over into today with temps once again returning to the upper 50's - low 60's across the valleys. Sunshine will take over for the fogged filled valleys this morning and clouds will be slow to increase as we move through the day, however partly - mostly cloudy skies are likely just before or shortly after sunset. Temps tonight settle into the low - upper 40's across the region as clouds fill in during the evening hours , followed by isolated showers and drizzle sometime around midnight, carrying over into the morning hours.
Thursday and Friday combined will bring us anywhere from 1.75" - 2.5" of rain depending upon location, which is an increase from yesterday's update by a half inch. The highest amounts will be found across the southwestern most counties such as Cherokee, Clay, and Graham counties, coupled with a second max location across the Southern Highlands Plateau (Highlands - Cashiers - Lake Toxaway). The bulk of the rain is expected to fall from the late afternoon hours on Thursday into the pre dawn hours on Friday, however isolated showers and drizzle will be well underway as we start the day on Thursday. I view our lack of Cold Air Damming impacts during most CAD events to be a blessing as we don't have deal with as many freezing rain threats or cold, 34°F rain like our neighbors in the French Broad Valley or NW NC mountains do so many times each winter. This being said we should luck out on Thursday with temps pushing to the mid 40's - low 50's depending upon elevation thanks to southwest flow aloft but also the terrain influence from the Great Balsams and escarpment, which act as a wall of sorts to delay or sometimes block the northeasterly low level/surface flow. Shower coverage ramps up Thursday afternoon and intensities increase overnight into Friday, with overnight lows settling into the low - mid 40's across SW NC.
Friday starts the day off with widespread coverage scaling back to scattered coverage before lunch and perhaps scaling back further to isolated showers and drizzle during the early - late afternoon hours. Temps will not move much from their overnight lows, only warming to the mid - upper 40's across the region, setting the stage for a pretty gloomy end to the work and school week. A second round of precip swings through Friday late in the day, ramping up to near widespread coverage by the late evening hours and scaling back to scattered light showers by sunrise on Saturday. Temps should remain above freezing across the entire SW NC landscape as they bottom out to the mid - upper 30's, while our neighbors further north and east deal with a threat of freezing rain.
Saturday will not provide much improvement, if any, as temps once again are held to the mid - upper 40's across under mostly cloudy skies with scattered light showers peppering the region all day, winding down sometime during the pre dawn hours on Sunday; overnight lows settle back into the mid - upper 30's.
Confidence begins to wane as we enter the Sunday - Tuesday timeframe so I'll provide an overarching look at the forecast until our next discussion on Friday. As of this morning it seems Sunday will be dry with passing high clouds and temps continuing to hold to the upper 30's - mid 40's for an afternoon high. The main reason for our uncertainty is the influence of the arctic airmass (yes, the one we mentioned 1.5 weeks ago) and whether or not it will enter our neck of the woods or remain bottled up to our west. Because of this influence there is a possibility for wintry precip Monday and Tuesday but as of this morning it seems to only be for the highest elevations. This could change of course so I will stop here to not go any further down the rabbit hole and circle back Friday morning with a much better handle on specifics. Stay dry out there!