Washout Wed PM - Thur AM; Dry Friday
Quick Update: March 17, 2021 (10:20am)
The threat for severe weather Thursday morning has not waned and the window for severe weather will occur from 8am - 11am across our region. We do not expect any tornadic activity but the threat for high winds and hail remains. If you are able, check the radar before leaving the house or your local media outlets to ensure all is safe before heading out the door. In addition to high winds and hail, heavy downpours are likely for the handful of strong to severe storms that traverse the region before the late morning hours. For those who have family in the Piedmont, be sure to reach out and let them know they are located in a much higher risk environment, where tornadoes are likely and to follow up with their local weather outlets for more details.
Original Discussion March 16, 2021 (10:50am):
Good morning folks! The models did not capture this heavy round of rain we're experiencing the morning and this shot rainfall totals past our forecasted half inch, with all of SW NC above the one inch mark and several sites in and nearby Unaka and Andrews hitting the two inch threshold! Botched rainfall forecast aside, we'll see shower coverage gradually winding down as the day moves along, with most of the area dry by the early evening hours and all precip ending before midnight. Wednesday brings warmth back to the region as southerly flow increases ahead of the approaching cold front, with showers breaking out by the early - mid afternoon hours, becoming widespread overnight into Thursday. Interesting note from yesterday (as we mention warmer temps), SW NC was the warmest part of the state with temps in the 60's across Graham and Cherokee counties, with no other site in the 60's and although its hard to believe, it was in the 40's along the coast! Back to the forecast, we'll continue to experience widespread showers Thursday morning and a handful of severe storms are now a possibility before midday, with coverage winding down from widespread to isolated by the mid afternoon hours. Friday is shaping up to be a dry day and the battle between cloud cover and sunshine will begin around midday, with sunny skies a possibility by the late afternoon hours. The weekend also will be dry as high pressure affects the area and temps will be comfortable but not warm as they flirt with the upper 50's - low 60's all weekend. Taking a peek into early next week and it seems dry weather will linger into Monday and Tuesday, with temps gradually warming back to the mid - upper 60's.
We'll endure another day of wet, cloudy, and cooler weather today (Tuesday) with temps holding to near normal levels as they warm to the upper 50's - low 60's across the lower elevations. Showers end this afternoon and fog develops tonight, with temps dipping into the low - upper 40's across the region.
As the front approaches from the west on Wednesday, southerly flow will pick up across the region and bring temps back into the mid 60's for the lower elevations, even with cloudy skies overhead the entire day. Showers begin to develop as soon as the late morning hours (isolated coverage), but really will hold off till the mid afternoon hours, becoming widespread by the early - mid evening hours. Another inch of rain is a good bet for all of SW NC from the morning hours on Wednesday to sunrise on Thursday. Overnight lows settle into the upper 40's - mid 50's across the area.
Thursday starts off much like today with widespread showers continuing across the region and we'll pick up another 0.75 - 1.5" of rain from Thursday morning to sunrise on Friday. The higher range in totals is there because some locations will experience strong to severe storms and this will be more than enough to add a half inch or more to the widespread totals we'll pick up from the morning round. Showers begin to wane as we enter the afternoon hours, dropping from widespread to isolated around 3 - 5pm. Temps will soar to above normal levels, hitting the upper 50's along the ridgelines, while the valleys push into the low 70's; normal for mid March is the low 60's in Cullowhee. Overnight lows drop into the 30's for the first time in a week, with temps settling into the upper 30's above 4000', holding to the low - mid 40's across the valleys.
Friday through Sunday will be dry and the only difference among the three day period will be that Friday keeps some high clouds overhead before the early afternoon hours. This will help cap temps to the mid 40's - upper 50's depending upon elevation on Friday and we'll warm to the low 60's both Saturday and Sunday across the lower elevations. Sunshine is on tap for both Saturday and Sunday, with overnight lows settling back into the upper 20's - mid 30's each night beginning Friday night.
We'll stop here and circle back Thursday morning with a new discussion. If the severe weather threats warrants an update before then, we'll post a new discussion Wednesday afternoon, but for now the threat remains slightly elevated with a handful of severe storms possible late Thursday morning.