Wet Weather Settles in Saturday
Good afternoon folks! The models are starting to come around in regards to Delta's eventual track after it makes landfall along the Gulf Coast Friday. It looks like our region will be spared the heaviest of the rain as Delta's remnants are forecasted to track west of the mountains, but we'll still pick up a decent amount as southeasterly flow keep moisture pumping into SW NC. Rainfall amounts as of mid afternoon Wednesday show a highly variable setup with as low as a half inch for locations close to the TN line, upwards of 2 - 3" along the escarpment. We'll enjoy two more days of dry weather Thursday and Friday and shower activity should begin late Friday evening, taking till the afternoon hours on Saturday to really ramp up. As Delta tracks further northeast on Sunday we'll notice a drop in coverage and intensities, with scattered shower chances continuing into Monday but this is due to a continual moist flow across the region. A front is showing up on the models for Tuesday of next week and it seems once it passes through we'll find ourselves in a drier, cooler setup that will feel more like fall. Speaking of fall, peak color is just beginning to unfold above 5000' and although this weekend is a dud for leaf peeping, all of next week should be prime time for those watching the weather to make travel plans.
Thursday and Friday will be similar enough to lump together and temps should be the only difference between the two days, with above average temps on Thursday (near 80°F in the valleys), dropping to the low 70's on Friday. This drop in temps is due to an uptick in cloud cover that should begin Thursday evening (mostly sunny all day) and really fill in as the day moves along Friday. High clouds stream in Thursday night capping temps to the low - upper 50's and light showers will break out overnight into Saturday, holding temps to the mid - upper 50's.
Saturday will not be the washout we feared earlier in the week but it will not be a pleasant day either, as scattered light - moderate showers stream across the region throughout the day. The heaviest rates and highest coverage will be across the Southern Highlands Plateau and along the Great Balsams, with an inch possible for the day whereas other locations across SW NC scrape by with a quarter - half inch. Overnight into Sunday we'll pick up another quarter - half inch for most of SW NC and 1 - 1.5" if possible for the escarpment area before sunrise. Coverage wanes on Sunday and temps will go from the upper 50's - upper 60's Saturday to the low 60's - low 70's Sunday in response.
Scattered showers pepper the region Monday and a frontal passage Tuesday will usher cooler, drier air into the region for the middle of next week. If you are making plans to visit the area to see peak colors, we recommend penciling Wed (14th) - Sun (17th) into your calendar.
We'll stop here and circle back on Friday with a better breakdown of forecasted rain totals for this weekend and also a fine tuning for timing of the frontal passage next week.