Cashiers / Highlands

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Forecast Discussion

Summary

SYNOPSIS

... Continued threat of scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms late this afternoon into tonight as a relatively dry cold front passes through with much cooler and drier air behind it to wrap up the work week. Unsettled weather may return this weekend as better moisture pushes in Friday night.

NEAR TERM /THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 2 pm EDT Wednesday: Mid-level cloudiness continues to spill into the region ahead of a shortwave crossing central Tennessee. Enough insolation has occurred east of the wave and deeper moisture to permit many locations to reach the lower 80s this afternoon, and this is yielding some modest sbCAPE values of 500+ in Piedmont areas. However, the main limiting factor for deep convection with the approaching forcing remains the relatively high LFCs given developing mixing east of the mountains. Plus, the deeper moisture will trail the wave and associated surface cold front this evening. Yet, steep 850 to 500 mb lapse rates are indicated aloft with the trough passage. The best overlap of instability, forcing, and moisture appears to occur along and N of I-40 late this afternoon and this evening, and this is where thunder will be mentioned and any risk of gusty winds with deep convection would exist. The better strong storm potential will arise farther northeast tonight.

Most of the shower activity with the passing upper wave will move east of the forecast area by midnight tonight. However, lower-level moisture will increase post-fropa, with residual westerly flow upslope showers likely near the spine of the southern Appalachians overnight. After some morning lingering clouds, post-fropa drying will work in from the west on Thursday. Despite modest downslope flow east of the mountains, temperatures should be about 10 degrees cooler Thursday afternoon given the falling thicknesses with the fropa. Expect breezy conditions with mixing as well.

SHORT TERM /THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY/... As of 215 PM Wednesday: Canadian high pressure builds in behind the departing FROPA Thursday night into Friday leading to drier weather across the region while a low pressure system to our north tracks east across the northeastern CONUS. Breezy winds will continue Thursday evening into the overnight hours with the highest gusts occurring in the mountains. Patchy frost remains possible across the NC mtns early Friday morning due to lows dropping into the mid to upper 30s. Some locations could see slighty lower temps ranging from the upper 20s to lower 30s. It is important to note that low dewpoints along with increasing cloud cover and breezy winds could limit frost formation. Lows elsewhere Friday morning should range from the upper 30s to mid 40s. The main story for Friday will be concerns for fire wx as RH values in most locations will be in the mid to upper 20s. Winds should remain fairly breezy Friday morning, however they should gradually relax throughout the day. High temps Friday should be a few degrees below climatology.

Saturday a warm front will be over the Florida panhandle while an area of low pressure tracks eastward across the Midwest. These two systems will interact with each other leading to an increase in rain chances across the forecast area. Both instability and moisture look limited again with this event. Models are not in good agreement in regards to the overall coverage of rain across the CWA; However, the majority of models show PoPs occurring over the region with the exception of the Canadian which looks to be the outlier. Highs on Saturday will be roughly 6 to 8 degrees below climatology.

LONG TERM /SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY/... As of 2pm EDT Wednesday: Extended forecast is mostly dry and a little on the cool side for this time of year. Broad long wave upper pattern has a mean trough over the Eastern CONUS Saturday night that generally deepens through mid-week, interrupted by occasional embedded shortwaves and associated weak frontal passages. Moisture never recovers very much and chances for any significant precipitation are low. Best chances for rain appears to be Sunday or Monday (depending on which model is consulted) as a fairly potent shortwave crosses the Southern Appalachia, with little moisture to work with, and no convective instability. Winds will generally be light through the extended as well, and more generally light northerly to northwesterly.

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