Cashiers / Highlands

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Forecast Discussion



... Pleasant weather conditions are expected through the weekend as high pressure sets up over the region. The high shifts to our east, setting up warmer weather next week with a gradual increase in rain chances, mainly across portions of western North Carolina.

NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 630 am: Moisture trapped beneath an inversion based at around 10 kft is resulting in considerable mid-level cloudiness across roughly the southern half of the forecast area. This should gradually erode through the morning, especially after sunrise, giving way to mostly sunny conditions during the afternoon. In the interim, patchy low stratus and/or fog...locally dense has developed across the mtn valleys, but coverage should remain limited in light of the persistent cloud cover and imminent sunrise. Otherwise, max temps will be a couple of degrees warmer than Friday in most locations, but this will still fall at least a couple of degrees short of climo. A weak short wave trough approaching the region late tonight within fast W/NW flow aloft could wring out a shower or two, mainly across the northern NC mountains, where a slight chance pops is advertised after midnight. With some degree of cloud cover expected, and increasing dewpoints, min temps should be very close to climo.

SHORT TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/... As of 200 AM EDT Saturday: Incoming height rises will work into the CFWA by the second half of the weekend, with embedded shortwave impulses diving in from the northwest, ahead of a shortwave ridge moving in from the west. Model guidance show a low pressure system developing over the southern and central Plains on Sunday and drapes a warm front across the OH Valley. The frontal zone could kick-off a few showers, mainly north of I-40 on Sunday. The frontal zone will look to pivot from the northeast over the OH Valley through the short-term as the sfc low continues to push across the central Plains, which will help keep the CFWA in a weak WAA regime underneath the shortwave ridge as the axis of it enters the region Monday night into Tuesday. At the same time, the sfc high that has lingered over the OH Valley and mid-Atlantic and has been the epicenter for the weather we have experienced over the past couple of days will gradually shift offshore over the weekend and should bring a relatively weak return flow by the early part of next week. In this type of setup, diurnally driven activity will be in store on Monday and should continue into the extended forecast period. Most of any activity that does develop should stay confined to the northern zones and higher elevations, but can't rule out a few isolated showers and thunderstorms escaping into the piedmont. Temperatures will surge back to near-normal values on Sunday as heights continue to recover and a southerly component builds in the low-levels. Most areas outside of the mountains should reach into the low 80s on Monday as the pattern continues a warming trend, with the major mountain valleys topping out in the mid to upper 70s for highs.

LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... As of 230 AM EDT Saturday: As the sfc high gradually pushes offshore, a weak wedge-like feature develops over the CFWA Tuesday into Wednesday, but with a subtropical ridge developing over the eastern CONUS, this feature will be short-lived. Either way, model guidance continue to develop diurnally driven showers and thunderstorms in this pattern as modest instability will be available each afternoon/evening through the middle part of next week. Pulse-like activity will be the likely convective mode in this scenario, especially with orographical procedures entering the equation to allow for anything that develops to become isolated to scattered in terms of overall coverage Tuesday and Wednesday. Temperatures will be near-normal Tuesday and Wednesday as most locations will be in the upper 70s to low 80s for highs both days.

Global models are in better consensus with developing a 590+ dm upper high centered over the Carolinas and will push even more heat/humidity into the CFWA starting Thursday of next week through the end of the forecast period. Broad sfc high will continue to slowly push further offshore and will keep a S/SE-ly low-level component in the area during the same time frame and transitions into a more typical Bermuda high. Diurnal activity can't be ruled out during the second half of the medium range, but with fairly strong subsidence aloft, development will likely become capped in this environment. This will lead to a drier forecast starting Thursday of next week and beyond, with only chance PoPs in the forecast at this time. Temperatures are expected to soar into the mid to upper 80s across much of the CFWA as the pattern amplifies due to the formation of the strong deep-layer ridging over the eastern CONUS.