Wolf Laurel / Wolf Ridge / Mars Hill

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Wolf Laurel, NC

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Forecast Discussion

Summary

SYNOPSIS

... Afternoon temperatures will remain well above normal through the weekend. Scattered mainly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms are expected on Saturday. A cold front approaching the area Sunday and Monday will bring better chances for showers and storms, with cooler weather on Tuesday. The weather is expected to remain active through late next week.

NEAR TERM /THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/... As of 1015 PM EDT Thursday: The CWA is free of all convective activity except for one strong thunderstorm currently moving east over Davie County, NC. This storm should move east of our fcst area over the next hour or so, with no additional activity expected after that. Conditions should remain mostly calm overnight and into the morning with winds remaining light with some sites likely going calm. Patchy mtn valley fog will probably develop again overnight, but shouldn't become widespread and should burn off pretty quickly with daytime heating. Low temps should bottom out about a category above normal. Otherwise, upper-level ridging will continue to build over the region thru the near-term period as broad sfc ridging remains anchored well to our east out over the Atlantic. Dry wx is expected thru the near- term period with winds remaining SLY to SWLY. Another round of low- end gusts in the 15 to 20kt range is expected on Friday. Increasing thickness values and abundant sunshine will allow temps to climb even higher for Friday. Most of the latest guidance still has highs near 90 degrees over the mtn valleys and mid 90s elsewhere. These values could challenge daily record highs, especially at CLT.

SHORT TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 200 pm Thursday: Quiet weather is expected to persist over the area through Fri night and much of Saturday. However, as the upper ridge axis shifts north of the area, and a weak disturbance and associated moisture approach the area from northern Florida, the convective potential is expected to increase late Sat afternoon into the evening, warranting 50-60 PoPs across much of the CWA.

As a short wave trough lifts from the central/northern Great Plains, to the Great Lakes, then finally into Canada Sat night through Sunday, an associated frontal boundary will approach the southern Appalachians by the end of Sunday. However, the trend is model guidance has been to slow down this feature, and it's therefore becoming increasingly questionable as to what impact the boundary will have on the convective picture Sunday afternoon/evening. PoPs have therefore been scaled back a bit from the previous forecast, but at least moderate instability and terrain effects should support at least scattered diurnal convection across much of the area Sunday, with the additional potential for pre-frontal convection to wander into the NC mountains by the end of the day.

Although instability is expected to be quite robust both Sat and Sunday afternoon/evening, deep layer shear is expected to be modest at best. Any severe convective potential should be limited to the pulse end of the spectrum. The potential for locally heavy rainfall will certainly be on the table, but the excessive rainfall threat will be limited by the very dry antecedent conditions. Temps are expected to remain around 10 degrees above climo through the period.

LONG TERM /SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 215 pm Thu: The extended period forecast is rather muddy, especially beyond Monday with the evolution of a frontal zone expected to impact the area early in the period being the primary source of uncertainty. The latest GFS continues to depict more of a clean frontal passage and drying through our forecast area in the Mon night/early Tue time frame, while the ECMWF features more of a stalled frontal zone and continued unsettled and convectively active period through the middle of next week. In light of the inherent uncertainty and for the sake of consistency, we've largely leaned on the ECMWF scenario for our forecast, advertising solid chance PoPs for mainly diurnal convection each afternoon/evening Tue through Thu. Prior to that, the introduction of the frontal zone into the picture warrants likely PoPs across the entire area Monday afternoon/ evening. With the increase in clouds, moisture, and convective coverage, along with some potential for in situ cold air damming in the Mon/Tue time frame, max temps should settle to around, or even a little below normal, and min temps are expected to be at least 5 degrees above climo through the period.

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