Good afternoon Foothills Weather Nation. We have a bit to cover, so let's get into it.
Update on Alberto:
Alberto has already begun to make impact on the Florida panhandle coastline this morning and is moving quickly along it's track. As of 2pm we have our subtropical storm with sustained winds of 50 mph, and while we may see some fluctuation of these winds we don't anticipate it ever getting into the hurricane category as it's already in the process of making landfall.
What does this mean for the Foothills?
Right now we know for certain that Alberto's energy and moisture will be reaching our area starting as early as Monday with a pop again around Wednesday. If you have been keeping up with the tracks with us then you may have noticed that Alberto's potential track has made a little easterly shift. Noting this pattern reminds us a bit of what Hurricane Nate brought to the area. What's different between this and Nate is that Nate was a hurricane and therefore bigger, had a lot more moisture, and of course had a lot more energy. Where this might not matter as much is that we have already had some pretty big rain events recently that has waterlogged and loosened quite a bit of the soils.
The National Weather Service of GSP has issued this Public Information Statement this morning:
At this point we aren't trying to make any unnecessary claims or concerns, but we do feel that for this calendar week we need to express additional caution for travelling conditions and for any property owners who may have had any significant impacts during this last week. We will be watching things closely during this time and be sending out all of the updates we can through our social media and push notifications.
The Week Ahead
Near term forecast (Today-Tonight )
So far today we've been bouncing back and forth with overcast and mostly cloudy conditions with a few showers creeping up into Rutherford, Cleveland, McDowell, and Burke counties. Precipitation probabilities will be climbing as the hours pass today. Currently we believe to see accumulation around a tenth to a quarter of an inch with potentially higher localized values. The earlier part of the pm hours could produce some lightning, but that should be the extent of the severity at this time. Diurnal high and low will be in the mid 80's and mid 60's respectively with winds from the south at a mild 5-7 mph with maybe some short-lived gusts associated with passing storms.
Short term forecast (Monday-Wednesday)
Monday morning may start off with some patchy fog thanks to our bounty of moisture, but this should dissipate by 9 am as the temperatures climb up. As previously mentioned in the Alberto section we will be seeing a pop of moisture and energy starting on Monday so our chances of more potent and frequent thunderstorms makes it's presence starting then. Monday through Wednesday will be very much a rinse, wash, repeat of each other and carry the bulk of the precipitation event. As the NWS Public Information Statement said above we could see quite the spread of potential rainfall totals over the next few days, but there isn't exactly any range that doesn't bring some level of threat to our region so we do need to tread carefully and make any necessary plans to keep our families safe. Don't forget about your animals during this time! If you have any animals that stay outdoors, please consider bringing them indoors.
With heavy rains, lightning, localized gusts, and the rare potential hail looming for the Monday-Wednesday range we don't see any significant temperature jumps. Highs still in the low 80's and lows still in the mid 60's with our southerly flow persuing.
Long term forecast (Thursday-Saturday)
Starting on Thursday we will see our event taper away and the temperature begin to climb a little to the mid to upper 80's, upper 60's for the weekend. While the post-Alberto pattern may subside, the precipitation probabilities will hardly hold back as the ever present and relentless southerly flow ensues. The big difference in the short term and long term forecast isn't in the probabilities but rather in the amount of rainfall we anticipate. This won't allow for much reprieve for any impacted areas, so keep on your toes, evolve and maintain a plan of action throughout the week!
We will be doing our best to keep everyone updated. Our team is working tirelessly day and night to keep the information straight foward and helpful.