5:00pm: Storms have developed along the Blue Ridge In Caldwell. Even one small shower popped briefly over Lake James but it is dissipating as of this update. The highest rain chances remain North of I-40. We will monitor this little cluster of storms that has developed in Caldwell. It’s rather weak right now and currently radar indicates further weakening. So storm/rain chances are at 40% along and North of I-40. South if I-40 only a 20% shot. All of this is in response to a weak cold front that is approaching the area from the North.
—7:00am Friday July 27, 2018- Chief Meteorologist Christopher White
Well we have reached the weekend and for a lot of us that means it’s almost time to kick back, relax, and enjoy some family time! I hope your week has been a great one. Mostly clear skies as you head out this morning. There is some patchy fog but that’s going to quickly burn off and temps will race up towards 90° again today. As you can see there are some bubbly cumulus out there already this morning
This afternoon a cold front will approach from the North. This front should be enough of a trigger to fire some widely scattered showers and storms. I think the best bet for storms today will be in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and McDowell. The atmosphere could support a couple of strong to maybe severe this afternoon. Now the chance for rain and storms hinders a lot on what happens in the counties named above. There is just enough speed sheer present today that could allow a couple of these storms to organize into small clusters. If this does occur then rain chances will be bumped up to 30% south of I-40. Currently we will keep chances of storms at 40% along and North of I-40 and 20% South of I-40. Monitor updates through the day. Even if they do organize not everyone will see rain. Basically 4 out of every 10 will get wet while only 2 out of every 10 people south of 40 get wet. The better organized storms and heavy rain are well east of I-77 today.
Whatever gets going this afternoon will be slow movers. Rain rates could reach upwards of 1.6 inches per hour. Models are not to excited with coverage though. Hopefully that trend will hold and the flash flood risk will remain less than a 5% chance (very isolated). Clouds and widely scattered showers hold into the nighttime. Lows tonight will only be in the mid and upper 60’s.
Saturday Through Sunday
Showers could last into the predawn hours on Saturday. High pressure will be strengthening over the Atlantic as a weak piece of energy dives Southeast from the Great Lakes Saturday Afternoon into Sunday. As high pressure builds out in The Atlantic during the same time period aforementioned it will move the precipitation chances further west. Most areas west of I-77 will remain mainly dry Saturday with only a 20% chance of showers and storms Saturday Afternoon. The chances creep up for Sunday to 40% chance in Alexander, Catawba, and Lincoln Counties. Only 30% chances for our western counties. The one exception to this will be our high country friends where the small piece of weak energy inches closer. This should allow for some extra buoyancy to get a few very isolated pop up cells going Saturday and better coverage inn Sunday. The lowest precipitation chances for the weekend are over the greater portions of Burke, Caldwell, McDowell, and Rutherford. High temps on Saturday should be in the mid 80’s.
Early Next Week
The cold front that moves through on Friday Night will stall just to our South and East. Then by Monday this will become a slow moving warm front that moves back North. As it does so it will open the Gulf of Mexico up and funnel moisture into our area. This flow looks the strongest on Tuesday Night. Tuesday into Wednesday will likely be the period with the heaviest rainfall. Rainfall totals of 2-4 inches are possible next week and some local amounts could be much higher, especially near the Blue Ridge.
Here is a look at NOAA’s rainfall forecast for the next 7 days. We will close here and update with any new updates as the day goes in.