For the second consecutive weekend the Southeast US is looking at the potential of a severe weather outbreak. Last weekend's event produced widespread severe weather including around 80 tornadoes extending from Louisiana and Mississippi northeast into the Carolinas.
This weekend a few of those same locations are under the gun for more in the way of damaging winds and tornadoes on Sunday but fortunately the overall dynamics are not nearly as impressive this go-around.
The Storm Prediction Center has placed a large area of the south under an Enhanced Risk (Level 3 of 5) for Severe Weather on Sunday. As you can see the area of highest risk is generally along and south of Interstate 20 from Northern Louisiana over to Southern South Carolina. The risk area lines up well with the surface low track on Sunday. For us here in Western North Carolina, we should remain north of the low track which keeps the region in the cold sector of the storm reducing severe weather chances in our area.
By Sunday afternoon, the sub-tropical jet will be pushing 90 kt winds across the Southeast, just for comparison sake, last weekend's jet at 500 mb was pushing 150 knots at various times. Regardless, this jet will be efficient enough to advect moisture overhead the cold pool. In layman's terms, shower and some elevated convection will move into the Western Carolinas on Sunday afternoon and will last through Sunday night.
Due to the fact that the jet carries more of a west-east orientation, moisture advection won't be as robust across North Carolina but still modest amounts of moisture will invade the region by Sunday afternoon. Precipitable Water Values (PWAT's) will reach around 1.3 inches in Rutherford, Cleveland and Lincoln Counties by Sunday evening while remaining below 1 inch along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Rainfall amounts for this event will follow that axis of heavier moisture. Our southern counties stand to see the highest amounts with a sharp gradient once you get north of Interstate 40. We'll keep an eye on the short range guidance to see how that evolves over the next 24 hours. Everyone should receive around 3/4 inch of rain through Monday morning but some spots could get significantly more.