Good Wednesday to everyone across the Foothills and Western Piedmont…we are starting an active weather pattern that will first deliver to our region the first good rain event of 2018, followed this weekend by another shot of winter…it is early January afterall!
If you have been out this morning, there is always a notable increase in clouds compared to just this time 24 hours ago. Strong high pressure that brought all the cold arctic air is now out in the Western Atlantic Ocean, the return flow from the southeast is bringing moisture back into the region…early on in the form of clouds but by later tonight that southeast flow will begin to yield some rainfall.
By Thursday morning a strong moisture pump will have developed across the entire southeast at the low levels of the atmosphere as the high off the Atlantic will then be working in tandem with a developing upper trough that will be located in the Southern Plains, this will transport a strong flow from the Gulf and Atlantic.
Here locally upslope flow will help produce scattered showers throughout the day, best chances will be closer to the Blue Ridge but everyone stands a chance at some rainfall. The abundance of clouds and moisture will also keep temperatures down on Thursday, in the 40’s. Current guidance shows a brief lull in precip late Thursday evening before the next surge in moisture moves in from the southwest.
By Friday morning an upper level trough located across the Lower Mississippi River may briefly cut off at the base of the trough and acquire a negative tilt. At the surface, low pressure will be forming over Mississippi and move northeast into the Tennessee Valley. That will keep our region in a southerly flow meaning additional rain chances. And with the dynamics in play, a thunderstorm cannot be ruled out for some on Friday as the surface low intensifies, and the main line associated with the trough moves in.
Rainfall will last through Friday evening before tapering off…right now all signs lead to a significant rainfall event with 1-2 inches widespread expected, the latest WPC forecast clearly shows that. But with the prolonged upslope component expected, I think chances are adequate that east and southeast facing slopes could easily exceed the 2 inch amount through Friday evening. That could lead to elevated water levels in small streams across the region.
By Saturday morning, low pressure will be racing up the Appalachians and colder air will be funneling into the region on northwest winds. There will likely be enough moisture for northwest flow snow showers in the mountains. Here away from the higher elevations it will be generally colder with a mix of sun and clouds and windy conditions.
Temperatures will once again be on the downturn on Saturday and last through the early part of next week (30’s, low 40’s in the afternoon, teens/20’s at night)
Have a great day!
Foothills Weather Network