Banner Elk

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Banner Elk, NC

Highway 184
Lees McRae College
Echota Hwy 105

Forecast Discussion



... Rain chances for the mountains and foothills continue through Friday ahead of an approaching cold front. A brief dry spell is expected over the beginning of the weekend with near seasonal temperatures returning to the area. A secondary wave sweeps through our area Saturday night with a quick chance of rain again before conditions dry out for the start of next week. A much stronger cold front approaches our region in the middle of next week.

NEAR TERM /THROUGH FRIDAY/... As of 630 PM EST Thursday: Vorticity lobes embedded in the zonal 500 mb flow atop the region this evening will continue to interact with front zone forcing across western NC to produce higher PoPs in NC tonight versus SC/GA. The upper forcing will move east of the region overnight, leaving mainly low-level westerly upslope into the NC mountains and weak frontal circulations along the resurgent backdoor boundary as the primary drivers for any light rain overnight. This should create a lull in the precipitation overnight in most areas. The boundary layer will remain very moist, but mixing on northeast flow will curtail the dense fog potential in most areas. Temperatures should manage to dip back into the 40s and 50s with cool advection from the north overnight despite the abundant clouds.

Weak warm air advection will then return over the frontal zone through Friday, with slightly deeper moisture in place by Friday afternoon as the best forcing moves back in. Will feature a return to likely west/chance east PoPs and wedge-like temperatures running at least a category below climo in all but the warmer southwest mountains.

SHORT TERM /FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 1245 PM Thursday...The pattern doesn't change much over the short range period. A stacked high over the GOM will continue to feed a good amount of moisture into the area from the southeast as waves up ulvl energy enhance lift over a developing sfc wedge. The first wave will be crossing the FA early Sat with low-end QPF amounts thru daybreak, then lingering isol rainfall during the day. By Sat night, another h5 s/w crosses and again with plenty of llvl moisture available for light to moderate rainfall thru daybreak Sun. There is some uncertainty wrt timing precip chances out of the area Sun afternoon as the latest NAM and GFS solns keep moist llvl forcing along the wedge front and a decent chance of rain across NE GA and the Upstate. Still, any new precip amounts will be generally light. Temps will likely lock in a a cat or so below normal Sat as ne/ly flow and little to no sunshine ensue. Little tricky for high temps on Sun depending on the timing of the wedge breakdown, but for now will advertise highs at or a little abv normal in eventual sw/ly flow and some clearing possible. With overcast conds each night, mins will be held abt 10 degrees abv normal.

LONG TERM /SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 120 PM Thursday...A pattern change continues to begin the ext range. The prevailing srn stream jet aligned over the area gets shunted east as a deep upper ridge builds to the west and crosses off the coast during the week. This will return dry profiles and much deserved sunshine to the FA Mon thru Tue. Temps will bump a little abv normal Mon and then likely drop a cat below Tue as the sfc layered flow becomes ne/ly with new Canadian high building in. On Wed, a strong cold front will approach the area and pass east thru Thu. Much uncertainty is had with the timing as the CMC and ECMWF are much quicker with prefrontal activity Wed afternoon, while the GFS is holding off until Wed night. This might not make much different wrt to the sensible weather as sfc-based instability will be quite low and elCAPE will be hard to generate as well. Some low- accum high elevation mtn snow will also be possible both Tue and Wed nights. For now, have no thunder mention, but this could be underdone depending on possible isol diff heating and the timing of frontal forcing. High temps for the late week will be remain a little below or right arnd normal, while mins bump a few degrees abv normal in high nocturnal moisture.