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Spring Equinox is Today; Thunderstorms Tomorrow

Published: 3.20.17 8:02am

Good Morning Folks! The Spring Equinox has already ocurred at 6:28am this morning, but for most of us, we'll still celebrate the day as its another milestone toward warmer weather. Mostly clear skies have led to another temperature inversion this morning as the valleys sit in the mid 20’s, while the ridgelines report temps in the low – mid 40’s. This will not lead to any difference in how our normal afternoon setups play out, with cooler temps still expected across the highest elevations, although today and tomorrow will feature temps well above normal for this time of year. Mostly sunny skies will continue across the region today with some late day clouds and isolated showers later on this evening, as the bulk of the rain and thunderstorm activity is slated for tomorrow afternoon. Once the front moves through late tomorrow we’ll keep moisture pressed up against the TN line, helping to produce isolated light showers on Wednesday. Clearing skies finally develop late Wednesday afternoon and by Thursday most of the region will be back under mostly sunny skies, only to return to passing clouds Friday as moisture surges out of the south. This will lead to an unsettled weekend with spotty showers both Saturday and Sunday, although we should warm things back up by the end of the week after a brief cooldown Wednesday and Thursday. 

Clouds will increase out of the west this afternoon, first as high and thin cirrus clouds and then as partly cloudy skies with a much lower cloud deck. Eventually mostly cloudy skies fill in across the region and its possible isolated showers develop just about anywhere tonight, however most of the action will be along the TN line as moisture pushes in from the west. Temps today will be quite comfortable as they push into the mid 50’s – upper 60’s depending upon elevation, with an increasing out of the west past midday. Temps tonight dip into the upper 40’s – low 50’s due to mostly cloudy skies and continued southerly pull in front of the approaching front out to our west. 

This front should tap into the building instability tomorrow afternoon and some models have it swinging through as a group of storms, but either way we expect scattered thunderstorms past midday and at times we’ll deal with gusty winds, heavy downpours and small hail. Temps tomorrow will rise to the low 60’s – low 70’s depending upon elevation, even with cloudy skies overhead as the southerly pull is so strong ahead of this front. Eventually the bulk of the action will shift to our east and only isolated showers will linger across the region, with temps dipping into the low – upper 40’s tomorrow night. For the most part SW NC will pick up quarter – half inch of rain and much like last week, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a location or two hit the one inch mark. 

Wednesday and Thursday bring us cooler but closer to normal temps for this time of the year as they push into the upper 40’s – low 60’s Wednesday and mid 40’s – mid 50’s Thursday. Wednesday may feel cooler due to the lingering moisture and stiff wind out of the west, in addition to Thursday offering up much more sunshine than Wednesday, although passing clouds are possible late in the day. Overnight lows will dip into the low – upper 30’s Wednesday night and settle into the mid 30’s – low 40’s Thursday night as a few clouds build across the region into Friday. 

Moisture returns Friday into the weekend as southerly flow increases across the Southeast, prompting passing clouds to develop and eventually light showers, but the most exciting part will be the temps as they push back into the mid – upper 60’s across the valley floor. We’ll fine tune the latter part of the forecast as the week moves along, but do plan for spotty showers this weekend with temps above normal. 

Overall, increasing clouds today, isolated showers tonight, scattered thunderstorms tomorrow and isolated showers Wednesday, followed by a brief bout of sunshine Thursday, then more rain later on this week into the weekend. ENJOY! 

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