Confidence is increasing this evening that Hurricane Joaquin, now a major Category 4 storm with winds of 130mph, will stay out to sea. We hope this trend continues into Friday.
Regardless of the actual track, plenty of tropical moisture will be pulled into the region late this week and into the weekend by an upper-level low over the Southeastern U.S. The winds around this low will be able to tap into the tropical moisture from Joaquin, even if the storm itself stays well off-shore. This is why several inches of rain will be possible across our region this weekend.
The steady rain will begin to impact us on Friday, heavy at times, and increase in intensity into Saturday. Heaviest rain and highest rainfall amounts will come down on Saturday. There are some suggestions that the axis of heavy rain drops south into SC by Sunday- but still expect left-over areas of rain into the second half of the weekend, especially from I-85 south.
A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the entire area Friday through Sunday. Be prepared for localized flooding, especially in places that have already picked up multiple inches of rain over the past week (mainly the foothills).