(WBTV) - As of Saturday morning, all signs are still pointing to an unsettled Sunday across the mountains and foothills for the majority of the day. We are continuing to hold the Regional First Alert Day across these sections.
You'll see on the attached Futurecast images that showers are possible right from the morning across our western counties. The first image is for 9 a.m. Sunday morning, but there are some suggestions that as early as 6 or 7 scattered showers are fair game for these areas.
Through the afternoon, the majority of the widespread activity still holds along/west of I-77. You'll see on the second image, valid at 1 p.m. Sunday, that there are some smaller showers that could work their way down into the Piedmont by the mid-afternoon, but most of the heavier showers and storms continue to track farther west.
By later on in the evening, we could finally start to see some of this unsettled weather spill over into our more central counties. The last image is valid at 8 p.m. Sunday and has a line of storms approaching the I-77 corridor.
Now while this image is coming from the most updated run of Futurecast, this is also the first run of this particular futurecast model (RPM) that is suggesting this, and one of our other more reliable shorter range models (NAM) continues to paint a much drier scenario for even these late evening hours down into the Charlotte area.
So this is why our Regional First Alert day will hold for our western-most counties at this time. Again, we'll monitor the situation for our Piedmont counties, but right now it appears the activity will be too isolated during the daytime and early evening hours to warrant a First Alert Day for areas outside of the mountains and foothills.
-Meteorologist Lyndsay Tapases
As new data and information comes into the First Alert weather center Friday evening, we have made adjustments to our Sunday forecast that have led us to downgrade our First Alert Day to a Regional First Alert Day for the mountains only.
The reason for this modification is due to our weather computer models holding the majority of the shower and thunderstorm activity in our western counties, across the mountains and foothills.
As we are now within 48 hours of this event, our confidence is higher in these models as they begin to develop a better grasp of how things will unfold, and since it appears the most widespread and disruptive weather will hold in our western counties, we are holding the First Alert Day declaration there for now.
With that being said, we could certainly see a few stray storms propagate down into the Piedmont during the evening, but it does not appear to be as widespread or disruptive as it will be in our western counties. You'll see on the attached futurecast images, that there could be a few storms along or east of I-77 into the evening.
At this time, the Storm Prediction Center has only the mountains and foothills in a Marginal Risk for severe weather, meaning isolated severe storms are possible. So while we are not anticipating a widespread severe weather outbreak, a few gusty storms will be likely across this area, with the timing being late afternoon into the evening.
As always, we will continue to update you as new information comes into the weather center and we fine tune our forecast over the weekend!
- Meteorologist Lyndsay Tapases
A strong cold front will move into the Carolinas late Saturday night. This will bring an increase in cloud cover on Saturday with rain showers moving into western North Carolina overnight into early Sunday morning.
By late Sunday morning, expect to see rain showers moving into the Piedmont of North Carolina. Conditions will likely deteriorate into the early afternoon.
As the front moves into the Piedmont, we will see an increasing chance for thunderstorms. Isolated storms may be on the strong side. At this time it appears that most of the showers and storms will come to an end on Sunday evening.
We will continue to monitor this situation and update the forecast as we move into the weekend. But if you have any major outdoor plans for Sunday… we want to give you the First Alert that the weather will likely be wet and unsettled. And Saturday looks like the better day to take care of those outside chores or activities.
Until then… Friday will be partly cloudy and mild with highs back into the mid and upper sixties.
Partly cloudy, dry and cool tonight. If you are making plans, it will be dry and mild with evening readings in the 50s and overnight lows in the 40s to near 50° for most neighborhoods.
The warm-up continues into the weekend, back up to the 70s by Saturday. At this point, Saturday looks dry with increasing clouds.
After Sunday's showers and storms, if you're looking further down the road, warm 70s are likely to prevail for much of next week even flirting with 80° at times. Still can't rule out more showers both Monday and Tuesday.
- The First Alert Weather Team