Severe Weather and Flash Flood Threat For Western North Carolina Through Early Friday

Lead Forecaster Daniel Crawley

Well, another day and another opportunity for Mother Nature to provide a two-pronged threat of impactful weather to the Western Carolinas…let’s break it down

1. Heavy Rain Likely

Water Vapor Imagery (5/26/22 5:05 am)

A strong upper low located across Southeast Kansas this morning will slowly move east over the next 24 hours pulling rich tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Southerly flow will run up against the Southern Appalachians to provide a steady influence of rain for the escarpment region today.

Due to the amount of rainfall that has occurred since last weekend a Flood Watch has been issued for the counties along the escarpment and the rest of the North Carolina Mountains.

The Weather Prediction Center has also highlighted the region for a Slight Risk of excessive rainfall for today.

Precipitation amounts look to be quite generous across the region through Friday with 1-3 inches possible for all locations and for those favored upslope regions, 4+ inches can’t be ruled out.

Forecast Precipitation (Model Blend)

2. Severe Weather Potential Through Thursday Night

The dynamics used for the heavy rainfall could also pose a severe weather threat as warmer air may surge in today and into tonight. The Storm Prediction Center has everyone in a Marginal Risk of Severe Weather with a Slight Risk introduced for locations just to our southwest.

SPC Day 1 Outlook

The wind energy (approximately 50 knots at 5,000 ft) and the trigger to fire storms is there today and tonight but just how much thunderstorm fuel will we have?

Most of the short range guidance indicates CAPE between 500-1000 which is just enough to introduce the severe weather threat. The areas with the best chance stretch from Forest City to Lincolnton.

HRRR Surface CAPE (Thurs 7 pm)


Light upslope has already started along the Blue Ridge and will get heavier through the day. The severe weather risk could come in multiple waves, one being this afternoon/evening and a secondary risk overnight as the actual cold front passes through around daybreak Friday.

HRRR Future Radar

Thursday is obviously a day to be “Weather Aware” as we could have multiple threats of impactful weather to the region. Make sure and Download the Foothills Weather App for Apple and Android

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