Ian To Disrupt Plans This Weekend. Preparations For Wind and Rain Should Be Completed

Good Thursday Evening to everyone across the forecast area. We continue to track the progress of Hurricane Ian. Ian will arrive onshore again, this time in South Carolina, by Friday Afternoon. Ian likely will never be a symmetrical storm again though due to interaction with the northern stream trough and attendant frontal boundary that it is already interacting with. That disorganization should keep Ian from becoming a powerful hurricane, like what hit Florida. Though it may not be as pretty to look at, Ian will still bring high impact weather inland to our area beginning tomorrow (Friday) Morning.

Currently as of 8pm Ian is a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 75mph. Tropical storm force winds extend out 200 miles from the center of the storm. Residents in the foothills should keep up to date with the latest forecast through the day tomorrow because any deviation of just 20 miles from the forecast track, could increase or could decrease impacts in your area.

Rain should develop across the eastern foothills first between 8am and 11am and then spread west into the western foothills between 9am and 12noon. Preceding the rain and through the night tonight, winds will continue to increase into the 20+mph gust range. We are forecasting conditions to deteriorate Friday, after noontime. The Tropical Storm Warning looks well placed at this time for Catawba and Lincoln Counties. West and north from there, confidence is lower that sustained winds will be able to reach 40mph. So in those zones a wind advisory is hoisted for wind gusts that could reach 50mph. With heavy rain, we do anticipate some scattered power outages. Those weak rooted trees and soft woods will be the most susceptible. So this could trim all of those Bradford Pear trees for you (you know they are invasive anyway).

Catawba and Lincoln Counties: On the current track, tropical storm force wind gusts will begin in the late morning hours but the sustained tropical storm force winds should hold off until the late afternoon and early evening. Those winds will stick around for 5 – 7 hours before starting to relax around midnight. The heaviest rain rates will arrive around, or just before Noon. Rainfall rates will peak in the early nighttime hours before slowly tapering back off around midnight. Total rainfall totals of 3 – 6 inches seem likely still across much of these two counties.

Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Cleveland, Lincoln, McDowell, and Rutherford: On the current forecast track we forecast that sustained tropical storm force winds will not be able to make it into these areas. Tropical storm force wind gusts will be plentiful though with a few gusts likely reaching the 60mph threshold. Rainfall will arrive in the morning hours and will rates will slowly rise. The eastern facing slopes will see the highest totals but because the storm is a little quicker paced than in previous forecasts we will keep the majority of the area in 3-6 inches total, with a few eastern slopes in McDowell, Burke, Caldwell, Rutherford and Polk exceeding 8 inches total.

One bad part to a faster, more progressive, system is that the torrential rainfall will fall during a shorter period of time. This will lead to streams, ditches, creeks, and small river tributaries flooding. I am not as concerned with main stem river flooding with this, but a few isolated main stem river areas, like around Lake Lookout Shoals in Catawba County, could see the water exceed bankfull.

The message of the day remains the same. Stay alert. Keep updated on the latest forecast and we will keep you ahead of the storm. Trampolines, outdoor garbage cans, and anything else that is lightweight should quickly be secured. Preparations for tropical storm conditions should be rushed to completion at this time. Time is running out. We are T-12 hours until impact of Ian.

We expect rainfall to continue on and off through Sunday and into Monday but the rainfall rates should not be enough to cause any additional flooding.

Published by wxchristopher

Chief Meteorologist

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