2018 shaping up to be wettest in history for Asheville
A strong storm system is expected to bring heavy rain to Western North Carolina over the next few days, with even more forecast for the weekend.
Moisture begins to return overnight Wednesday, so expect partly sunny to mostly cloudy skies by sunrise Thursday. The clouds and wedge of cold air should cool things down Thursday afternoon, with scattered, mostly light showers developing and a high of about 45 degrees.
The heavier rain approaches late Thursday, as a strong storm system brings a cold front in from the west. The overnight low is expected to be about 43. Moderate to heavy showers are expected through Friday morning, with showers gradually breaking up and clearing to the east into Friday evening. The high Friday will be about 60 and the overnight low about 44.
Rain totals are expected to reach 2-3 inches, with some areas in northern Buncombe and Madison counties getting a little less (1-1.5 inches) and some areas in the southern Blue Ridge possibly getting more than 5 inches.
Things look to stay mostly dry Saturday, but rain returns Saturday night and Sunday.
River flooding is a possibility. The National Weather Service on Wednesday issued a Flood Watch for many areas of Western North Carolina. The watch, which goes into effect at 10 a.m. Thursday, includes Alexander, Buncombe, Burke (mountains), Cabarrus, Caldwell (mountains), Catawba, Cleveland, Davie, eastern McDowell, eastern Polk, Gaston, Graham, greater Burke, greater Caldwell, greater Rutherford, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell (mountains), Mecklenburg, Mitchell, northern Jackson, Polk (mountains), Rowan, Rutherford (mountains), southern Jackson, Swain, Transylvania, Union and Yancey counties.
The wettest year on record for Asheville was 2013, with 75.22 inches of rain. As of Wednesday, Asheville only needs 1.24 inches to break the record.
Another record that is likely to fall is for the warmest average low temperature. The average low in 2018 is 48.6 degrees, 0.3 degrees warmer than the previous record warmest year -- 2017.