Tonight: Clouds will increase ahead of a weak, developing system to our south. Most of the rain will stay west of us, but there is a slim chance of a passing pocket of rain. Temperatures will sink into the 40s and 50s area-wide.
Sunday Morning: If you have plans to get out tomorrow morning, you may want to prepare for rain even though there's a better chance of many places staying dry. Temperatures will slowly warm through the 50s and will likely be positioned in the upper 50s by 11AM or lunch.
Sunday Afternoon & Evening: Rain will become more likely to impact our area by late tomorrow as the system to our south develops. Rain will also be likely before midnight and temperatures should be in the 50s at the same time.
Monday: Rain will be likely as a new, stronger system enters our forecast. This is the same (strong) system we have been following for close to a week now, but no snow will be possible. More beneficial rain will come down for our entire area. Temperatures will likely stay in the 50s for most towns while the rain is falling. 40s and some low 50s can be expected in Western NC.
I'm Not Buying a Cold Pattern Transition: ~19th Through Christmas: Forecast models continue a game of cat and mouse trying to resolve the tug-of-war battle between a fast, Pacific flow and a slower flow of colder, arctic air moving south and east. Some forecast model runs indicate a wealth of cold air coming south between the 19th and 25th. Meanwhile, I believe the Pacific maintains an unfavorable structure to allow this to happen. This type of fast, pacific flow is reminiscent of winter '11-'12.
I don't buy any sort of cold pattern at this point given how a fast, pacific flow of numerous weak systems continues to overwhelm and undermine any sort of cold air coming south. For a cold pattern to set up, the pacific will have to slow down and I don't see this happening in the short term. There's no telling what will happen in the longer term.
Don't get me wrong, I suppose there is a possibility of short-term cold around Christmas (a couple days here and there) from now through the 25th. However, it's much more conceivable that we will record 60s for highs and 30s/40s for lows as opposed to those 3-5 day bouts or stretches of cold. It is tough to forecast right now though because some cold spells have been shown on forecast models recently.
I hope I'm proven wrong & I wish it weren't the case because I like colder weather, but from now until Christmas, I will expect milder weather to dominate the southeast until I see some evidence of this fast/progressive pattern to our west and northwest tapping the brakes.