A few isolated storms today through Thursday. Then rain chances back off. Heat returns!
Most of the showers and thunderstorms across north Alabama from the overnight have shifted off to the east early this morning. We do have an isolated straggler or two approaching I-65 though. There are more scattered storms back over north Mississippi, but it remains to be seen whether those will be able to approach our area this morning. Temperatures are starting seasonably mild early this morning, generally in the low to mid 70s for most everyone.
The HRRR model has behaved closest to reality overnight compared to most of the other high-resolution models; so, I'm going to use it as a visual aid for the general idea of what to expect going forward today. However, there are a few things about it that I question. If this model run is correct, scattered showers and thunderstorms redevelop over northwest Alabama by daybreak and then shift north across southern Tennessee before weakening by 10:00 AM. While that definitely is possible, I'm not so sure they will be able to develop. Regardless, I do think the HRRR is right with keeping any additional shower and thunderstorm activity for our Tuesday and Tuesday night very spotty and isolated in nature.
The big story for the next 24 to 36 hours is the heat starting to make its return across the Tennessee Valley and much of the Deep South. A Heat Advisory has already been put into place across middle Tennessee and north Mississippi, and it's very likely that north Alabama gets added to this advisory today as well. Don't be shocked if this advisory is extended every day for the rest of the week.
We have the chance of maybe a stray shower Wednesday, and then a few more scattered showers and storms Thursday into Thursday evening, and then the rain chances shut off for the rest of the week. Temperatures for daytime highs climb into the mid to upper 90s for the rest of the week, with heat index values parking themselves over 105 degrees. As we head into the weekend, we may again be talking about triple digit high temperatures, especially by Sunday into early next week. This would also increase the chances of heat index values making the 110+ degree range, and eventually prompting an Excessive Heat Warning as we get closer.
This returning heat is because of a sprawling ridge of high pressure in the upper-levels of the atmosphere that will develop across the Southeast and Southern Plains late week and into the weekend. That is a classic upper air pattern for hot weather here this time of year, and that may park itself across the area for much of next week as well. It would not shock me if we make a run at 100 degrees or warmer for daytime highs across the area several days next week!
Unfortunately, another stretch of hot, dry, sunny weather may only aggravate the developing drought we have across the Tennessee Valley. Our next update to the Drought Monitor comes Thursday, but the most recent update from last week has severe drought conditions over much of northeast Mississippi into Hardin and McNairy Counties of Tennessee and then moderate drought for much of northwest Alabama and southern middle Tennessee. The recent bouts of heavy rain here and there the last couple of weeks have kind of put a pause on the drought worsening across the area. In fact, a couple areas across southern middle Tennessee into north Alabama have actually caught up on rainfall deficits with values running a little but above normal for the past 30 days. However, despite a few widespread heavy rainfall events the past couple of weeks, most of us are still running below normal in the rainfall department for the last 30 days, and any prolonged stretches of dry and hot weather will only start to worsen these conditions again across the area.