It's a warm, beautiful spring day across the Tennessee Valley. Temperatures this afternoon are up into the low to mid 70s areawide with mostly sunny skies. Much of the Southeast is currently in the midst of warmer weather. However, changes are ahead in a big way. Check out the temperatures just to our northwest. It's in the 30s and 40s across a large part of the Central Plains and Upper Midwest this afternoon. And looking at regional satellite and radar, there is even light to moderate SNOW in northwestern Arkansas and through Missouri! Fortunately, that mess will stay to our north, but that same overall cold front is making its way toward our area.
As we head into the evening, clouds will thicken up over the area ahead of the front, and during the late overnight and into the predawn hours of Wednesday, a band of light to moderate showers will work into the area. The rainfall won't amount to much, but most of us will probably see a few hundredths or maybe a few tenths of an inch of rain. That moves out before daybreak as the cold front moves south of our area.
Like we've been talking about for the past several days, the bigger story will be the temperatures. Check this out... Afternoon highs on Wednesday only reach the mid 50s! That's 20 degrees below average for a late April afternoon in the Tennessee Valley. Then, as the winds die down a bit and cloud cover moves out for Wednesday night, temperatures drop into the low to mid 30s. This sets up a likely late season frost across the area by daybreak on Thursday morning. You're going to have to protect any tender plants you have outdoors, or you run a serious risk of losing them. The good news is that starting on Thursday, temperatures start a rebound again back into the 60s for daytime highs, and into the 70s as we head toward next week.
As we head toward the weekend, another storm system will be approaching the area. Clouds will thicken up on Friday as high pressure shifts to the east and moisture increases as our low-level winds become more southerly. A shower or two appears possible Friday, but the more organized rain holds off until overnight Friday night and into Saturday. Showers and thunderstorms are likely, and rainfall could be heavy at times. The good news is that the track of the system suggests that any threat of severe weather will remain to our south. This moves out in time for clearing skies and warming temperatures on Sunday as we head for 70 degrees. We look to get back into the mid and upper 70s to start next week before the next storm system brings a chance of thunderstorms to the area toward the middle of next week.