Our beautiful, comfortable weather continues for this Wednesday. Mostly sunny skies continue across the Tennessee Valley with just a couple clouds here and there and a light touch of haze remaining from the remnants of the wildfire smoke that's been hanging around in the atmosphere. Temperatures as of the 10:00am hour were in the mid to upper 70s areawide.
If you enjoyed the weather yesterday, you will love it today too. There is one minor caveat though. If you watch us or follow us over north Alabama, you may run into a stray pop-up shower or storm this afternoon. The overall chance of rain for any one location is rather low, but we certainly can't rule out a thundershower or two. The "better" chances of these will be closer to I-65 (Athens, Decatur, Hartselle, Falkville, Cullman, etc.,); however, Futurecast is even showing a stray shower this afternoon as far west as Colbert County. Just don't be completely surprised and caught off guard if you get one.
For most of us across the area though, we will be dry again today. High temperatures will otherwise once again top out in the low to mid 80s with mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies, and overnight lows tonight look to once again be in the lower 60s. Futurecast is popping a few upper 50s again by daybreak on Thursday, but it has been running a couple of degrees too cool for the mornings. We'll lean closer to the lower 60s. Thursday looks very similar to today. Mostly sunny to becoming partly cloudy, with the outside chance of a shower in the afternoon, mainly over northern Alabama.
Moisture gradually starts working back into the area tomorrow (and in all honesty, it is just beginning to today with dewpoints back in the low to mid 60s). You will notice this by tomorrow night with overnight lows staying closer to the mid and upper 60s and maybe some patchy fog after midnight. There looks to be a bit more in the way of cloud cover by Friday and into the weekend as the moisture deepens. This is also where our chance of isolated to widely scattered showers and storms looks to increase just a bit. We're still not talking about a widespread soaking or anything like that, but it will become more probable that we will see a few daily afternoon showers and storms as we head from Friday into the weekend.
Unfortunately, temperatures will be on the upward slide as we head closer to the weekend too. We will return to the upper 80s by Friday and Saturday and into the lower 90s again by Sunday (if not Saturday for a few of you). Also notice that the morning lows each day get back into the upper 60s and lower 70s as we head into the weekend and next week. That's a sign that the deeper tropical moisture will return. That will also signal a return to higher heat index values as we head into early next week, but probably not quite nearly as extreme as what we had last week. This is what we typically expect in August in middle Tennessee and north Alabama though; so, no surprises here.
Also not a surprise for early August is that the tropics are starting to come alive in the Atlantic basin. Our Hurricane Specialist Kory Pilet talked the other day about how large scale conditions are becoming more favorable for tropical development in the Atlantic, and now the National Hurricane Center is starting to carefully monitor these waves coming off the West Coast of Africa. The easternmost disturbance has now had its probability of developing into a tropical depression over the next five days increased to 30 percent. There are increasing signs in the long-range/large-scale model ensembles that we will likely have a tropical storm on the board in less than 7 to 10 days. Having said that, there are definitely no imminent threats to the United States at this time.