It's already shaping up to be another beautiful afternoon on this Monday. Skies across the area are mostly sunny to partly cloudy, and temperatures are now warming into the lower 70s areawide. The closest weather system is along the Mid Atlantic coast, the remnants of Ian, and that system is moving away.
Skies will continue to stay mostly sunny as we head through the afternoon and then mostly clear overnight. Temperatures look to top out in the mid to upper 70s areawide, which is right around where we should be for this time of year. With the clear skies, dry air, and calming winds overnight, lows drop back into the mid to upper 40s areawide, although a few spots near the Tennessee River in north Alabama may try to hang out in the lower 50s.
The weather across our area stays about the same for the remainder of the week, expect temperatures warm a bit more as we get into Wednesday and Thursday, getting into the lower 80s. A cold front moves in as we head into Thursday night and Friday, and this brings another reinforcing shot of cooler and drier air. Daytime highs on Friday get knocked back into the lower 70s, and we may only make the mid 60s for daytime highs by Saturday! Overnight lows over the weekend will be cooler as well, in the lower 40s on Saturday morning, and Sunday morning may be our first run at areawide morning lows in the upper 30s!
Computer model guidance and the latest outlooks from the NWS Climate Prediction Center office suggest we run with temperatures below average through at least mid-month. There may be occasional warm days, like the middle of this week, but we look to overall average cooler than normal (at least by a little bit) for the first half of the month. We also look to stay drier than average for this period too, and it may be another two weeks or longer before we have a decent shot at rain across the local area.
Even though the dry weather is great for outdoor plans, football games, etc., we certainly need some rain. We have an increasing short-term deficit across the area after some recovery of the drought in August and parts of September. However, September wasn't all that wet for everybody, and already having dry weather before heading into the climatologically driest month of the year isn't the best thing. Some locations west of U.S. 43 from southern Tennessee back into north Mississippi have double digit rainfall deficits for the year. Most of our area is only in the "abnormally dry" category on the latest update to the Drought Monitor (western Wayne, southern Hardin, and western Tishomingo Counties are in "moderate drought"), but we will likely see drought conditions expand if this keeps up for much longer. Fortunately, the jet stream does tend to get more active as we head later into October, and especially November and December.
Meanwhile, we are still in the Atlantic hurricane season (ends November 30th), and there are a couple of areas of disturbed weather that we are watching. However, both of these areas are disorganized, and it looks like... at the moment... neither of them are headed for the mainland United States. We will continue to watch things carefully as always.