It is a beautiful Monday afternoon across the Tennessee Valley as we work through the last few days of March. Skies are completely sunny, as you can see on our SkyTrack network across the viewing area. Temperatures are running several degrees cooler than normal though, as a cooler air mass moved into the area that brought the flooding and severe storms to our area over the weekend. Temperatures as of the 2:00 hour are still only in the mid to upper 50s for many of us. The good news is that warmer weather will be on the way for Tuesday. The bad news is, it will be ahead of the next storm system that will bring rain and thunderstorm chances to the area.
Futurecast breaks down the timing and progression of our rain chances. The majority of Tuesday will remain mostly sunny and dry. With a southerly wind, afternoon temperatures will be warm with highs in the low to mid 70s. By late in the afternoon, clouds will increase and we can't rule out a few showers. As we work our way into the evening, a few scattered showers and storms look like they will work their way northeastward across the area. It will be until near or after midnight before the more widespread and steady rain moves into the area. Some of the rainfall could be locally heavy at times, and we can't rule out a few gusty storms either. That hangs on into the first half of the day before the cold front works through the area and brings an end to the rain and storms by midday on Wednesday. The overall severe weather risk is very low, but we can't rule out a storm or two with wind gusts of 40-60 mph or small hail. For that reason, the Storm Prediction Center has a Level 1 of 5 risk of severe weather in place from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. While we can't rule out a severe thunderstorm warning or two, this will not be anything remotely close to the events last week.
Much cooler air moves in behind the front, with afternoon highs on Friday only getting into the upper 50s to maybe 60, and we may not get out of the upper 40s on Thursday! That is WELL below our seasonal averages as we head out of March and into the start of April, with our average highs near 70 degrees by the beginning of April. Morning lows will also be as low as the mid/upper 20s by the end of the week, bringing a widespread light freeze to the area. This is why it's always very risky to do any planting and gardening of tender vegetation in the Tennessee Valley until later in April. We can and do see frosts and freezes this deep into the year.
A first glance at the weather for the upcoming Easter weekend looks great, however, as we head into another warming trend. Skies will be mostly sunny each day, with highs on Saturday in the mid 60s. The weather will be great for egg hunts, cookouts, and other activities that you may have planned. Expect even warmer temperatures for Easter Sunday with highs near 70 and continued mostly sunny skies.