Clear skies and fall temps next few days. Watching Ian. Weekend rain from its remnants?
It's been a bit breezy today, with wind gusts as high as 15 to 20 mph, but other than that, the weather today is simply stunning. Skies are just about completely clear, temperatures are in the mid to upper 70s, and low humidity is in place. Temperatures will continue to inch down the next few days as this fall air mass continues to settle in.
If you're headed out to the Middle Tennessee District Fair this evening, weather will be quite nice for that! Clear skies will stick around, with temperatures in the upper 60s before sunset dropping into the upper 50s by 10 pm. If you're staying until the end of the activities for the evening, you may want to carry along a light jacket. Skies continue to stay clear overnight, with morning lows by daybreak dropping to the upper 40s. Some outlying normally cooler spots may briefly get down as low as the middle 40s.
We're into the upper 70s again on Tuesday, and then even cooler air establishes itself for the rest of the week with northeasterly winds on the outer edge of Hurricane Ian's circulation as it gradually moves north in the eastern Gulf. This drops daytime highs down into the low 40s. Morning lows stay in the 40s the next several mornings, with a slant down toward mid 40s toward Thursday morning. It wouldn't shock me if we have to bump those morning lows down a few degrees as new data arrives. Clouds start increasing on Friday as Ian makes landfall in Florida and then the remnant circulation moves up into Georgia.
The local forecast for Friday into into especially Saturday is highly dependent on what happens with Ian's circulation after landfall. The Euro takes the remnant low more northwestward, with the low crossing into far western Georgia and far eastern Alabama before shifting off northeast late Saturday into Sunday. If this is right, locally heavy rain would overspread our area late Friday night and continue through much of the day on Saturday. A general 1-3 inches of rain would be expected, with isolated higher totals possible. However, the GFS is a little farther east with the low, taking it up through middle Georgia. On this track, we may still have a few showers, but amounts would be much lighter, with heavy rain staying restricted to eastern Tennessee, northeast Alabama, and eastward through Georgia and the Carolinas. The Euro has been very consistent for the last few days with its idea, and even though the GFS is farther east, it has been trending more north and west with the remnant low and its rainbands, closer to the solution the Euro has. It should be noted that while the local area may see some breezy conditions from the remnants of Ian, both of these low tracks would keep the severe storm and tornado threat WELL east of our local area.
Speaking of Hurricane Ian, the system continues to strengthen over the northwestern Caribbean on this Monday. There was a little bit of dry air this morning that caused the strengthening to level off, but the inner core convection has gotten more organized the last few hours, and Ian is strengthening again. It's very possible that strengthening shifts into a more rapid pace overnight as the system continues to further organize its inner core and we enter into diurnal max, when instability for storms is highest over the water overnight due to the cooling of the air after dark but the water retaining its heat. That may very well cause Hurricane Ian to become a major hurricane before it reaches the western tip of Cuba.
The forecast for Ian still calls for it to reach Category 4 intensity over the eastern Gulf before skirting near Tampa as a major hurricane, and then weakening before it makes landfall in the Big Bend area of Florida on Friday. Dry air and shear will very likely cause Ian to weaken, possibly significantly, before it makes landfall in the Big Bend area. Even with that weakening though, the wind field will be expanding in size, causing damaging wind and storm surge at the coast to still be a significant concern.