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Hot today, but rain chances and heat relief not far away! Tropics trying to wake up a bit.

Mostly sunny and hot weather continues on for this Friday afternoon. Our area Arctic Air Skycams show some scattered high-level clouds, but we are otherwise sunny. Temperatures are climbing into the lower 90s for most locations, and we likely have a few more degrees to go through the afternoon. We are clear of rain today, but that will change as we head through the next few days.

Mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies continue through the rest of the day. We drop through the 80s and into the 70s during the evening and bottom out between the upper 60s and lower 70s as we get into the daybreak hours of Saturday. We see an increase in cloud cover on Saturday as deeper moisture approaches from the east. By midday and the afternoon, a few isolated to widely scattered showers or a storm or two look to develop, especially closer to I-65 in our eastern viewing area counties. One or two of these may try to drift westward over toward the Shoals or the US 43 corridor of southern middle Tennessee. These hang on into the evening before fading away with the loss of daytime heating.

More appreciable rain chances increase Sunday afternoon and Sunday night as a cold front approaches from the northwest. These showers and thunderstorms may produce some locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds, but organized severe weather is not expected. Lingering scattered showers and storms continue into Monday as the front continues to move southward. The big difference will be cooler temperatures. Afternoon highs drop into the 80s next week, maybe even the LOWER 80s by Monday!

If you're headed out for a quick getaway this weekend, you'll need to plan for the possibility for rain and storms whether you are headed to the Gulf Coast beaches, the Smokey Mountains, or to area lakes and rivers. No single day will be an all-day washout, but there's a chance of scattered showers and storms at all these locations both Saturday and Sunday. Daytime highs each day will range from the upper 80s to the low/mid 90s.

We are also starting to carefully watch developments in the tropics now. An organizing tropical wave moved off the west coast of Africa the other day, and conditions ahead of it over the open Atlantic and into the Caribbean are becoming increasingly favorable for tropical development. Models right now show this system continuing westward toward the Caribbean by Tuesday into Wednesday of next week, with a strong ridge of high pressure over the north central Atlantic. From there, it is too far out to have a ton of confidence, but the latest model data shows this system continuing westward toward Central America and not becoming a threat to the United States. We will be watching carefully to see if this tries to change.

Elsewhere, models are starting to hint that a tropical low may try to form in the northwestern Gulf this weekend along the washed out front that moved through our area yesterday. We're not certain this will even be able to develop, but anytime a front moves into the northern Gulf this time of year, it has to be watched carefully. IF a system were to develop, it would likely be a weak system, mostly a rain-maker, and likely headed westward toward Texas, away from the Tennessee Valley.

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