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Moderating temps ahead. Rain returns Thursday. Colder air late weekend?

Infrared satellite would lead you to believe it's a bit more cloudy across the Tennessee Valley than what it actually is. That milky, hazy appearance on the satellite image there is actually the infrared camera detecting the chilly air in place. Skies are mostly sunny on this Tuesday, but despite that, temperatures have only warmed into the lower 40s. Temperatures will be getting cold again tonight as well, with overnight lows in the mid 20s.

We start to make a little forward motion on the temperatures by Wednesday. High pressure will be shifting off to the east, and winds will be gradually shifting from the northeast around to the south, especially by late in the day. Afternoon highs on Wednesday will be in the 45-50 degree range for most everyone across the viewing area. Clouds will gradually be on the increase late in the day and into Wednesday night ahead of the next weather system. This will help keep us from falling too far in the temperature department on Wednesday night, but we still expect overnight lows near 30 degrees.

Clouds really thicken up as early as daybreak on Thursday as the weather system approaches the area. Southerly flow ahead of that front will allow moisture to increase across the Valley area. Those southerly winds may gust as high as 20 to 25 mph at times. Showers will move in during the day, especially by afternoon, with rain becoming rather widespread into the evening and overnight as the front crosses the area. No severe weather or flooding is expected, but rainfall may be moderate to heavy for a short time, and we can't completely rule out a rumble of thunder. The front moves through the area after midnight Thursday night, bringing an end to the showers, with skies gradually clearing as we head through Friday.

We get a brief break Friday night into the daytime hours on Saturday, before the next weather system approaches the area Saturday night into Sunday morning. Computer models had been hinting that we may have to deal with a light wintry mix with this system. We'll still watch it, but the latest data is trending toward the better moisture being separated from the cold air. That would limit, if not eliminate, any wintry weather threat across our area. We will continue to monitor for changes.

That helps usher in a hit of true arctic air across the area Sunday into Monday as a deep upper trough swings through the eastern United States. Highs on Sunday may stay below freezing all day, with morning lows on Monday well down into the teens!

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