Big ole weather changes are on the way, but today is another partly cloudy, warm, and beautiful day across the Tennessee Valley. Rain showers are staying a good bit west of the Mississippi River, and we will stay dry for the rest of today and tonight.
Futurecast shows just a mix of sun and clouds continuing this afternoon and evening before clouds increase overnight. Temperatures will stay up with the cloud cover and southerly winds, only dropping into the upper 60s overnight, and a few of us may stay around 70 or 71 degrees. Scattered showers and storms look to be ongoing over western Tennessee by daybreak, but this will be lifting north of our area, but we may have a scattered shower or two around early in the day.
By midday, a few scattered thunderstorms start to develop over southern Tennessee down into north Alabama. We can't rule out one or two of these being strong in the afternoon, but the main dynamic support will be off to the northwest. The main cold front approaches during the evening, and a widespread line of rain and storms develops just ahead of that front and sweeps through the area roughly between 7:00 PM and 11:00 PM. That timeline means that these storms may have a BIG impact on high school football games across the area Friday night. That clears the area after midnight, with much cooler and drier air moving in. We should be mostly clear by daybreak on Saturday with temperatures down into the lower 50s!
We will need to watch the storms ahead of the front during the afternoon and evening hours of Friday. While still not overly strong, model data has been trending stronger with the wind shear, just strong enough that we may have one or two severe storms in the area. The main timeframe for the widespread activity is that 7:00-11:00 PM timeframe, but storms as early as midday may be strong on an isolated basis. One or two of the storms may have 40-60 mph winds. The highest wind shear and a tornado threat runs from west Tennessee up through Kentucky, but with the shear trending stronger in our immediate area, although the threat is low, we can't 100% rule out a rotating storm or two in our area either. We have had several events over the last few months that have "surprised" us with rotating storms in otherwise unfavorable setups; so, we will be on guard tomorrow, and the weather center will be staffed and ready to provide live updates if warnings are issued.
The front moves through the area overnight and is off to our south and east for Saturday. Rapidly clearing skies and a northerly wind behind the front will be in place, with temperatures a good 18 to 22 degrees cooler for afternoon highs on Saturday! We're going with mid 60s, but some locations Saturday afternoon may not get above the lower 60s. It's definitely going to feel like football weather out there, and more like November than mid October! Clear skies and high pressure taking control will really allow temperatures to drop Saturday night, and by daybreak on Sunday morning, we look to have widespread low to mid 40s across the Tennessee Valley. We can't rule out one or two of our naturally colder spots getting as low as an isolated 39 reading! Temperatures gradually moderate toward early next week, but we are still running a few degrees below average and much cooler than what we have had in place for the last several days.