Despite being on the backside of a cold front this afternoon, temperatures are once again mild this afternoon across the Tennessee Valley, with southwesterly winds helping us moderate again into the mid to upper 50s. Skies are mostly cloudy today, and this is keeping us out of the low to mid 60s that we had on Sunday. We expect these clouds to hang around for the next few days with our area in a general west to southwest flow aloft pattern.
Temperatures will stay mild for the next few days because of this pattern. Afternoon highs will again be in the mid 50s for our Tuesday, and even warmer for Wednesday and Thursday with low to even mid 60s involved. We may even have to bump up the highs for Thursday a few more degrees, and oddly enough, those highs may come overnight Thursday night as we get into the warm sector of the next storm system. Rain associated with that storm system may start as early as Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night, with showers and a rumble of thunder carrying over into the daytime hours on Thursday as the warm front moves north across Alabama and Mississippi toward Tennessee.
The main period of concern with the storm system will come Thursday evening and overnight as the warm front blasts north into northern Tennessee or southern Kentucky and puts our area in the warm sector of the storm system. The Storm Prediction Center has areas to our south already in a risk of severe weather for Thursday afternoon and Thursday night. However, it is possible that may have to be expanded northward into our area. Often times with systems that are configured like this one, there is a complex of storms along the Gulf Coast that blocks the fuel for severe weather from being able to move northward into our area. However, this time, there are other factors at play that may prevent that from happening, and most computer models show that unstable air, with 60+ dewpoints, moving well north into west and middle Tennessee, as well as Alabama and Mississippi. IF we do not see storms down to the south cut us off from that unstable air, our immediate area would be in a risk of severe weather Thursday night (New Year's Eve night) as well, and that would include the potential for damaging winds and a tornado risk. It is just simply too soon to determine if the risk will extend north into our area, but we are seeing increasing signs that it might. So, don't be surprised if future updates to the risk areas from the Storm Prediction Center include our area as well. Regardless, we will be carefully monitoring the situation and nailing down the details of the forecast for you, and we have our plan in place to provide you live coverage Thursday night should the risk of severe weather include our area.