The Storm Prediction Center has outlined a large part of our viewing area in a Level 1 of 5 risk for severe storms on Friday. This will be for thunderstorms ahead of the cold front we've been talking about that moves in later tomorrow. We will say up front that we have no reason to believe this is a tornado threat for any portion of our area. You can never 100% rule out anything when it comes to thunderstorms, but the ingredients necessary for tornadoes simply are not there. This risk area has been put in place because one or two storms may be briefly strong enough for a 40-60 mph wind gust or maybe hail of dime, penny, or maybe even quarter size.
By daybreak on Friday, clouds will be increasing across the area ahead of the front, but we should still be dry with the closest showers and storms still way to our northwest. As we head into the late morning and midday, scattered showers and thunderstorms will start to pop up in random locations across the area. As temperatures warm during the midday and afternoon, instability will increase, and this may allow a few of them to grow strong and maybe one or two of them become severe. As we head toward sunset, the front approaches the area with a more organized line of storms moving across the area from northwest to southeast, with most of the heavier activity clearing our viewing area before midnight.
It looks like the heavier activity is well out of here before any of the college football games start on Saturday. Scattered showers are still possible by Saturday afternoon when Alabama goes up against Tennessee with a 2:30 pm kickoff. Temperatures look to be in the low to maybe mid 70s. For Auburn battling Ole Miss at 11:00am, temperatures will start in the lower 60s, rising as we head into the afternoon under gradually clearing skies.
Temperatures in our immediate area on Saturday drop back into the mid and maybe upper 60s for highs behind the cold front, but that cool down is only brief. We start warming again as we head into Sunday and early next week with afternoon highs jumping back into the mid and upper 70s.
That warmer air is because the cold front moves back north as a warm front Sunday and then stalls near the area during the early part of next week. Impulses ride along the front, allowing the chance for periods of rain showers across the area beginning later Monday and lasting into Wednesday. It won't rain the whole time, and it won't be a big, heavy soaking rain during the first half of the week, but your particular location will probably see at least a little bit of rain between Monday and Wednesday.
We're starting to get more interested in the latter part of next week as that upper low finally ejects out of the Southwest and a near surface low forms on the frontal boundary. That pulls the front into northern Tennessee or Kentucky and puts us in the warm sector as the upper low approaches at some point between Thursday and early Friday. It's still WAY far out, and there's still a lot of uncertainty, but most of the models are starting to key in on the idea that there MAY be a risk of stronger thunderstorms with that system either here or nearby. We still have a full week to sort out those details, and we will bring you that information as we get closer and key factors and details become more clear and certain.