Showers ending today. Clearing through Saturday. Rain returns Sunday. Severe storms Monday?
Most of the showers that moved through the area during the overnight and this morning have moved out of the area, and we are left with overcast skies ahead of the approaching cold front. We note another batch of rain back to the west, from southern Arkansas back into north Texas.
This disturbance is looking more and more like it will stay to the south of our viewing area, leaving us mainly overcast overnight, although we can't rule out a stray shower, especially south of the Tennessee state line.
Because of the cloud deck that will be in place, temperatures won't move a lot. We will only be down to the low to mid 40s by mid evening, and then gradually dropping into the upper 30s by daybreak on Friday. Skies look to gradually but steadily clear through the day on Friday as the cold front moves to our south before stalling near the Gulf Coast, bringing drier air back to our area.
That same cold front will be responsible for a clear and nice Saturday. We expect mostly sunny skies across the Tennessee Valley with afternoon highs near 50 degrees, after starting the day in the mid 20s. Rain chances hold off until Sunday, with the better chances in the afternoon and overnight, as our cold front comes back north as a warm front. That will bring northward a humid and unstable atmosphere overnight Sunday night, and our temperatures Sunday night into early Monday morning will likely be warmer than our daytime highs on Sunday as that warm front works north of the area overnight.
That sets us up for the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms on Monday as an upper-level system and associated surface low and cold front eject out of the Plains into the Mississippi Valley. Yesterday, we talked about two different scenarios that would be possible with this system. Over the past 24 hours, the last model that was holding onto the idea of the weaker storm system and just a heavy rain threat caved toward the others and has consistently trended toward a stronger system that gets all of our area into the warm sector. Because all models are now in general agreement on this, we have increasing confidence in the potential for a severe weather threat on Monday into Monday evening. It's still too far out for exact details on the magnitude and timing, but we do feel comfortable enough now to say that this is an equal threat to ALL of our viewing area, with the most likely timeframe being from the late morning into the early evening hours on Monday. Unfortunately, that puts the system coming through the area during the peak heating hours of the day, giving it every opportunity to have an unstable air mass to work with. Because of the overall structure of the storm system and the various parameters that will be in place, while we can't get into detail about the exact magnitude of the threat, this DOES appear to be a risk where all threat "types" are possible. That means that in addition to damaging winds and hail, storms will also have the potential to produce tornadoes.
We ask that you take the time now and over the weekend to review your severe weather safety plan and make sure you have multiple reliable ways of hearing warnings. Also be sure to keep checking back in for forecast updates as we get closer and details become more certain. Should the severe weather threat indeed materialize on Monday and we have watches and warnings, we will be here to provide LIVE coverage as conditions warrant.