It's a wet and rumbly afternoon across the Tennessee Valley with widespread showers and thunderstorms moving through the area. These storms are ahead of a cold front that will bring drier and slightly cooler air to the area temporarily over the next day or two. Despite the storms, temperatures earlier today climbed into the mid to upper 80s, but storms have since rain-cooled our air mass across much of the Valley. Thunderstorms come to an end after we lose daytime heating this evening, with temperatures dropping through the 70s into the 60s overnight.
High temperatures for tomorrow have trended a little warmer than previous thinking, but we're still talking about highs staying in the lower 80s, despite a return to sunshine during the day. The big difference will be the drier air mass as dewpoints in the 50s, maybe even upper 40s, shifts into the area! We start easing back to the mid to upper 80s as early as Saturday though as high pressure shifts eastward. That also means that moisture will begin moving back in, especially by Sunday into next week, and we return to isolated storm chances. High temperatures head back for the upper 80s, if not lower 90s, toward the middle of next week.
The tropical disturbance we've been tracking near the Yucatan is in the process of trying to form into a tropical depression, and the National Hurricane Center will officially be declaring it as "Potential Tropical Cyclone #1" at 4:00 PM Central Time this afternoon. "Potential Tropical Cyclone" means a system that hasn't fully become a tropical depression or storm yet, but has a high chance of doing so and is close enough to land that watches and warnings have to be issued. This system is expected to become Tropical Storm Alex as it shifts northeastward toward southern Florida. Due to the strong wind shear in place, as well as drier air over the western Gulf that may impact the system, the tropical system likely won't be that strong... mainly a rainmaker. Aside from an increasing risk of rip currents, we expect no direct impacts along the northern Gulf Coast, and no impacts locally here in the Tennessee Valley area.