Stormy Wednesday. Thanksgiving looks nice. Another system this weekend.
We're enjoying another mostly sunny to partly cloudy day across the Tennessee Valley today, but temperatures are a good bit warmer than our Monday as we moderate ahead of the next storm system. Afternoon temperatures have been in the low to mid 60s, and we look to be even warmer tomorrow, with many folks getting near 70 degrees! The storm system we're watching is currently off in the Plains where thunderstorms are developing, and a severe thunderstorm watch is in place across a large portion of Oklahoma this afternoon. These thunderstorms will continue to develop and will eventually approach our area during the predawn and morning hours, weakening as they do so.
There will be a period during the late morning and midday where we will see a lull in the action, and probably even some sun breaks in the cloud cover, before more scattered thunderstorms develop ahead of the actual cold front during the afternoon and evening hours. This will help us to destabilize the atmosphere a bit, with afternoon highs reaching near 70 degrees and low to maybe even mid 60 dewpoints coming north into the area. With the wind shear and dynamics in place, and with what looks like somewhat greater instability than what we earlier thought, the chance of a couple of severe storms is going up *just a little bit* for tomorrow afternoon and evening. It's still a low-end risk, but a few of the storms tomorrow may possibly produce a 50-60 mph wind gust or maybe even a tornado or two. We will be fully staffed and ready to provide live coverage should any warnings are issued. A Level 1 of 5 risk remains in place for our entire viewing area for Wednesday, but I wouldn't be totally shocked if some portions are eventually upgraded to a Level 2 out of 5 risk, with slightly greater instability present than what was originally expected. This is why we've cautioned that, although it's a low-end risk, that doesn't mean you should turn your back on it. The main timeframe for any strong storm development tomorrow is Noon to 8:00pm. Because this won't be a solid line but rather a strong individual storm here and there, it's not possible to give a more precise timeline than that.
Those storms move out later Wednesday evening, and drier and cooler air moves in overnight with lows dropping into the 40s. Weather for Thanksgiving Day looks great with clearing skies and highs in the mid 60s. We will between weather systems on Thursday, with quiet travel weather for a rather large part of the nation overall.
Our next weather system begins to take shape as we head into Friday. Increasing moisture across the South will lead to rain overspreading Mississippi and Alabama as the front from Wednesday comes back north as a warm front. A few showers may move into our area Friday and Friday night, especially our Alabama coverage counties, but most of the rain for Friday will stay off to the south of our viewing area.
That impulse moves up the front into the Carolinas for Saturday, and we get an overall break in the rain. We can't rule out an isolated shower or two for Saturday, but most of us will stay dry in the immediate area as the main part of the storm system organizes over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico and gets ready to head our way for Sunday into early Monday. What was once looking like a soggy Iron Bowl for Saturday is looking a bit drier now, with the more widespread rain hanging back to the southwest. If you're heading to the game though, still carry along your rain gear as the chance of showers is not zero.
The main portion of the storm system organizes and kicks out across the area on Sunday, bringing widespread rain and maybe some storms. The exact track of the surface low will determine the northward extent of the risk of strong storms, but the latest trends have been for any severe risk to stay off to the south of our area. Rainfall may be heavy at times though Sunday afternoon and Sunday night as the system moves through the area.
Here's where things get somewhat interesting. The storm system starts pulling away later Sunday night with colder air rushing in on strong northern winds. Temperatures by daybreak on Monday morning will likely be near or below freezing deep into north Alabama. As the storm system pulls away and energy wraps around the back side, there MIGHT be just enough residual moisture on the backside of the storm system for a few LIGHT snow FLURRIES to be squeezed out across the area during the first half of the day on Monday. Even the models that are most aggressive with this show NO ACCUMULATION, and with this being wrap-around moisture instead of a low in the Gulf, that automatically decreases the chances of any problems by a LARGE amount.
Regardless of any flurries, much colder air will be in place, with afternoon highs for the first half of next week struggling to get to 40 degrees and overnight lows heading for at least the mid 20s, and those may have to be lowered as we assess new forecast data as it comes in. It will definitely feel like the Christmas season as we head into next week!