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Sunny skies and lower humidity ahead. Rain chances return by the weekend. Watching the tropics.


Temperatures are in the upper 60s to lower 70s early this morning, but they are falling toward the mid to upper 60s as we head right toward sunset and reach our morning lows. Lower dewpoints are entering the Tennessee Valley as we speak, and you will notice the difference in humidity by this afternoon. Regional satellite and radar this morning shows mostly clear skies, with the closest rain to us along the Gulf Coast across the Florida Panhandle.


Temperatures to our north this morning are a bit cooler, in the low to mid 60s from the Ohio Valley into the Upper Midwest. This is the air mass that is moving into our area as we speak. Afternoon highs for the next few days will be in the low to mid 80s, but with significantly lower humidity. So, 85 this week does not feel like 85 last week! You'll notice the difference the most in the morning lows. The drier air will allow us to cool more efficiently overnight. Morning lows the next few days will be in the upper 50s to lower 60s! The mugginess does return toward the weekend though, as we start to get southerly flow again from the Gulf of Mexico. We also look to stay dry through Friday, with showers and thunderstorms returning to the forecast by the weekend.


A good bit of the forecast focus this week will be on the tropics and what kind of implications, if any, that may have on our local area. Tropical Storm Bill formed overnight in the western North Atlantic and has strengthened this morning to maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. Bill is moving northeastward and away from the United States. Our main focus continues to be on this tropical disturbance in the Bay of Campeche which has a high probability of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm later this week.


Models continue to close off the surface low and strengthen it a little by Thursday, and then move it northward. The GFS continues to lean a little northeastward with the track, now toward the MS/AL/FL panhandle coasts, and the Euro has now trended a little north and eastward as well, toward Louisiana. A track closer to the Euro may increase rain chances here locally late in the weekend and into early next week. However, a more easterly track like the GFS shows would likely keep the heaviest rain off to our south. We have no way of knowing the ultimate track of the system yet, but the upper air pattern that will be in place, as well as typical behavior of lopsided June storms in the Gulf like this one will be, does support the idea of a more easterly track solution. The good news is that there will be dry air and shear for the system to fight. So, while the system is likely to develop, we don't expect an overly strong one. All intensity models support either a tropical depression or a low/mid range tropical storm. If this disturbance does become a tropical storm, the next name on the list is Claudette.

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