Scattered showers and thunderstorms have finally returned to the area after a break in the rain for the past several days. So far this afternoon, the vast majority of the activity has stretched from northeast Mississippi, up the Natchez Trace into southern Tennessee, then down the Highway 64 corridor. However, we are starting to see additional develop over portions of northern Alabama. It's probable that the radar will continue to fill in a bit more as we head through the next several hours. The clouds and rain are keeping the temperatures down, with much of southern middle Tennessee sitting in the mid 70s. Meanwhile, where it has been dry over north Alabama so far, temperatures have gotten up into the mid 80s.
Showers and thunderstorms over north Mississippi and southwest Tennessee will continue to shift into the area through the afternoon and evening, but many of them will likely weaken as we head into the evening and we lose daytime heating. However, the atmosphere will still be somewhat unstable because of the soupy air that has returned, and we see indications over redevelopment across the area into the overnight hours and into the early morning of Saturday. Nothing is expected to be severe, but don't be surprised if you are awakened by thunder overnight. As we head into Saturday, with a bit of sunshine and an increase in instability, we look to see a few more spotty storms to develop in the afternoon. They just don't look to be as widespread as today.
Expect more of the same for Sunday, as the deep moisture continues to sit over the area as high pressure shifts east and we have a deep southerly flow. However, with lack of a defined focusing mechanism, it may be pretty hard to get rain and storms to go; so, we're going to go with lower rain chances. Disturbances start to move back across by early next week which should allow increasing rain chances again as we head into Monday and Tuesday.
Warmer temperatures return through the weekend and early next week as well. We start getting near 90 degrees as early as Sunday, and we look to be in the lower 90s for the first half of next week. A few of us may approach the mid 90s. That means heat index values are going to be back near or a little over 100 degrees again for a few days, but not quite to the extreme amount that we saw with the heat wave last week. Dewpoints will be in the lower 70s versus the upper 70s and into the 80s, and that will help just a little bit.
We continue to watch the tropical wave that has rolled off the coast of Africa. The National Hurricane Center still gives it a 60% chance of development into a tropical depression or tropical storm over the next few days, but that is down just a little bit from previous outlooks. Regardless of whether this wave develops or not, the overall environmental background conditions across the Atlantic continue to grow more favorable for tropical development, and we will continue to see activity tick upward as we head through the month.