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Winter-like today, clearing but chilly through Friday, and then warmer weather ahead

Today has been a dreary, raw, winter-like day across the Tennessee Valley. We've even seen a bit of sleet and graupel mixed in with the rain showers earlier because of evaporational cooling, but with temperatures well into the 40s, this didn't even have the slightest change of posing problems. Showers will come to an end from northwest to southeast as we head into the afternoon, but the cloud cover will linger for the rest of the day. Temperatures will likely stay below 50 degrees for most folks across our viewing area this afternoon.

Clouds break up from northwest to southeast as we head into the evening and overnight. This allows temperatures over southern middle Tennessee to drop into the low to mid 30s overnight and toward daybreak on Thursday, with mid 30s extending back into north Mississippi. Clouds will linger longer over northern Alabama, insulating the area overnight. Temperatures look to only drop into the upper 30s and lower 40s in these areas. Clouds clear as we head through Thursday, and the added sunshine allows everyone in our area to "warm" back into the low to mid 50s by afternoon.

Temperatures dropping to the low/middle 30s across parts of the area tonight have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a FREEZE WARNING for tonight into Thursday morning for all of southern middle Tennessee, and a FROST ADVISORY extends down into northern Mississippi. Make plans to protect tender vegetation in these areas tonight. Even colder temperatures are likely Thursday night into Friday morning with the potential for a light frost or freeze areawide, even across northern Alabama.

Clouds begin to clear out as we head through Thursday, and sunshine makes a big return Friday and into the weekend. This allows temperatures to warm back into the upper 50s on Friday and into the low to mid 60s for the weekend and into Monday.

Speaking of this weekend, don't forget that Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend. Clocks roll back one hour at 2:00 AM Sunday morning. This is also an important time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and your weather radios. That is an important thing to do since we are now into our fall tornado season across the Tennessee Valley and the Southeastern United States.

As we head into the first half of next week, ridging aloft develops over the Southeast. This pushes us into a warmer weather pattern with mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies and highs into the upper 60s and lower 70s. I wouldn't rule out some north Alabama communities possibly making a run at the mid 70s by the middle of next week. Beyond this, we will be watching the latter part of next week for a system to possibly bring showers and thunderstorms to the area before another big cool down. It is way too far out to try to determine whether that storm system may bring a severe weather risk, but this is the core of the fall tornado season, and we will have to watch things carefully.

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