Rain and Storms, One or two storms strong tonight? Unsettled weather much of the week


We will say up front immediately that this is not a big threat or a major situation by any remote stretch of the imagination.  With that out of the way, the Storm Prediction Center has upgraded our southern Tennessee counties, our Mississippi counties, and our far northwestern areas in the Shoals Weather coverage area (including the immediate Shoals metro) to a Level 2 of 5 risk of severe storms for today and tonight.  For our coverage area, the main window of time for this possible risk to evolve is from about 5:00pm to Midnight tonight.  This is not a situation where we can project out arrival times for a specific line of storms and give your county or your town a one or two hour window for storms.  This is a situation where rain and storms may be ongoing for much of the day, and later in the day, one or two random storms may grow strong enough to produce quarter size hail or a 50-60 mph wind gust.  The tornado threat is about as close to zero as it possible (since it’s never fully zero when a severe storm is possible).  That’s because the quality of the low-level moisture just isn’t favorable for an organized tornado risk.  Again, this is not a major or widespread severe weather risk, but we can’t rule out one or two storms possibly having a severe thunderstorm warning.  The main focus for that is in west Tennessee and northwest Mississippi, but we can’t rule it out in our coverage area either.

The bigger weather story this week will probably be the heavy rainfall expected from multiple rounds of rain and storms.  We still haven’t 100% fully recovered from the heavy rain that has fallen over the past few weeks; so, we can’t rule out some flooding issues again.  However, that risk has lessened more than what it looked like a couple of days ago.  The big weather system this week has shifted more to the south, taking the widespread 4-6″ rain projections with it.  That will somewhat limit the threat of widespread flooding in our area, but a good 2-3″ of rain are expected this week.  With that in mind, we can’t rule out at least isolated flooding issues between now and Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

As mentioned, the Tuesday/Wednesday storm system that had initially been looking threatening for a severe weather risk in our area has shifted southward, with a low track that stays much closer to the coast.  This keeps the warm and unstable air from getting into our area tomorrow night and Wednesday when the main dynamics move through.  Because of this, the risk of severe weather will stay well to our south.

This weather system moves out of the way Thursday with rain ending during the morning.  Drier air moves in for the rest of the week and weekend with sunshine returning and afternoon highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s.