Forecasts

27 posts

A strong storm or two is possible tonight, Rain chances every day for the next week but not a total washout

The Storm Prediction Center has all of the Shoals Weather coverage area in a risk of severe storms for today/tonight, with our risk being mainly during the evening and overnight hours.  All of our Alabama and Mississippi counties are in a Level 1 of 5 risk while our Tennessee counties are in a Level 2 of 5 risk.  Areas off to our north across northern Tennessee and west Kentucky and other adjacent areas are in a Level 3 out of 5 risk.  That is where the main severe weather risk will be this afternoon and evening, well to the north of our coverage area.  We will be watching for the remnants of these storms to sag southward across our coverage area during the evening and overnight.  They will be weakening as they move in, but we can’t rule out a storm producing gusty winds or small hail.  That means a stray severe thunderstorm warning or two is possible.  We think any tornado threat will be to the north of our coverage area where storms will be stronger.  The main timeframe for our coverage area is roughly 10:00pm tonight through about 4:00am Friday morning, but a few scattered showers and NON-severe storms are possible even during the daylight hours today.

Aside from the storms, it will be very warm and breezy today across the area under mostly cloudy skies.  Winds will be out of the southwest at around 10 to 20 mph, and afternoon highs will get up into the mid and upper 70s across the area.

The overall forecast at first glance for the next seven days is a wet one, with a chance of rain every single day.  Average rainfall amounts across the area for the next week will likely be in the 2 to 3 inch range.  However, it won’t be a total washout.  There will be periods of dry weather every day as well, but with a general southwest to west flow aloft, we won’t be getting rid of the shower chances any time soon.  Afternoon highs each day will range from the mid 60s to the low 70s.  The good news is that after the low severe weather risk this evening and tonight, we don’t see any signs of an organized risk of severe storms in our area for the remainder of the next seven days.  We are in our spring tornado season though, and because of this, we will monitor that very carefully for changes.

Watching Wednesday for thunderstorms. Could a few be strong?

 

The weather system that brings showers and storms to the area Monday night and Tuesday departs off to the northeast by Wednesday and sets us up under west to northwest flow aloft in the mid and upper levels.  The front at the surface never makes it through here by Wednesday, and that leaves us in a warm and humid air mass.  Another disturbance in the flow aloft moves out of the Ozarks toward the Tennessee Valley on Wednesday, and that will likely lead to another round of thunderstorms.  With very cold air aloft and the upper-level jet stream overhead, it’s starting to look more possible for conditions to come together for a few of these storms to possibly be strong or even severe Wednesday afternoon and evening.  There isn’t currently any outlooked risk area from the Storm Prediction Center, but we are noticing the ingredients consistently come together from run to run in the computer model data, and our local National Weather Service offices are taking notice and are mentioning it as well.

This doesn’t look like your classic severe weather outbreak setup or anything like that.  It looks more comparable to the clusters of storms we see move southeastward across the area during the late spring and summer months.  The potential for a few storms to produce wind gusts of 60+ mph and hail to quarters or larger will be the main threats.  The tornado threat in a setup like this usually is not the headliner.  The background wind profile isn’t all that strong.  However, any small scale boundaries that the storms may interact with or any internal mechanisms that may develop within the line of storms could change what the wind profile looks like, and we have absolutely no way of knowing that right now.  As of right now, this looks more like a severe thunderstorm watch type of event than a tornado watch type of event, but we will have to watch things carefully for any changes.  This is our primary severe weather season in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee… and we just have to be on guard this time of year.

It’s not possible to give a small, solid timeline this far in advance, but the general window of opportunity for this risk to possibly materialize Wednesday would probably be from Noon to 10:00pm, with the mid afternoon through mid evening hours being the most likely time.  We will refine that timeline as we get closer.  This is NOT a guarantee of severe weather.  Setups like these are very fickle and are prone to changes, but it seems like our forecast data is starting to lock onto this potential, and it’s time to give you the early head’s up.  This is not looking like a major severe weather event, a tornado outbreak, a repeat of Nashville and Cookeville, or ANY of that.  It just looks like a day when a few storms may have some severe thunderstorm warnings with them for damaging winds and hail, and we can’t 100% rule out a tornado warning or two.

We will have updated information as the situation becomes more clear, and we will have live coverage on Wednesday if any watches or warnings are issued.

Sunny but breezy and cool today, Warming trend this weekend, Rain returns next week

Today will be a beautiful sunny day, but it will be a bit cool.  Afternoon highs will climb into the mid 50s, but northerly winds of 10 to 20 mph will definitely put a bit of a chill in the air despite all the sunshine.  Clear skies tonight will mean radiational cooling as the winds die down a bit, and that will allow temperatures to drop to near freezing by daybreak.  This will be our coldest night of the next seven days.

A warming trend begins over the weekend as high pressure shifts off to the east.  That allows winds to shift to more of a southerly and southwesterly direction with time.  Afternoon highs Saturday will climb to near 60 degrees and then the mid 60s for Sunday.  A few more clouds will be in place on Sunday as moisture gradually increases, but Saturday will be a mostly sunny day.

You knew it couldn’t stay dry for long in March.  Showers and even a few thunderstorms return to the forecast going into next week.  It won’t rain all day each week, but there will be a respectable chance of at least a bit of rain just about each day.  We will be warm as well, with afternoon highs in the lower 70s.  The good news is we still continue to not see any signs of a severe weather risk approaching with any of these disturbances.

A bit wet today, Rain ends tomorrow, Beautiful weekend ahead

Today is going to be another cloudy and showery day as the main weather system finally ejects out and moves across the area.  Expect periods of showers across the area today and tonight, with the best chance of steady rain being south of the Tennessee River, and areas north of the Tennessee state line having the lowest rain chances.  With cool conditions and the warm sector staying well to our south, any risk of severe weather will stay well to our south.  Showers continue tonight before coming to an end tomorrow morning.

That rain comes to an end Thursday morning as the storm system shifts east, and then cooler air moves in for a few days as we get into northerly flow.  Afternoon highs will dip back into the 50s through Friday with generally sunny skies expected.

A warming trend starts over the weekend as high pressure shifts east and our winds become first easterly and then more southerly.  Sunny skies and those shifting winds will allow us to warm up to almost 60 degrees on Saturday, and then into the mid 60s on Sunday.  A few more clouds will be in the area on Sunday as moisture starts to increase, but we should stay dry.  Shower and thunderstorm chances do return for early next week, but as of now, we see no signs that a severe weather threat will be involved.

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.

Beautiful Weekend, More Rain Coming

We have sunny skies to start out the weekend with warming temperatures! Highs today will reach the 50s. More clouds will be moving in Sunday ahead of our next storm system, but we should stay dry through sunset. Highs will warm into the 60s! Get outside and enjoy!

Rain moves in Sunday night and Monday. Periods of heavy rain are possible Monday through Wednesday with flooding very possible. Some strong storms may be possible as well, but we are still working out those details.

Storm total rain amounts look to be 4 to 6 inches across the area. Some model data is pointing to locally higher amounts, which would lead to much more flooding.


Stay tuned, we will have the latest on this developing storm system throughout the weekend. Have a great Saturday!

A bit chilly today, Warming this weekend, Stormy next week

The big upper trough that has brought us dreary weather for the past several days is finally beginning to shift over to the east.  This means we get left in northwest flow behind the cold front though.  Despite skies becoming mostly sunny, today and tomorrow will be a bit on the chilly side with highs today only in the upper 40s to near 50 degrees and temperatures tomorrow in the low to mid 50s.  It won’t be quite as cool tomorrow, but there will still be a bit of a chill in the air, especially when the west-northwest wind kicks up during the day.  There may also be a STRAY shower or two Friday as a weak disturbance moves across the area, but most folks stay dry and the best chance of a shower looks to be in northeast Alabama and adjacent areas of Tennessee.

 

Things begin to change as we head into the weekend though.  High pressure shifts to our south and then southeast and this allows our winds to first shift around to the west, and then out of the southwest.  That means a warming trend as winds start to come off the Gulf of Mexico as the high pressure shifts eastward.  Afternoon highs will be in the upper 50s on Saturday, and even though clouds will start to increase on Sunday, it will be even warmer with highs in the mid 60s.

Showers will be possible on Monday as those southerly winds strengthen and bring moisture north, along with a warm front that will move northward through the area.  Daytime highs on Monday, despite the increased clouds and chance of showers, will make it into the upper 60s, and we can’t rule out 70 degrees if there are a few breaks of sun in the clouds.  That warm front continues lifting north of our area and puts us squarely in the warm sector of an approaching storm system by Tuesday into Wednesday.  There are significant timing differences still, but it looks like there will likely be a round of thunderstorms at some point in the general time from late day Tuesday, Tuesday night, or possibly as late as Wednesday.  We added thunderstorms on both days on the 7-day forecast to account for the timing uncertainty, but it won’t storm that whole time period.  We just have increasing confidence in storms at some point in that time window, and then we will narrow the timing down as the details concerning that become more clear.  Despite the timing differences, it is looking more and more like this may be a storm system that will bring the potential for severe weather to our general area… either here, very near here, or both… possibly over a large part of Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and adjacent areas.  Way too soon for details on exact areas at risk, exact timing, or the magnitude of the threat… but it is something we will have to watch carefully in the coming days.  We can’t guarantee a severe weather event, but many other weather systems in the past that have “looked” like this one have produced severe storms in the area.  Keep checking back for updated information in the days ahead as details become more clear.

Showers today, possibly a few flurries. Drier for end of the week. Warming through the weekend. Stormy next week.

 

Another disturbance in the large scale trough moves through the area today with showers moving across the area from the morning into the early afternoon.  This will also be in association with a cold front that moves through.  Temperatures in the mid 40s around midday will start dropping during the afternoon and reach the mid 30s by the end of the day.  As the colder air deepens, the showers will become much less widespread, but it’s very possible that they may switch over to a few scattered snow flurries or snow showers.  Unlike the snow situation last week, this won’t be a setup with Gulf moisture involved.  That means that any flurries will be isolated and actual impacts or accumulations are not expected.  Flurries and light showers come to an end overnight and temperatures eventually drop into the upper 20s by daybreak on Thursday.

Thursday will be the coldest day, with highs in the upper 40s, before the big trough starts shifting to the east and winds gradually switch more westerly.  Models have been steadily trending warmer with time concerning temperatures from Friday and especially the weekend.  With more of a westerly component aloft, less of the deeper cold air is tapped, and we’re having to bump up our afternoon highs because of that.  That also means that second chance of flurries that had earlier looked possible on Friday is looking more like an isolated rain shower chance for our area instead.

The weekend is looking dry and warmer with westerly flow aloft allowing mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies and a warming trend.  Afternoon highs on Saturday are expected into the upper 50s or maybe even lower 60s, and mid to maybe even upper 60s are looking more likely for Sunday.

Going into early next week, southwest flow aloft sets up over the area ahead of a big storm system out west.  That promotes strong southerly winds from the Gulf of Mexico to bring moisture northward into the area.  Shower chances increase a little on Monday as moisture increases and the warm front moves through the area.  Afternoon highs in the upper 60s look increasingly likely, and we may have to continue to bump those closer to 70.  Low to maybe even mid 70s look to be the case for Tuesday as the storm system starts to eject out and approach the area.  At some point in the Tuesday to Wednesday timeframe, the storm system will move into the area, and that will mean a round of thunderstorms moves through the area.  It’s still way far out there, and there are some significant differences with both timing and evolution of the system, but this may just be a case where we have to watch for the potential for severe storms.  This could happen as early as Tuesday afternoon and evening, or some believable model solutions have been even as slow as Wednesday afternoon and evening.  We will figure all that out in the days ahead.  This is just an early notice to let you know we have a system to watch and that you need to keep checking back for updated information in the days ahead.

A break in the rain today. Showers and maybe flurries for Wednesday? Drier for the weekend though!

Today will be a pretty mild day, and more importantly a dry one, as we enjoy a break between disturbances.  Afternoon highs will climb into the lower 60s, and this will be the warmest day we have ahead of us until the beginning of next week.  The next weather system is on the way though, and shower chances return late tonight and especially by early Wednesday morning.

    

Showers continue at times for Wednesday but colder air will be moving in during the afternoon with temperatures dropping from the mid 40s into the mid 30s.  That may allow for lingering showers to switch over to light snow showers and snow flurries by late afternoon and during the evening.  As you can see, there is a good agreement in the models for that to happen.  Because of the limited moisture to work with since this will be a clipper instead of a Gulf low, and the isolated nature, we do NOT expect any significant impacts or accumulations.  We can’t rule out this being similar to other situations this winter though, where some areas may see a light dusting under heavier snow showers.

That wave exits Thursday night and colder air moves in with overnight lows into the upper 20s.  Another weak wave in the northwest flow aloft MIGHT spark off another round of spotty light showers or maybe even snow flurries Friday evening through early Saturday morning.  There’s a lower chance of that happening than with the Wednesday system, but we can’t rule it out.  IF it were to happen, we don’t expect any impacts.  Then, we dry out for the remainder of the weekend as a warming trend starts.  Afternoon highs by Sunday reach 60 under a mostly sunny sky.

Then, our attention turns to the west as we begin the week.  Southerly flow will bring increasing moisture to the area starting Monday, and that means the chance of showers will return, along with warmer weather.  A bigger storm system comes out of the Plains Tuesday into Wednesday though, and that brings increasing thunderstorm chances.  It’s WAY entirely too far out to try to guess exact timing or intensity or exact areas to watch, but early large scale indications suggest this MIGHT be a system we have to watch for potential for strong or maybe severe storms.  Our graphic highlights a Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning timeframe, but there is some reliable model guidance that suggests the system might eject slower and be more of a Wednesday / Wednesday evening ordeal for our area.  We have PLENTY of time to try to figure out those details in the week ahead.  This is just an early tap on your shoulder to let you know that we have a system to watch and we want you to keep checking back in for updated information as we get closer.

Rain likely today, Somewhat gloomy weather for much of the week

 

Wet is the key word in the forecast for today.  Rain is pretty much a certainty across the area at times through today, even though it won’t rain over the whole area for the entire day.  However, from late morning into the mid afternoon, there may be several hours in there where most folks see a steady soaking rain.  Some of that rain may be heavy at times too, but nothing close to the kind of flooding we have previously seen earlier in the month.  The more widespread and steady rain will start shifting east by late afternoon, with many areas starting to catch a good break in the rain by the end of the day.

The Storm Prediction Center has decided to place some of our Mississippi and west Tennessee counties in a Level 1 of 5 risk of severe storms for today.  That’s mainly for those stronger looking storms you see in northeast Arkansas into northwest Mississippi on that 4pm Future Radar image earlier in the post.  A few of those storms may be strong with gusty winds or small hail.  In all honesty, we do not expect any organized severe weather at all in our coverage area today.  Those areas to the west will be more unstable than our area, with temperatures over there climbing into the 60s and dewpoints climbing into the low 60s as well, and they will also be closer to the dynamics of the storm system.  Because of the clouds and rain across the area today, our temperatures will be locked into the 50s, and we just will not have a chance to get unstable for a severe weather risk here.  High resolution models have those thunderstorms significantly weakening before they ever approach our western counties this evening.  Don’t be surprised if you hear a few rumbles of thunder though.  With a lack of instability across our coverage area and the dynamics with the storm system off to the northwest, it really wouldn’t shock us if that risk area from the Storm Prediction Center is removed for our Mississippi and Tennessee coverage counties in later updates today.

This first disturbance and its associated front moves through overnight, bringing an end to the rain, but colder air doesn’t quite move in just yet.  We expect clouds to linger around on Tuesday as we will still be underneath the larger scale upper trough, but afternoon highs will still be able to climb into the upper 50s or even lower 60s despite that.

The main push of cold air associated with a second disturbance in the overall trough moves through on Wednesday with showers likely, especially during the morning.  The surface cold front moves through around midday or early early afternoon, and then the temperatures drop quickly from the mid 40s into the mid 30s.  As the temperatures fall into the 30s, some of the lingering showers behind the cold front might just transition over to a few light snow flurries.  No impacts or issues are expected.

Cooler air is expected for the rest of the week, with overnight lows back into the 20s to lower 30s and afternoon highs in the 40s to lower 50s.  A weak disturbance in the flow may allow for a few light showers or flurries early Saturday morning, but that again looks like a situation with no impacts expected, and models have been trending drier with that disturbance overall.  Temperatures start to moderate as we head into the first day of March (Sunday) with afternoon highs in the mid 50s.

Mostly dry weekend, Rain ahead to begin the new week

After a chilly start this morning with temperatures in the low 20s across many areas, we expect an afternoon that’s not nearly as cold as your Friday.  Afternoon highs will top out in the mid 50s under partly cloudy skies, with clouds gradually on the increase during the latter part of the day.  Our Saturday night won’t be nearly as cold either, with overnight lows a good 12 to 15 degrees “warmer” than this morning, with daybreak Sunday temperatures only expected to get down to the mid 30s.  Skies will be mostly cloudy on Sunday, but with winds switching around to the south, we expect temperatures to still climb into the mid 50s.  Those southerly winds will begin to bring moisture into the area, and that means the chance of showers will return late in the day and especially by Sunday night.

The next storm system approaches the area as we go into Monday, and with the increasing moisture, this means that rain becomes very likely through much of the day.  A few rumbles of thunder can be expected as well, but severe weather is not expected.  Afternoon temperatures will climb into the mid to maybe upper 50s.  Rain continues into Monday evening before gradually moving to the east as the first cold front moves through the area.  Tuesday will be a day with a mix of sun and clouds, but with westerly winds in place, the main cold air mass behind the front won’t yet be moving into the area, and afternoon highs will sneak into the low 60s.

A second disturbance moves through the flow and brings a secondary cold front into the area on Wednesday.  Clouds will linger, and showers will be likely.  Cooler air will move in during the evening, and lingering showers Wednesday night into early Thursday morning may change over to snow flurries or light snow showers as temperatures drop near and just below freezing.  Unlike the snow this past week, this will be lingering moisture behind the front instead of having Gulf moisture involved.  This means that any snow will be very light and spotty, meaning that significant impacts are NOT expected.

That system moves out Thursday morning, and clouds gradually decrease through the day.  Mostly sunny skies are expected on Friday as the upper trough departs and high pressure builds into the area.  Temperatures by Friday afternoon will begin to moderate, with highs back into the lower 50s.

A little wintry weather today, dry for the weekend, rain returns next week

 

Rain is already starting to overspread the area during the predawn hours this morning, and that will only continue further as a disturbance moves through and interacts with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.  At the same time, high pressure from the north will be pushing colder air southward into the area, and as we transition from one regime to another this morning, the weather may become a little interesting across the area for a few hours.  As cold air begins to deepen and precipitation gets heavier, we expect the northern edge of the rain mass to start mixing with and switch over to sleet and snow for a few hours.  The main potential for this will generally be near and north of U.S. Highway 72.  Temperatures will be several degrees above freezing, and ground and pavement temperatures will be in the mid 40s to low 50s; so, we are not expecting any major travel issues at all.  However, if a heavier snow band develops, there may be a brief time where bridges and elevated surfaces become slushy for an hour or two before melting takes over.  We definitely can’t rule out some light accumulation on grassy surfaces though.  The best chance of an inch or isolated higher amounts of accumulation would be in our southern Tennessee counties, but we can’t rule out a dusting or SLIGHTLY higher amounts on grassy areas as far south as Lauderdale, Colbert, and Limestone Counties of Alabama or Alcorn, Prentiss, and Tishomingo Counties of Mississippi.  Overall, this will be a very low impact event for everyone in our coverage area.

Rain ends later today, and then colder air moves in.  Overnight lows tonight will be down into the low to mid 20s for tonight and Friday night, and we only manage low to mid 40s for highs for your Friday, despite sunny skies.  Dry weather stays in place for the vast majority of the weekend before shower chances creep back into the forecast Sunday night.  We have a couple of rain “threats” from systems moving through the area early to middle of next week, but we don’t see any really impactful weather from either of those, at least at this time.  There may be a wintry threat *close by* by the middle of next week, but at least for now, it’s looking more and more like that will likely miss us.  Stay tuned as we work out the details over the coming days!

Cloudy & Cooler Today, Snow Thursday?

A strong cold front moved through last night dropping the temps sharply behind it. Scattered showers will be ending this morning but the clouds will likely hold tough for most of us today. A few lucky areas may see some peeks of sunshine this afternoon. Highs will top out in the upper 40s to lower 50s this afternoon.

Another fast moving system starts to affect the area late night and into Thursday. Models have been trending cooler with the start of this system, and we may have some wintry precip to deal with Thursday morning. Most models are showing temps in the lower to middle 30s with a wintry mix moving in. Some light snow accumulation will be possible, mainly on grassy and elevated areas Thursday morning. Snow is always a tough forecast…so know this all could stay rain!

Much like the event a few weeks ago…some locations may be “lucky” (or unlucky depending on your view!) and get a quick heavy burst of snow. We will have more on this system as we go into this afternoon and tonight. Below are the EURO and NAM model maps for what they think on snow totals…

EURO MODEL: Total Accumulated Snowfall – Valid Friday Feb 21 00Z
NAM MODEL: Total Accumulated Snowfall – Valid Friday Feb 21 00Z

This system moves out of the area Thursday afternoon and we clear out Thursday night and Friday. Sunshine will be nice Friday, but the temperatures will be cold! Highs will only be in the 40s Friday with lows dropping well into the 20s Friday night into Saturday morning!

Showers may return as early as Sunday, unfortunately. Right now the rain does not look overly heavy, but keep checking back!

Have a great Wednesday!

 

Temperatures continue to warm, Rain early in the week, Turning cooler again

 

Temperatures will continue the moderating trend today, but it will be a good bit more cloudy.  We can’t rule out a stray shower or two as a disturbance tracks across areas to our south, but the more widespread rain looks to stay in central and southern areas of Mississippi and Alabama and then southward toward the Gulf Coast.  Afternoon highs today will be in the mid to upper 50s.  That warming trend continues into Monday with afternoon highs in the mid to upper 60s, a good ten degrees warmer than what we expect for today.

Organized rain chances return late in the day tomorrow, and especially tomorrow night and Tuesday.  Another disturbance approaches from the west, and this will be associated with a more significant cold front.  There may be a few showers in the afternoon, but the main rain chances will hold off until overnight.  Thunderstorm chances will increase after midnight and going into Tuesday.  We do not expect any organized severe weather this time, but we can’t rule out a strong storm with gusty winds on Tuesday as the front moves through.  Shower chances hang on through Tuesday night as the front sags southward into the area and cooler air moves into the area.

Rain associated with the cold front will end across the area Wednesday morning as colder air moves in, but shower chances linger through Thursday as a disturbance moves through the northern Gulf of Mexico.  This could otherwise be an interesting weather setup this time of year, but temperatures in this situation will not be cold enough for winter weather issues.

The high pressure area in the map above slides southeast over the area Friday, with our coldest temperatures of the week expected Friday morning, with lows currently expected to be in the mid 20s.  That high continues shifting east as we go into the weekend, and as winds swing around to the south, temperatures begin to warm again, with highs on Saturday expected to climb back into the 50s.

Moderating temperatures this weekend, Rain chances return to begin the week

This will be our last really cold morning for a few days at minimum, with moderating temperatures starting today.  Afternoon highs will reach the mid to upper 50s with mostly sunny skies during the morning but clouds increasing during the afternoon.  A good bit more of the same is expected for Sunday, but more in the way of clouds, and we can’t completely rule out a stray shower or two, but most folks across our area will stay dry.  Even warmer weather is in store for Monday, with afternoon highs in the mid to maybe upper 60s.

Things change by Monday night and Tuesday as the next big weather system approaches from the west.  Moisture will be increasing through the day on southerly winds, and by evening shower chances will be on the increase as well.  Showers and thunderstorms become likely after midnight into at least the first half of Tuesday as the cold front gets closer.  Fortunately, it looks like the necessary ingredients for a severe weather threat will not be in place this time.

Widespread rain ends Tuesday night, but a few rounds of lingering showers will be possible both Wednesday and Thursday as smaller disturbances move through after the cold front passes.  The bigger story for the second half of the new work week will be cooler temperatures again as an arctic high pressure area from Alaska moves southward and parks itself over the Ohio Valley area for a few days.  Highs drop back into the 40s, and overnight lows drop back into the upper 20s to lower 30s.  It’s possible some of these temperatures may have to be nudged downward in future forecast updates.

Rain moves out, Cold end to the week, More rain going into early next week

Big weather changes are in store for the next couple of days across the area.  Rain is moving out of the picture this morning as the cold front moves through the area, and then the temperatures go the wrong way the rest of the day!  Morning temperatures in the upper 40s and lower 50s at the start of the day will drop into the low to mid 40s by afternoon as gusty northwest winds of 10-20 mph bring in much cooler air.  Clouds will hang tough, although there could be a few peeks of sunshine by late in the day.  Overnight, skies clear and winds become much lighter, and this will allow temperatures to drop quickly, with lows by daybreak Friday in the low to mid 20s.  It wouldn’t be a complete surprise if some of our colder areas in southern Tennessee or northern Lauderdale and Limestone Counties creep down as low as the 19 or 20 degree range.  And despite sunny skies on Friday, afternoon highs only manage to get near 40 degrees, with several of our reliable high resolution models suggesting we might not get out of the mid to upper 30s.  Friday night will feature one more really chilly night, with overnight lows dropping into the mid 20 under clear skies and light winds.

Saturday is the start of a gradual but steady warming trend.  Mostly sunny skies will give way to an increase in clouds during the afternoon.  Highs will be cool, but not nearly as much as the days before, with afternoon highs in the lower 50s.  Even warmer still on Sunday, with afternoon highs in the upper 50s under mostly cloudy skies.  If we have a little more sun than currently expected, we can’t rule out low 60s.

We knew the break in the rain wouldn’t last forever, and our next weather system moves in early next week.  The front bringing the cooler air will move back northward quickly on Monday as a warm front.  Afternoon highs are expected to reach the mid 60s as southerly winds increase.  The chance of showers and storms will also increase by Monday night as the warm front comes north.  The main weather system moves through the area Tuesday and Tuesday evening.  Afternoon highs will reach the mid to upper 60s, and we can’t rule out lower 70s.  The Euro model is suggesting that, and it has done a great job with the past few systems.  It is also suggesting we *might* have to eye this system on Tuesday for the potential for stronger storms.  That is very much NOT a certainty at all, but even the Storm Prediction Center is starting to note that a risk of severe storms MAY be POSSIBLE by Tuesday, although they are not actually drawing out a risk area just yet.  We will certainly watch that in the coming days and fine tune the forecast as new data comes in.  That front moves through Tuesday night, with the next bout of cooler air moving in for the middle of next week.

Severe storms possible late today and tonight, Drying out but colder for rest of the work week

 

The Storm Prediction Center maintains a Level 2 out of 5 risk of severe weather for this afternoon and tonight across a large part of our coverage area.  The risk extends from Booneville, MS to Waterloo, AL to Lawrenceburg, TN and then south and east of that line.  That means it includes the immediate Shoals metro and all of northwest Alabama.  Overall, this doesn’t appear to be any kind of major severe weather risk, just the “standard” type of risk you may see during the winter months.  The wind energy with this storm will be very strong, but the instability (or fuel) to drive storms will be very low.  That is despite warm and humid air that will be in place by late afternoon and evening, after a chilly start to the morning.  Warm temperatures in the mid-levels of the atmosphere means that temperatures won’t decrease that quickly at all with height, and there’s even a layer in which they warm with height.  This will significantly lower the amount of instability that will be available for storms to tap into.  Having said that, the dynamics and shear will be strong enough to possibly overcome this limitation and allow a few storms to still grow strong to severe.  We expect the storms to be in the form of a line that will move from west to east across the area.  Damaging wind gusts of 50-60 mph will be the primary hazard with this line, although trees may still be knocked down by gradient winds well out ahead of the storms during the afternoon.  There is still the risk of a few tornadoes with the line late this afternoon and tonight as well, but the overall risk is fairly low.  Still, a tornado is a tornado, and even a lower-end type tornado can be dangerous and deadly, especially to people in mobile homes and manufactured housing.  As long as the current risk levels stay in place, it is likely that a large part of the area will be placed in a Tornado Watch during the afternoon hours.  Having said all of that, the biggest concern is still likely to be the potential for more flooding and flash flooding.  A general 1 to 2 inches of rain is expected through tonight, and the ground across our area really can’t hold anymore water at all.  Any additional heavy rain, even if it doesn’t last all that long, will have the potential to significantly increase the threat of flash flooding across the area.

This is the general timeline when we want you to be prepared and alert for the potential for severe weather this afternoon and tonight.  This does not mean that it will storm the entire time in these locations, but for the areas highlighted, this is the window of opportunity where there is the potential for a severe storm as the line moves through.  The general window of opportunity for the coverage area as a whole is in the 4:00 pm to Midnight time frame.

The cold front moves through late tonight and during the early morning hours of Thursday, not only bringing an end to the rain, but also significantly cooler air.  Morning temperatures in the mid 40s on Thursday will drop into the mid 30s by the end of the day.  Then, as clouds clear out overnight Thursday night, temperatures will drop significantly.  The majority of the coverage area will be at least as low as the low to mid 20s by daybreak on Friday, and our southern Tennessee counties may be as cold as the upper teens or near 20 degrees.  That will be a big shock to the system after being near 70 degrees later this afternoon!  That cooler weather continues right on through Friday with high pressure in the area and light northerly winds in place, with afternoon highs in the lower 40s.  There is some forecast data that suggests we may struggle to get to 40 degrees.  We can’t completely rule that out, and the forecast highs for Friday might get nudged down a couple of degrees.

After a chilly start Saturday morning, a moderating trend begins for the weekend.  Afternoon highs on Saturday climb into the lower 50s with clouds gradually increasing during the afternoon.  Those clouds help hold temperatures up overnight with lows only reaching the low to mid 40s.  Despite increasing clouds and a wind out of the south to southwest, it looks like we stay dry through the weekend.  Afternoon highs climb into the upper 50s, and if there is a little more sun than currently expected, we wouldn’t be shocked to see lower 60s.

Rain chances return early next week though as the next weather system approaches from the west and southerly winds bring moisture northward from the Gulf of Mexico.  We expect thunderstorm chances to return Monday night into at least part of Tuesday.  Exact timing is to be determined, but the better chance of rain may be overnight Monday into the morning on Tuesday.  The good news is that it does not look like necessary ingredients will be in place for a risk of severe weather with this system.  That can always change though, and we will watch things carefully.

Heavy rain ends this morning, Showers continue at times, Severe storms possible later Wednesday

Heavy rain will be coming to an end from west to east across the area this morning, but flooding issues will still continue.  Our Flash Flood Watch in north Alabama will continue through 6:00pm this evening.  Any additional rain today will only aggravate the flooding situation with our area already completely saturated and local waterways running very high.  However, with rain becoming more spotty and off and on, and not nearly as heavy, that will allow for some recovery time and for the flooding situation, especially the flash flooding (rapid water rises) to back off some.  The heavy rain complex this morning will help shift the frontal boundary to our south into central and southern Alabama, and by afternoon our temperatures will likely be down into the lower 50s with winds out of the north.  This will be short-lived, however, with rain shifting north into Tennessee and northwest Mississippi as the warm front around 5,000 ft above the ground moves northward into Tennessee.  This will leave an open door for winds to turn easterly and then southeasterly overnight and for the front to our south to begin to move back northward as a warm front.

 

The Storm Prediction Center has removed the Level 3 of 5 risk from their latest outlook for Wednesday but has almost the entire coverage area, including the Shoals metro area, remaining in a Level 2 of 5 risk level.  This is because forecast data has consistently shown that even though it will be warm and humid near the surface and in the low-levels of the atmosphere by afternoon after the warm front zooms northward during the day, temperatures above that in the mid-levels will also be warm (compared to what you need to be in place on a severe weather day).  This means that, despite afternoon temperatures in the low 70s and dewpoints in the low to mid 60s, instability will be low because there’s not a significant decrease in temperature with height.  This means there’s not as much energy for storms to work with, and it especially makes it harder for individual supercells to form out ahead of the cold front as it approaches.  Still, having said that, there is still a risk of severe storms during the afternoon and evening, likely in a general 3pm-midnight timing.  Because of the warm, humid air near the surface and the strong wind shear in place, even though instability is low, there is still a risk that a few storms may produce damaging winds of 50-60 mph and possibly a few tornadoes.  Keep in mind that, because of the saturated ground, it’s not going to take winds nearly as strong as usual to knock down trees and cause damage.  Storms will likely be in a line, with not much of a chance for individual supercells to form ahead of the line.  We can’t 100% rule that out, but the risk for supercells ahead of the line is low and decreasing.  Because of this, there is still the risk of a few tornadoes, but the risk isn’t especially high, and conditions do not point toward a major or significant tornado threat.  Still, as we have seen numerous times this winter alone, there can be isolated strong tornadoes in squall lines and with low instability, and we have also seen that even “low-end” and “weak” tornadoes of only EF0-EF1 intensity can be a threat to your life, especially if you live in a mobile home or other manufactured housing.  So, even though it’s not looking like a “major” tornado risk, you still need to take the risk that’s there seriously and be prepared and aware as we go through Wednesday afternoon and evening.

That front moves through during the early morning hours of Thursday and drops temperatures from the low to mid 50s in the morning down to the low to mid 40s by afternoon as northwest winds usher in colder air.  Then, temperatures really drop the next two nights with overnight lows Friday and Saturday mornings in the mid 20s.

There’s an uncertain chance of a few showers over the weekend, but we may be taking this rain chance out of the forecast, as it looks like forecast models are starting to come into agreement that that disturbance will likely stay off to our south.  However, the next weather system looks to bring a returning chance of showers and thunderstorms to our area by the beginning of next week.  The good news is that, at this time, it looks like that we will not have the atmospheric conditions in place for a severe weather threat at that time.

*HIGH IMPACT* flooding and flash flooding in north Alabama today and tonight, Severe Storms Possible by Wednesday

 

“High Impact” is wording that we don’t throw around too lightly around here, but the flooding situation that will unfold today and tonight across portions of north Alabama and adjacent areas is expected to be just that.  The National Weather Service has placed a large part of north and central Alabama in a rare HIGH RISK of excessive rainfall and flooding/flash flooding for today and tonight, with the remainder of north Alabama, northeast Mississippi, and southern Tennessee still in a Significant Risk.  This level of flood risk is rarely used, maybe a few times a year across the entire country.  At least for portions of north and central Alabama, this may be comparable to the flooding events we had in February of last year and in December of 2015.  Because of the rare and serious nature of the flooding threat and the increased threat for flash flooding (rapid water rises, as compared to gradual water rises over a large area),the National Weather Service offices in Huntsville and Birmingham have converted the Flood Watch over to a Flash Flood Watch, valid until 6:00pm tomorrow.  A few different rounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms will bring a widespread 2 to 5 inches of rain across the area through tonight, and some localized areas under the heavier storms could very well get more than that.  This is a serious flooding and flash flooding risk that could become potentially life-threatening.  We seriously ask that you do not try to drive through flooded roadways and that you are prepared to move to higher ground if necessary, especially if you are in an area that frequently floods.

 

In addition to the flooding situation, the Storm Prediction Center has our southwestern and southern coverage counties in a Level 1 of 5 risk of severe weather for today and tonight.  We will say up front that, for our specific coverage counties, the risk of severe weather for today and tonight is very very low.  However, just like we saw in Itawamba and Tishomingo Counties earlier this morning, “low” does NOT mean “zero”.  We can’t rule out a storm or two producing gusty winds of 40-60 mph or quarter size hail.  The better surface-based instability is going to be on the south side of all the heavy rain today, down in central Mississippi into west central Alabama, off to our south.  Because of that, the tornado risk will be off to our south as well.  We can never 100% rule out a tornado if there’s a severe storm, but the risk in our coverage counties today is exceedingly low, about as close to zero as possible without being zero.  The main impacts in our coverage counties today and tonight will be from flooding and flash flooding.

The second heavy rain complex that moves through tonight and into tomorrow morning will help to push the frontal boundary south of our area and into central Alabama on Tuesday, and we temporarily get into cooler and much more stable air.  Highs on Tuesday will stay in the 50s with northerly winds.  There will still be periods of rain at times, but not nearly as heavy as today and tonight.  For this reason, the flooding threat for Tuesday may become more limited, especially in terms of flash flooding, but ANY rainfall that happens on Tuesday could cause problems to at least some degree.

 

Things rapidly change on Wednesday as the front races back north across the area as a warm front during the morning and warm, humid, and unstable air rapidly moves northward from the Gulf of Mexico.  There may even be breaks of sun in the clouds, and that will warm us into the low 70s.  We can’t even rule out some afternoon temperatures getting close to the mid 70s across parts of the area.  As this happens, the main storm system finally ejects out and approaches and spins up a surface low on the front over Louisiana and Arkansas that tracks into Tennessee and Kentucky.  By afternoon and evening, ingredients will rapidly be coming together for the threat of severe weather across the area.  You may have seen on Sunday that the Storm Prediction Center already put out a Level 3 of 5 “Enhanced Risk” of severe weather for portions of Mississippi and Alabama for Wednesday.  They maintain that risk on their update this morning.  It is a little trimmed back in Alabama because of some uncertainties with just how likely it will be to get supercells ahead of the front during the afternoon and evening, and we currently agree with this assessment.  Outside of the Level 3 risk, a Level 2 of 5 risk covers almost the entire remainder of the coverage area, and we have already seen several events just this winter where strong and significant tornadoes have happened within Level 2 risks AND within squall lines instead of fully discrete supercells.  The threat for tornadoes and damaging winds of 60-70 mph will be elevated with the line ahead of the cold front that moves through, but the actual magnitude of the tornado risk will be determined by whether individual supercells can develop ahead of the line.  There is a bit of warm air in the mid-levels of the atmosphere that is keeping instability a bit on the lower side, and this may make it harder for supercells to form.  However, we have seen several times already that the models have been too warm with mid-level temperatures, and if that is the case again, instability may be higher, and it may be easier for supercells to form.  We will continue to assess the data as it comes in and provide updates to the severe weather threat as we get closer.

With the storms late Wednesday bringing another round of heavy rain, even if the storms are faster movers, the flooding threat will again be elevated.  We can’t rule out another 2 or 3 inches of rain during this time period as well, especially in our northwestern counties that may stay north of the warm front in stratiform rain for longer on Wednesday.  The flooding threat already for Wednesday is Elevated, but we may have to bump that up as we get closer and are able to assess where the heaviest rain Wednesday is likely to occur.  ANY rainfall during this time will cause problems.  We are already saturated or near saturated going into the rain event we have on our hands TODAY.

Rain ends going into Thursday morning as the cold front brings drier and cooler air into the area.  The models are currently in serious disagreement for the weekend, with the GFS showing another rain and storm event (likely not severe though) Saturday night and Sunday, but the Euro remains dry.  For now, we will split the difference and introduce a low chance of showers during this period, and then we will adjust the forecast one way or the other as the situation becomes more clear.

Flurries ending this morning, between storm systems this weekend, wet again next week

   

Ongoing flooding across the area is definitely no surprise after seeing rainfall totals from Wednesday.  It looks like the highest reported total in our coverage area was Lacey’s Spring in Morgan County with just shy of 6 inches of rain, but many spots saw 4 inches or more of rain, and just about our entire coverage area had 2 inches of rain or more.  Many rivers and streams across the area are already at flood stage and are still rising, and this will continue for at least the next few days before more heavy rain expected next week.

Flurries and snow showers have been the talk over the past 24 hours though, with some of our Tennessee coverage counties getting as much as 3/4″ of snow in isolated areas, and many folks seeing at least flurries.  Those light snow showers will be wrapping up this morning, but clouds will linger through a large part of the day, but a few peeks of sun are expected during the afternoon.  Afternoon highs are only expected to reach the lower 40s.

A mostly quiet weather weekend is expected with the area in between storm systems.  A weak disturbance will pass by late tonight into Saturday bringing an increase in clouds, but recent model runs have looked much drier with this system than they did previously.  We still can’t rule out a stray shower on Saturday, but we’re only going with a 10% chance of rain and feel it’s not even important enough to show with the icon on the forecast graphics.  Afternoon highs will be a good 10 or so degrees warmer than your Friday, reaching the low 50s with a bit more sun breaking through the clouds.  Those clouds will be on the increase on Sunday ahead of the next system though, with a chance of showers returning after midnight.  Afternoon highs will be even warmer, near 60 degrees.

Next week just looks wet and even stormy at times as the front bringing the cooler weather now comes back north as a warm front and multiple systems ride the southwest flow aloft along the boundary.  Rainfall may be heavy at times during multiple periods of the week, and this will likely lead to more flooding issues.  The first round of heavy rain and thunderstorms looks to happen on Monday before the front waffles southward on Tuesday.  Showers are definitely possible on Tuesday, but as of now, don’t look quite as widespread.  The front moves back north of Wednesday as the main upper disturbance ejects eastward.  Heavy rain and thunderstorms become likely again later Wednesday into part of Thursday.  Depending on the track of the low, there may even be a risk of strong to severe storms again if we get into the warm sector of the storm system and tap into unstable air.  There’s WAY too much uncertainty to try to figure that out right now, but that is something we will be watching and analyzing in the days ahead.