All is quiet across the Tennessee Valley early on this Wednesday morning. Mid to high clouds continue to thicken across the area as they move northward in association with a disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico that will bring the chance of a couple of showers to our area later today and much more widespread rainfall off to our south. Those clouds are keeping our temperatures from dropping quickly overnight. We are in the low to mid 50s over southern middle Tennessee as we head through the predawn, with north Alabama hanging into the upper 50s and lower 60s. Temperatures likely won’t drop too much more at all before daybreak, and if anything, they may start to rise a few degrees as we head toward the morning hours as clouds continue to thicken and southerly winds increase.
We don’t expect a lot of sunshine for this Wednesday, but we still expect to warm into the mid to upper 70s across the area despite that. We can’t rule out a stay shower or two during the afternoon to early evening, especially over north Alabama, but most of us will stay dry. Clouds will hang around through much of the day. We expect temperatures to fall back into the mid 50s again for overnight lows.
Rain will be more widespread over the southern half of Alabama down to the Gulf Coast as we head through later today and tonight. That will shift off to the east by Thursday, and we are left with partly sunny skies between weather systems. By Friday afternoon and evening, the next cold front approaches, and this may spark off a few more scattered showers and maybe even a rumble of thunder. No widespread heavy rain is expected, and no severe storms are expected. The front pushes through overnight Friday night into Saturday morning with clearing skies going into the weekend.
Rain chances the next seven days will be on the low side, but an isolated shower or two will be possible today and Thursday, with slightly better rain chances into Friday afternoon and Friday night. Still, even then, any activity should be isolated to widely scattered. High temperatures the next few days, through Friday, will run between 75 and 80 degrees for most of us before dropping back into the low to mid 60s over the weekend into early next week behind that approaching cold front. Morning lows will also drop back into the 40s at that time, likely even the low 40s by Sunday morning into early next week. Don’t be shocked if a few locations are in the upper 30s again by Sunday morning and Monday morning!
Below average temperatures and rainfall look to stay in place through at least the next 10 to 14 days as we continue to stay in a pattern with cold fronts diving in from the northwest and very little push northward of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. This isn’t exactly the best news, since much of the area is in expanding drought conditions. However, October is historically the driest month of the year in our area before things often turn wetter as we begin to head into November as the jet stream often gets more active. And indeed, as we look at long range model data heading toward the end of the month and the start of November, it does look like things may turn toward a more active and potentially wetter direction. Time will tell!