Hit or miss showers this weekend – and some serious cold inbound

Our next weather-maker is here – mostly. Through the first half of today, a few showers have been lingering in the general vicinity of the TN Valley (and especially off to our SW), but some relatively drier air has kept the more notable rain totals at bay, and will likely continue to do so. Granted, this system was never going to be our next 3″-drought buster, but even still, the atmosphere is relatively anemic, so to speak, as of this afternoon.

I’m under the impression that, as the front moves closer and closer over the next few hours, we’ll begin to pick up those rain chances and hold them through tonight – again, this rain that we’ll see won’t be particularly INTENSE, but it’s good sleeping weather, if you want to think of it that way. We’ll also stay fairly moderated due to that cloud cover and nearby moisture, with 40s sticking around for our lows tonight and into tomorrow. This is probably the last of the above-freezing overnight temps we’ll be seeing for at least the next 2-3 days, so it’s a bit of a shame it’s a bit of a wash!

Taking a look at the Futurecast reveals exactly what I’m talking about when I refer to these showers as fairly anemic, by the way – notice how they’re really scattered all over the place, and the few areas of precipitation that do crop up aren’t any more intense than a moderate to heavy shower-type of situation. By the end of this, the rain totals will likely be somewhere in the range of 1/10th of an inch to 1/4th of an inch of rain – certainly no drought buster, but something is better than nothing when you’re in a level 4 out of 5 drought (like much of the TN Valley still is).

Into Sunday, we begin to really lose those showers. That front takes over as the dominant force, and behind it is drier and cooler – much cooler. The temperatures don’t INSTANTLY respond (daytime highs somewhere in the low-50s range), but as we head into Sunday night and Monday, and ESPECIALLY into the first two days of the workweek, the FROPA (or frontal passage) will make itself known in a big way.

See those lines close together across the Tennessee Valley? Those are called “isobars”. I won’t bore you with the lingo, but all you need to know is that when they’re closer together, there is a big pressure gradient – which is to say, you inevitably will get much windier conditions. Indeed, we keep a sharp northerly wind for our Monday, with gusts up to 20-25mph at times and more importantly, daytime highs in the mid-40s. Combine those two things, and you’re looking at wind chills creeping into the 30s range… but this isn’t the worst of the cold.

That comes late Monday night and into Tuesday morning. Around this time, the cold air has had plenty of time to reinforce itself, and the wind is at it’s sharpest out of the North. Just around sunrise, we’ll be looking at temperatures in the mid-20s, and wind chill values in the TEENS across much of the Tennessee Valley, so be ABSOLUTELY sure your plants, pets, other valued outdoor staples are somewhere warm for the next few nights. Tuesday itself returns to the 40s for highs, and is not quite as windy, with high pressure returning. Cold aside, we’re in business for a reasonably nice and dry workweek.

Thankfully, we also get back to a bit more of a reasonable temperature regime by Wednesday and beyond, with 50s (some upper 50s) returning by the end of the week. We’re keeping an eye on the next weekend-xmas timeframe for our next shot at precipitation (no white Christmas, obviously – sorry y’all!), but it’s a ways out yet and a lot can change between now and then. For now, let’s prepare for this cold snap!

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