Dreary Start to the Weekend… But a BUSY Week Looking Forward

Happy Saturday! We’ve finally made it to the first weekend of 2024… and unsurprisingly, given the climatology for this time of year, it’s been a wet one. Overnight light-to-moderate rainfall (including some areas of light sleet where temperatures permitted) provided some nice sleeping weather, and we’re holding on to this systems remnant impacts for the rest of the day today. Looking out the window this afternoon paints the picture – we’ve mostly shed the precipitation, but widespread cloud cover is minimizing our temperatures for today, and we’ll all around just stay… gloomy, for lack of a better term, this fairly typical January Saturday.

Taking a look at our hometown forecast across the Valley today gives us a pretty good idea as to what we can expect as we head out today if you have any weekend plans – as mentioned, I’m skeptical we’ll see much more rain out of this system in particular, but it certainly reinforced the cooler air across the area, and those clouds being an additional factor and not allowing in much sun lead us to have highs hovering in the 40s vicinity for most of us. I can’t rule out one or two of us hitting 50, but that’d be a lucky situation. If I had any plans today, I’d bank on needing at least a light jacket. Thankfully, we hold this dry weather into our Sunday, and clouds clear up and pave the way for a half decent, if still cool, end to our Weekend. The real story? The week ahead.

Of most relevance to much of us across the area are the high rain chances we’re facing over the next 7 days. With a level 4 to level 5 drought (the highest the scale goes) still across the area, some desperately needed moisture will be helping squash that drought slowly but surely as we enter this more active pattern. The first system in this “wave train” so to speak will be on our turf by late Monday, and the next one will be in the area by Friday, so it’s safe to say that we’ll be beginning and ending the coming work week with rainfall, with only a bit of drier weather in-between during the midweek.

First systems first – for our daytime Monday, we’ll start off breezy and dry, with clouds increasing through the day. I suspect our highs will be somewhere in the lower-mid 50s on Monday, so we are not looking at some grand severe weather threat or anything of the sort, before you worry – this looks simply like a rain event with some wind outside of the storms (which I’ll discuss more in a moment). As of now, the more widespread rain appears to want to begin around the evening hours of Monday, and is very likely to last into the mid-morning hours of Tuesday as well.

Of additional concern are the wind gusts *outside* of thunderstorms with this system. Simply put, this particular system is going to intensify rapidly, which leads to fairly intense wind gusts translating down to the surface level. Late Monday and into Tuesday will be the timeframe to watch for these gusts, which some early model data is suggesting may be in excess of 40-50mph at times. It’s gusts like these that can bring tree limbs down on powerlines, or even weaker trees down entirely, so we’ll have to keep an eye on this system for its impacts on infrastructure across the area over the next 72 hours. Besides this, I want to reiterate that this does *not* seem to be some sort of severe weather outbreak scenario, so you can rest easy knowing the rain and storms you get through the evening will be just that – rain and storms.

As mentioned, we’ll have bit of drier weather into the midweek… but we’ll be right back at it as we approach the end of the week and into next weekend. It’s a bit of a ways out, so specifics are few and far between as of now, but the current thinking is that it’ll be somewhat similar of a system to what we’ve already discussed, so we’ll watch that closely and see how the rain totals and more stack up as we get closer and closer. All and all, I think the drought is going to see some actual, bona-fide relief in the coming days with these several systems approaching the TN Valley… and I’m certainly not complaining.

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Ben Luna

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