I’m sure you don’t need any reminder at this point, but cold it certainly has been – and we’re no different to kick our weekend off. At the crack of dawn this morning just a bit ago, we were looking at a balmy 7 degrees in Lawrenceburg, with that ice-ified snow lingering in a big way still over many surfaces. Don’t expect much in the way of warming this weekend, either; we’re very likely going to stay in the 20s for daytime highs, and lows through tonight and into tomorrow will similarly loiter in that single digits/low teens range across the TN Valley. Now, there is SOME good news in that, by tomorrow, our daytime highs will finally return to above freezing, and past that, it’s much smoother sailing… but this final crunch of Arctic air is getting comfy for today.
It’s worth mentioning that today isn’t going to be ALL bad. We’re sticking with a pretty decent forecast overall, with mostly clear skies sticking around for our Saturday and only patchy high clouds at the worst. The temperatures are probably still much too cold to let the purely radiative warming of the sunlight do very much, but we’ll continue to make progress on this stubborn ice as we continue into the weekend – which, as mentioned, will see a return to above average freezing temperatures (near 40, when all is said and done). This is a sign of the times, as it’s only onwards and upwards from there; and it’s going to be a fast warm-up.
Aside from the return to upper-30s/near-40s temps on Sunday, this weekend looks to stay fairly calm and obviously quite cool – but the extended term, especially heading into the next week, is a DRAMATICALLY different story. We are heading into a shift in pattern which is booting out this dug-in arctic air, and essentially the entirety of the eastern US will switch to “torch mode”, at least in comparison to some of the temperatures we’ve been seeing over the last several weeks. In fact, if current guidance is generally right… us here in the Tennessee Valley will be somewhere between 75 and 80 degrees WARMER than we were at points last week – consider that next time you’re thinking about just how bipolar weather can be down here!
Notice the very steady climb, day after day, in temperatures as we head past Sunday and into the last week of January. As of now, we’re seeing fairly consistent signals of mid-upper 60s returning by the second half of the week – again, think about just how much of a departure these temperatures are from what we saw over the last several days. For reference, this most recent Wednesday, we saw -13F in portions of S Middle TN, and guidance is pointing towards lower 60s for next Wednesday. That’s a positive warming trend of almost 75 degrees! If you’re especially susceptible to weather-change headaches (like our own Kelli is… ironic, isn’t it?), this is the sort of pattern that will get you.
Also worth noting that you should hold off on the outdoor plans this week if you’re trying to take full advantage of these warmer temperatures creeping back in – with this pattern we also are likely to swing back into some particularly high rain chances, but at this point, it looks to stay just that – RAIN. (This isn’t all bad, either; it’s easy to forget, but much of the Tennessee Valley remains in the “extreme” category of drought, and this next stretch of rainfall looks to be the variety that busts droughts like this.)
So all and all, just wait a few days, and any lingering ice concerns will be totally gone, at long last.
In my opinion, the 7-day paints the picture the best, and really shows us just how WET the pattern will be as we head into this coming week. The stretch of rainfall will probably be pretty persistent as we approach February, so “overall” rain totals are a bit dubious for now, but it’s a safe bet that we’ll see SEVERAL inches of rain across the Tennessee Valley, perhaps even to the point that some spots may need to start thinking about the possibility of flooding. Overall though, the big troublemaker – this ice – is finally on it’s way out of here, and I think we can all agree… it’s about darn time.