Rain and storms continue today. Maybe a flurry tonight? Quiet rest of the week!

Rain from the overnight has shifted off to the east early on this Monday morning, with strong thunderstorms restricted well to our south. We’re not done with the yet though, as we will discuss going forward. Temperatures early this morning are in the low to mid 50s for most of us, although a few folks have snuck into the upper 40s from Hohenwald back toward the I-40 corridor of western middle Tennessee.

The NWS Storm Prediction Center maintains a “marginal” Level 1 of 5 low-end risk of strong to severe storms today mainly over north Alabama along and east of the U.S. Highway 43 corridor. They have shifted the Level 2 risk that had earlier stretched into north Alabama well to the south, and we are in agreement with this. Storms to the south will keep decent surface-based instability from being able to move further northward today. To be honest, they could probably even get away with shifting the Level 1 risk off to the south of our area too, but we understand and support the “just in case” mentality of wanting to leave it in place. We may indeed see an isolated strong storm over north Alabama during the late morning to early afternoon (8:00AM to 1:00PM is the time window we’re watching), but the risk of severe storms is VERY LOW for our viewing area counties. Should we see an isolated strong storm or two, the main concerns are gusty winds of 35-45 mph being possible, and we can’t rule out a stray storm or two with pea to dime size hail. Tornadoes are not expected in our area. You never say 100% never, and as always, we will watch things carefully on radar today, but surface-based instability stays well off to our south, and that is a critical ingredient for tornado formation. Rain today may lead to some isolated street flooding, with another 1 to 1.5 inches of rain expected in most areas, but major or widespread flooding is not expected.

Here’s a general timing breakdown for today using Futurecast. We’re in a lull for now, but a few showers start developing again near and after daybreak, and in the mid to late morning, more organized showers and a few isolated thunderstorms form. These move northeastward across the area during the mid to late morning to early afternoon. It’s during this time window of roughly 8:00AM to 1:00PM that we may see a stray strong storm or two over mainly north Alabama. This is where temperatures have a chance to sneak into the lower 60s and provide a little more energy for storms to work with. North into Tennessee, that won’t be the case with temperatures staying in the low to mid 50s until after the rain shifts out this afternoon and we get a short window around 2:00-4:00pm to see a break or two of sun that may allow middle Tennessee counties to climb into the mid to upper 50s for daytime highs.

Things get a little interesting across at least the Tennessee side of the viewing area as we head after sunset and through the evening. A secondary area of rain showers associated with the upper-level system swings across the area. We will be behind the surface cold front by this time with strong northwest winds as high as 15 to 25 mph driving in cooler air and temperatures dropping into the 40s and eventually mid to upper 30s by late evening. Temperatures at the surface will be above freezing, but temperatures from just above ground level on up into the cloud layer will be near or below freezing, and this may allow for a few flurries and wet snowflakes to mix in with the rain before midnight when everything shifts northeast out of the area.

With warm ground temperatures, air temperatures a few to several degrees above freezing at the surface, and road temperatures well above freezing, we do not expect any impacts or problems from this in our area. For the vast majority of our area, Futurecast shows zero accumulation, and we agree with this. It does spit out 0.1 to 0.3″ amounts from Waynesboro up through Hohenwald but 1.) that is barely a dusting, and 2.) this does not take into account any melting that would happen. What this tells me is that 99% of us won’t see anything more than a few pretty wet flakes mixing in with the rain showers passing through, but if it comes down heavy enough for a short time, there could be a brief light dusting on the grass, car tops, etc., that would begin melting immediately once precipitation slacks up. With a situation like that, we expect zero problems or impacts! Temperatures by daybreak will get down into the low to mid 30s, but these strong west to northwest winds overnight will help dry the roads so that icy spots are also not expected by morning on the elevated road surfaces.

For most of the rest of the week, we actually expect a warm up and quiet weather! We return to sunshine for Tuesday, but after hanging out in the mid 50s there for one more day, we warm into the 60s for Wednesday through Friday. Sunny to partly cloudy conditions continue through the rest of the work week. Our next shower chance after today and tonight doesn’t arrive until Saturday, but that is questionable with models disagreeing on how far north rain showers will or will not extend into the area. We do return to cooler air over the weekend, with daytime highs in the upper 40s to lower 50s and overnight lows below freezing, but nothing outrageously cold. Weather looks clear and calm for Wednesday evening if you have a special date planned for your Valentine!

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