Windy & Warm Start to the Week


A large and powerful upper-level trough is taking shape to our west and will be moving across the lower-48 during the coming week, affecting much of the nation’s weather in a big way- especially here in the Tennessee Valley.


The big issue with this system will be the opportunity for widespread strong thunderstorms and heavy rain on Wednesday. In a nutshell, we expect a line of heavy storms to move across the Valley, primarily during the first half of Wednesday. Widespread strong winds will be likely with occasional severe level winds possible. You can read more about the thoughts regarding this potential from this post from Jennifer Watson.

Leading up to the storm’s arrival our environmental winds (not associated with any storms) will be getting progressively stronger. Gusts over 20 will be likely on Monday, but as a surface low develops and moves closer to the Valley, those gusts could approach 30mph by Tuesday afternoon and peak at over 40mph by Wednesday morning.

NAM model winds and gusts. Courtesy: Iowa State.

NAM model winds and gusts in Huntsville. Courtesy: Iowa State.

With winds like these at the surface and even higher winds just above, it won’t take a very unstable environment to get thunderstorms to produce some stout winds. Thankfully, it looks like our instability Wednesday morning will be somewhat limited, so we are not currently forecasting a major severe weather outbreak with widespread damage, but occasional damaging winds will be a possibility as this line moves through the area Wednesday morning. But note, this is a powerful system, and a higher level severe weather episode cannot be ruled out. Stay tuned for further forecast adjustments in the coming days.

This southerly flow will bring a rush of very warm air into the region through Wednesday morning ahead of the approaching cold-front. Overnight temperatures may not drop below 60 for many Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, but things will change in a big way through the Wednesday afternoon when the front brings another arctic air-mass into the Valley.