Cloudy & Windy – Rain Moves In After Sunset
Blizzard conditions continue this afternoon across western Texas, stretching northeast through Oklahoma and Kansas. Check out this video from the National Weather Service Office in Amarillo, TX taken earlier this morning, with reported wind gusts up to 55 mph, with visibility of only 1/4 mile.
This storm system will gradually track northeast out of Texas and toward the Ohio River Valley tonight and into Tuesday. The majority of the Tennessee Valley will stay dry through sunset and even a few hours after sunset, with showers and storms increasing from southwest to northeast this evening and tonight. Due to the storm system occluding, meaning the cold front has caught up to the warm front, it prevents the Tennessee Valley from being in the “warm sector” or warm, moist and unstable environment more conducive to stronger storms. Therefore due to lack of moisture return and instability, the threat for severe storms is expected to stay to our south. The threat for severe storms will stay towards the coast as outlined by the Storm Prediction Center below.
Despite no severe storms, wind will be an issue tonight as the wind will continue to increase this afternoon and evening ahead of the approaching storm system. A Wind Advisory is in effect from 6:00 pm tonight through 6:00 am Tuesday morning. Sustained wind speeds could range between 20-30 mph, and gust between 35 and 40 mph. Higher wind speeds just above the ground may transfer to the surface if a stronger storm can develop, which could mean wind gusts greater than 40 mph may be possible. On the higher ridges and mountains of Northeast Alabama and southern middle Tennessee, non-thunderstorm wind gusts greater than 40 mph are possible. Also we will be monitoring the potential for a small area of low pressure to develop on the backside of the rain…otherwise known as a wake low, which is just an area of low pressure that develops in the “wake” of showers and storms. A wake low and gravity waves developed behind the rain Thursday night, which brought wind gusts between 30-35 mph to parts of the Tennessee Valley and a few isolated power outages.
Brief periods of heavy rain are possible tonight, though only 1/4 – 1″ of rain is expected for most, with higher amounts where the heaviest rain occurs. The rain will be clearing the area around sunrise Tuesday morning, as the system departs. Spotty light showers/sprinkles will continue to be possible into Tuesday afternoon and evening.
I hope you got a chance to enjoy the pleasant weather yesterday, because the unsettled weather pattern will continue into the weekend. As of right now, small precipitation chances will stay in the forecast through Saturday, with some wintry precipitation possible as well. High temperatures will gradually cool into the low to mid 40s by the end of the work week, and may not get out of the 30s by the weekend. Below is the 12z model run of the European model (ECMWF), showing a deep trough digging into the eastern United States, with potential for light snow this weekend. Obviously being this far out, many things can chance between now and then, but the models have been consistent in the deepening upper trough, which if it pans out, could give the Tennessee Valley the coldest and longest cold snap we’ve had all winter.
– Jennifer Watson
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