Windy & Warm – Scattered Showers & Storms Tonight
It was a breezy night across the Tennessee Valley, as a slow moving storm system in the plains continued to approach the region. The combination of the wind and cloudy conditions prevented temperatures from cooling much, with morning lows in the upper 40s and low to mid 50s. Thanks to the time change and the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, the sun rose an hour later this morning, at 7:04 am. The sun will set one hour later as well, with sunset today at 6:51 pm.
Despite increasing clouds, a stout south-southeasterly wind will continue to increase today, which will aid in warming temperatures into the upper 60s and low to mid 70s (between 5-10 degrees above average for mid March). A Wind Advisory is in effect for the Tennessee Valley until late tonight (1:00 am), with a sustained wind ranging between 15-25 mph and gusts between 30-35 mph possible. In the higher elevations east of I-65, wind could gust up to 40 mph. Already the wind is gusting to near 30 mph in some communities.
The slow moving storm system is inching closer and closer to the Tennessee Valley and is nearing the Mississippi River. Below is a look at the regional satellite and radar.
Expect the daylight hours to be dry today, with scattered showers moving into northwest Alabama after sunset, closer to midnight. The band of rain will take it’s time moving east across the area overnight and into Monday. An embedded thunderstorm or two is possible, along with periods of heavy rain and gusty wind. The severe threat remains practically zero, as substantial instability/moisture looks to remain too low to support severe storms. The greatest chance for any stronger storms will be in northwest Alabama, which will have the highest dewpoints just ahead of the cold front. Check out the dew point gradient across the Southeast, upper 50s in Jackson and 30s in the Tennessee Valley.
Rainfall totals will range between 0.5-1.5″, with locally higher amounts possible. Ponding on the roads and rising stream levels will be a concern, with the ground still pretty saturated and the slow movement of the system. The morning commute will be rough Monday, with the time change and the rain, so pack some patience before you head out the door and allow yourself extra time to get to your destination in case of slower traffic due to the rain. Below is a look at the Weather Prediction Center’s Day 1-2 Quantitative Precipitation Forecast showing the highest rain totals in northwest Alabama.
The rain will help with the pollen levels as they continue to increase as we get closer to spring. The main pollen sources are; Cedar, Juniper, Elm and Maple. Below is the pollen forecast for the next three days.
After the rain exits Monday afternoon and night, a slightly cooler and drier air mass will filter into the Tennessee Valley. Highs will still be in the 50s Tuesday and Wednesday, with overnight lows in the low to mid 30s, before another warming trend and highs near 70 degrees by the end of the week. Dry and mostly sunny conditions will persist Tuesday- Saturday. Spring officially starts in 10 days, on March 20th!
– Jennifer Watson
Facebook: Jennifer Watson WHNT