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A changing forecast fit for Autumn

When the seasons start changing the forecasts get challenging! It’s hard to keep up with it sometimes. Some of you may have been woken up by the winds last night. They were really howling just ahead of the cold front! Those winds of change are bringing in a cold front that will be making its way through our region today, bringing an end to this heaviest rainfall by noon. My rain gage here at TAP shows 1.39″ for today.  We’ll just deal with scattered light showers the rest of the day, along with some gusty winds. Highs today will climb into the low to mid 60s. It now looks like the disturbance that was expected to park itself over us tomorrow will be far enough away that we could see some sunshine off-and-on during the day, though I still think we’ll have some clouds hanging around, too. Highs will be in the mid 50s.

Then, the colder air starts working in. Tuesday night we’ll drop into the 30s.  Models now have some clouds moving in during the overnight hours. If that holds true (and it looks like it will), we will stay in the mid to upper 30s and avoid our first freeze of the season. I would still expect some frost, though. On Wednesday, we’ll struggle to get to 50 (if we do!), so that will be our coldest day so far this season, even with sunny skies. Skies will continue to be clear for Wednesday night and we will drop down into the lower 30s. Normally, with daytime highs in the 40s we’d expect to be in the 20s that night. However, light south winds ahead of our next storm system may kick in just before dawn Thursday, sparing us from a hard freeze. If those winds are delayed, however, we would be looking at lows in the 28-32 degree range.

So, we MAY dodge our first hard freeze this week due to some patchy clouds Tuesday night, and some light southerly winds Wednesday night. Both would be just in time to prevent a hard freeze. So, I would plan for a hard freeze, just in case one or both of these caveats fall through. See how much fun it can be to be a meteorologist this time of year? (ha)

The first snow flakes of the season will be flying around the highest elevations of the Smokies Tuesday night and Wednesday. Hard to believe, right? But, it’s actually that time of the year for those folks.

Thursday and Friday look warmer (highs in the low 60s) and mostly dry. We may get some showers to sneak in here Friday afternoon, though, with our next storm system. That system will blast a cold front through here Saturday that will drop our highs into the 40s and lows into the 20s, ushering in our coldest air of the season. Models aren’t handling the rainfall potential with that system very well, so we’ll just go with scattered showers on Saturday for now.

I’ll just briefly mention that we are still keeping an eye on the tropics, and for good reason. Another storm may develop this week in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane season runs through November 30, though most activity is over by the end of October. I’ll keep an eye on it!


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