A strong cold front and the storm system driving it move in Saturday and bring a chance of some heavy thunderstorms. We’ll start the day with clouds and showers. Showers move out, and the atmosphere becomes more unstable temperatures rise into the upper 50s and lower 60s.
The primary threats with any storms on Saturday will be a few strong wind gusts over 50 MPH and some hail; lightning and locally-heavy rain also come along with the strongest storms.
Time-wise, the storms begin in Mississippi by midday and transition into The Shoals by 1-2 PM. The red-shaded area on the maps below indicates where the Storm Prediction Center draws a "Marginal Risk" for severe storms.
Marginal is the lowest rung on the scale, and it matches well with the situation: limited threat of a few brief strong/severe storms.
Friday afternoon's Futurecast (RPM) simulated radar times it out pretty well; model guidance isn't going to "nail" the timing, but this looks like a good ballpark estimate of how the radar will look at these snapshots in time Saturday afternoon/evening:
The Bottom Line: A low severe weather threat still means some impactful storms are possible; they just won't be very widespread. The threat is greater west of I-65 before 7 PM; storms weaken considerably as they move east toward Sand Mountain and Lookout Mountain on Saturday evening.
Ahead of the storms, it will be windy: gusts over 35 MPH possible even with no storms in sight. Behind the storms, it turns much colder. See the video update above or our Forecast Discussion for the latest ideas on how cold it gets and the odds of some snow flurries.