Thursday Morning, October 17, 2019
Chief Meteorologist Jason Simpson/Meteorologist Ben Smith

Tropical Moisture In the Gulf of Mexico – Strong storms possible Monday

New Drought Monitor Out – Drought Conditions Expanding

New Tropical System In the Gulf of Mexico

It warms up to the upper 60s and lower 70s (very similar to Wednesday) with a light northeast breeze and a sunny sky.  Friday looks like a repeat performance of Thursday: cold in the morning (lows in the 40s) and highs in the 70s in the afternoon.

We’ve got our eyes on two big weather-makers this weekend: what should be a tropical depression, tropical storm or subtropical storm in the Gulf and a strong cold front moving toward Alabama and Tennessee from the northwest.  Both of those bring a chance of some rain, but the cold front looks like a much surer bet than the tropical system’s remote influence up this way.

Football (Thursday and) Friday:  This will be the finest night of football weather yet: whether it’s Thursday night or Friday night!  If you’ve been waiting for a chill to the air at a high school football game, this week is for you.  It will be dry and cool: slightly cooler Thursday than Friday.

The weekend: There’s a chance of some rain this weekend.  Pay attention to that language carefully; ‘chance’ and ‘some’ are key points to understanding the rain situation for Saturday and Sunday! Some of the latest data has the system moving more east. If that’s the case, we could only have a few isolated showers this weekend.


A developing tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico likely heads for the Florida coastline between Panama City and Appalachicola on Saturday.

That kind of track really limits the amount of rain we would see in North Alabama; however, some model guidance stirs up some rain around here anyway: even though we are a long way from the storm.  That’s why we have the ‘chance’ and not the ‘guarantee’ of rain for Saturday.  Sunday’s rain chance is mainly for the morning, but even then, it’s conceivable that Sunday could be completely dry.

Expect some adjustments to the forecast as the effects of this system in the Gulf become a little more apparent!

College Football: Look for a chance of rain through the weekend, but there will be a lot of variability in who gets rain and who doesn’t because it will depend on the track of this potential tropical system the Gulf of Mexico. You can get the most up-to-date forecast for any college football venue in the country with Live Alert 19! Just add the location (city) you’re interested in, and you’re set!

Monday’s threat of storms?  A very strong, dynamic, November-like storm system blows into Alabama and Tennessee on Monday.  While there is some concern for strong storms, the details are a little too murky to see clearly.

We will keep you posted on this, but as of now, expect some wind and rain and know there’s a chance that it could get a little rough!

A freeze ahead?  The average first freeze in North Alabama and Southern Tennessee comes between October 18th and November 10th.

Some of our medium-range guidance hints at a widespread frost or maybe even a light freeze around October 24-27th.  Other guidance keeps it way too warm for that, but the pattern is looking favorable for some ‘colder’ weather by the end of the month!

Tennessee Valley Forecast:

TODAY: Mostly sunny and cool. Morning lows in the upper 30s to low 40s. Daytime highs in the upper 60s to low 70s.  Wind: N 7-12.

TONIGHT: Mostly clear and cool. Lows in the lower to middle 40s. Winds: Light and variable.

FRIDAY: Partly cloudy and mild. Morning lows in the mid 40s, afternoon highs in the low to mid 70s. Wind: SE 6-12 with gusts to 20 mph.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and dry for Football Friday; a few isolated showers possible overnight in Sand Mountain. Overnight lows in the upper 40s to low 50s. Wind: SE 5-10.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Only isolated showers. Most of the rain east of the TN Valley with tropical moisture. Highs in the middle 70s. Winds: SE 5-10. Rain: 20%.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy, a few light showers possible. Overnight lows in the mid 60s. Wind: SE 5-10. Rain: 10%.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy with isolated showers. Afternoon highs in the mid 70s. Wind: SE 7-15 with gusts up to 25. Rain: 10%.

MONDAY: Breezy with scattered strong storms late in the afternoon to early evening. Warm, with highs in the upper 70s and low 80s. Wind: SW 10-20 with gusts potentially exceeding 25mph.

TUESDAY:The chance for a few storms in the first half of the day. Becoming dry in the evening. Highs in the upper 60s to low 70s. Wind: Becoming NW 7-15 mph with gusts around 20 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Another cool and pleasant day with lots of sunshine. Highs in the upper 60s and low 70s.

THURSDAY: Lots of sunshine with highs in the upper 60s and low 70s.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.