December 14: Cold Air Invasion, Weekend Rain

WEATHER

Stubborn cloud cover this morning will block the sun, keeping temperatures in the 30s much of the day.  Even when the clouds break up a bit, highs will only reach the low 40s this afternoon:
wednesday-highs

Very cold air settles into the Midstate tonight and sticks around tomorrow and tomorrow night. Lows tonight will drop to around 20°:
thursday-lows
Highs Thursday will only be around freezing (if you’re lucky):
thursday-highs
Wind chills throughout the day Thursday will hover in the teens and 20s:
6a-thu-wind-chill 12p-thu-wind-chill 3p-thu-wind-chill
Lows early Friday will fall to the upper teens — but the wind will be less than 5 mph, at which point the wind chill is no longer a factor.

Southerly winds will kick in Friday — those winds will bring the next round of moisture into the Midstate, but FIRST they’ll bring warmer air across the region…which means we’ll see rain showers Friday night, and off-and-on during the day Saturday:
wsmv-4-plus-4-am-1
The best chance of heavier and more-widespread rain arrives Saturday evening and early overnight, including the potential for some thunderstorms.  The Storm Prediction Center has included the southwestern corner of the Midstate in an extended-range outlook for the potential of severe storms:
spc-day-4
As I wrote yesterday, bitterly cold air will be crashing in again on the heels of the rain…if it catches the moisture (which doesn’t happen very often with these types of systems), we could see a rain/snow/ice mixture early Sunday.  The best chance of that is in eastern Middle Tennessee.  I’m leaving the chances lower than 50-50 in the extended forecast:
wsmv-4-plus-4-am-2
We’ll start to get a better look at some specific model data tomorrow morning — I’ll have it here, or you can tune in (we’re on television, ya know!) from 4-7am for an early peek at the weekend turbulence.

Plan on staying plugged-into the forecast the rest of the week — not only because of the potential for stronger storms late Saturday, but also for updates on the rapid change in temperatures that will happen Saturday night…we’ll drop from the upper 60s Saturday evening, to the upper 20s by midday Sunday!

The nerd-links will be back tomorrow…this morning’s hazmat situation in Rutherford county took up all of my “scour the internet for science news” time.

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About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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