First things first: Our 4th of July holiday should not be a washout. But it does appear that there will be an enhanced chance for showers and thunderstorms, perhaps similar to what we experienced on Saturday.
We continue in a typical summertime pattern — in a summer that has been decidedly atypical — with a warm, moist air mass in place and daily chances for scattered thunderstorms.
We certainly saw those rain chances come to fruition on Saturday, although most of us were dry Friday and Sunday. Today, as the annual Firemen’s Fourth Festival begins in Huntsville, we still have the moist air mass in place, so it’s going to be muggy and steamy, but there isn’t much to trigger thunderstorms today. So while there will still be isolated to scattered storms this evening, there’s a greater chance that we stay dry than there is that we get wet.
Tomorrow, though, most of us will get wet at some point, it appears. What’s a 4th of July without rain, right?
If you look at the radar, you’ll see a cluster of storms and rain off to our west. That’s part of a shortwave system that could clip the greater Nashville area this afternoon but should not impact the Cumberland Plateau region today. Tomorrow, though, that shortwave slides east. There’s also a mesoscale convective system ongoing to our west, which shows up on radar. And the remnant vortex from that little system will also slide east tomorrow. Together, those factors should result in an enhanced chance for thunderstorms.
If you use The Weather Channel’s app on your mobile devices, you may have seen its forecast: up to an inch of rain tomorrow. That would be enough to spoil most holiday plans, but don’t put too much stock in that. Remember, the TWC app (like all weather apps of its kind) is completely based off of forecast models with no human input.
The National Weather Service is only forecasting a 40% chance of thunderstorms for the Oneida/Huntsville areas tomorrow. That may be a bit on the low side, given the latest model guidance, but it reinforces the opening line: the day should not be a total washout.
With that said, pinpointing the greatest chances for rain and storms is difficult at this point. Typically in these summertime patterns, we see storm chances increase with diurnal heating, which is one of the primary triggers for storms in patterns like this. But with the remnants of those systems to our west floating around, we could see rain earlier in the day. It’s all a matter of timing that’s difficult to pinpoint at this juncture.
NWS-Morristown’s forecast calls for a 40% chance of thunderstorms, mainly after 9 a.m. For the Jamestown area just to our west, NWS-Nashville’s forecast calls for a 60% chance of thunderstorms, mainly after 2 p.m. (EDT). Again, though, it’s all about timing. NWS-Nashville expects the storms to be occurring in Middle Tennessee during the morning hours. That could mean that the Independence Day parade in Huntsville is in jeopardy of getting dumped on. On the other hand, if those features take their time sliding east tomorrow, the parade may be dry but the fireworks display later in the evening is jeopardized.
Either way, the complete day should not be a washout.
Eye to the Sky is a weather blog by Independent Herald editor Ben Garrett. Garrett is a weather enthusiast who has long blogged about interesting weather on his personal website. He is not a professional forecaster or a meteorologist and information on this blog should not be considered a substitute for forecasts, advisories or other products from the National Weather Service.