So far, our promised “rainy pattern” hasn’t exactly been playing out, with what appears to be solid rain chances diminishing as the “day of” arrives.
It still looks like we’ll see an excellent shot of soaking rains tomorrow, but storm chances — and especially severe weather chances — are diminishing today.
The National Weather Service’s weather forecast office in Morristown has dropped local rain chances from today to just 30 percent this afternoon, and the NWS’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., has removed our area from the “slight risk” outlook for severe weather today.
A ridge of high pressure that’s in place over the region is beginning to break down as a shortwave trough approaches from the west, which will allow rain chances to gradually increase this afternoon. But considerable cloud cover is in place, which should limit how much the atmosphere is able to destabilize. In an updated forecast discussion this morning, NWS-Morristown notes, “Overall, there could be a storm or two that pulses up to become strong or marginally severe but do not anticipate any widespread severe weather threat.”
The NWS’s weather forecast office in Nashville is on the same thought train, placing rain chances for the northern Cumberland Plateau at 30 percent for today, with little to no risk for severe weather.
So the bottom line for today: the biggest threat with any storms that are able to develop will be heavy downpours, but storm coverage this afternoon will be scattered at best. There will be more people who don’t see thunderstorms than who do.
Things begin to change a bit late tonight, after midnight, and into tomorrow, as a frontal boundary approaches. The SPC has the eastern half of Tennessee, including the northern plateau region, in a “slight risk” category for severe weather tomorrow, which means there’s a 15 percent chance for severe weather within 25 miles of any point.
However, a widespread severe weather event does not appear likely even tomorrow, even as thunderstorm coverage becomes much more widespread. In a weather briefing this morning, NWS-Morristown noted that the tornado threat tomorrow is “very low,” with the main threats being wind gusts up to 50 mph and hail up to nickel-sized. Again tomorrow, the biggest threat of all will be heavy downpours of rain.
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.