Halloween is almost certain to start wet in the Cumberlands. Whether it ends wet depends on mother nature’s timing.
Rain and gusty winds are in the forecast for Thursday. The current forecast from the National Weather Service is for a 100 percent chance of rain on Thursday and west winds up to 20 mph, as a cold front invades the region and brings significant rainfall with it.
Showers will begin to taper off late in the day on Thursday, but just how much the weather will foil trick-or-treat activities and other events remains a question. The NWS is forecasting a 50 percent chance of showers Thursday night.
A recent trend by some key weather models has been for decreased rain totals with the storm system, though precipitation should be plenty sufficient to soak any outdoor plans until the rainfall moves out. The GFS weather forecast model maintained by the NWS is currently projecting about 2.5 inches of rain for the northern Cumberland Plateau region.
The heaviest rains will likely fall from late Wednesday into early Thursday. Rainfall chances go as high as 90 percent as Wednesday progresses, according to the NWS forecast. The current projection of the GFS model shows rainfall beginning to taper off by early Thursday afternoon and moving out of the region by mid-afternoon and early evening — about the time most Halloween festivities are ratcheting up. But that is simply a computer-driven model representation and not an actual forecast.
In a forecast discussion issued Tuesday afternoon, forecasters at the NWS’s Morristown office said that as the models speed up the timing of the storm system, it looks like most showers will end between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Once the front passes, temperatures will be dropping Thursday evening. Temperatures are expected to drop to near freezing overnight, and struggle to get out of the 40s on Friday.
Freezing temperatures are possible again Friday night, and a hard freeze — temperatures at or below 28 degrees — is possible by Sunday morning. Freeze warnings are likely to be issued by the NWS soon.
Current best guess timing
10 a.m. Thursday — Numerous showers/constant rain
1 p.m. Thursday — Showers diminishing
4 p.m. Thursday — Rain coming to an end
7 p.m. Thursday — Dry
Timing is subject to change. Keep an eye on the official forecast from the NWS as you plan your day on Thursday.