At midnight Wednesday morning, the temperature was hovering around 70° on the northern Cumberland Plateau. It was also 70° in Nashville, which is usually 6-7 degrees warmer than here on the northern plateau. And back in the northwest corner of Tennessee, near Union City, the temperature had dropped into the upper 50s.
That’s because a cold front is currently draped across the middle of the state, slowly moving in our direction. It’s easy to tell just where the frontal boundary is because there’s a line of thunderstorms out in front of it, which will impact our region later this morning.
As a result, it’s going to be a muggy night tonight, with temperatures hovering in the upper 60s for most of the night. But big changes — very big changes — are on the way.
We’ve seen a few tastes of autumn already this month, but nothing quite like we’ll experience on Wednesday — which is, fittingly enough, the official first day of fall.
Temperatures will begin dropping Wednesday morning, and by late afternoon or early evening, we’ll likely be in the upper 50s — yes, that’s correct, 50s — here on the northern plateau. We’ll probably see temps drop below 60° before the sun has set, which is fairly uncommon for mid September in these parts.
Temps will continue dropping overnight, and we’ll eventually bottom out around 45° in Oneida by daybreak on Thursday morning. Some outlying areas could see the lower 40s.
Temperatures will rebound some on Thursday, but stay in the mid 60s, and then Thursday night will be even cooler than Wednesday night. Pretty much everyone will be in the low 40s on Thursday night. It seems doubtful that anyone in the outlying areas will see temps drop into the upper 30s, but it’s going to be quite chilly. You’ll definitely want a jacket or a sweatshirt on your way out the door Thursday and Friday mornings.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end … sometimes very quickly. We’ll rebound to hit 70° by Friday. But, still, that’s very pleasant weather for this time of year. (Let’s not forget, just two years ago we saw temps in the 90s in late September and early October!)
An absolutely gorgeous weekend is on tap. Temps will continue to drop into the upper 40s at night and get into the low 70s during the day all the way into early next week. By Monday, we may be getting back close to 80° as a warming trend kicks in. Dewpoints will be climbing by that point, as well, so we’ll see higher humidity pushing back in.
The warming trend will continue all next week, as ridging that’s going to be delivering summer-like heat over the nation’s mid-section begins to shift our way. But by the end of next week, another cold front will sink in. It remains to be seen just how far south the cooler air mass will penetrate, but it doesn’t look like we’re going to see a return to the extreme temps we saw about this time two years ago, at least not for any extended period of time.
The other thing about the upcoming pattern: it’s been a very wet late summer and early fall, but the next two weeks look quite dry. That could change, but for now it looks like we’re going to see a lot more sunny days than wet days as we close out September and move into October. That’s not to be unexpected; we’re moving into the driest part of the year. Traditionally, October is our driest month, followed closely by September. But there are sometimes exceptions. This year, so far, isn’t shaping up to be one of those.