A few showers or even thunderstorms can track across the Tennessee Valley this evening. Thunderstorms embedded within the area of rain are not likely to be strong, but locally heavy rain is possible in brief instances.
The cluster of showers and thunderstorms will cross the Alabama-Mississippi state line, entering the Shoals, between 5 PM and 6 PM. They will then cross I-65 near Athens and Decatur between 7 PM and 8 PM, entering Huntsville and Madison closer to 8 PM if they can hold together that long. That cluster of showers will weaken and fade through 10 PM as it tracks into Sand Mountain. Between 9 PM and 10 PM another cluster of rain with a few thunderstorms arrives near Red Bay and Russellville. That will track eastward, crossing I-65 by 11 PM and fading to an end through 2-3 AM. Even with two clusters of showers and thunderstorms, some areas will not get any rain at all tonight, though you may see some flashes of lightning in the distance. Areas of fog will develop after midnight, especially after any rain has ended.
The rain this evening may be the most rain we get over the next 24 hours. Widespread heavy rain will fall north of us along the Ohio River Valley and down into Nashville. We will be on the southern edge of that rain. We will get a few showers, but most of us in the Tennessee Valley will stay dry with highs in the lower 70s.
A cold front approaching on Thursday will bring the more promising rain. The day will stay dry with increasing clouds and wind. Near-record warmth is possible as temperatures warm into the mid-70s in the afternoon. The rain will arrive starting around 6 PM near the Mississippi state line, and it will track eastward and out of the Valley before the Friday morning drive.
Temperatures will drop behind the rain. Friday's high in the lower 50s will likely happen in the early morning hours between midnight and 1 AM. We aren't likely to be any warmer than windy 40s during the day, and then we will cool into the lower 30s Friday evening.
Saturday starts cold in the 20s and warms to lower 50s. Sunday will warm from 30s in the morning to 50s in the afternoon beneath increasing clouds. A few showers are possible Sunday evening and Monday before rain and thunderstorms increase next Tuesday. With a spring-like storm system, we are monitoring for the potential for a few strong thunderstorms on Tuesday. Available data once again shows a favorable pattern, though the data don't all support severe thunderstorms yet. This is a forecast that can change as new data is available over the next week.