Tropical disturbance could mean increasing rain next week

We will stay dry through the weekend, but a disturbance in the western Caribbean Sea may mean increasing rain in the Tennessee Valley next week.

Posted: Oct 5, 2018 4:16 PM
Updated: Oct 5, 2018 10:23 PM

10:00 PM Friday Update: New data Friday evening continues to indicate the disturbance over the western Caribbean Sea could become a tropical storm this weekend or early next week. Some computer forecast simulations intensify this system to a hurricane, but the odds of that seem small. More likely, this system will strengthen as a tropical storm. One inhibiting factor that may prevent a hurricane from forming from this system will be its fast forward motion. It may be slow through Monday, but a cold front will speed up its movement on Tuesday and bring it inland Wednesday morning -- early than our earlier forecasts suggested by 12-18 hours. 

Further organization and intensification will help determine the expact landfall area. While I'm hesitant to zero in with so much time before it happens, I will say this: impact from this system is possible anywhere along the northern Gulf Coast from Southeast Louisiana to the Mississippi Coast to the Alabama Coast to the Florida Panhandle. The latest data available heavily favors the Florida Panhandle, but some shifting of that track is very much possible depending on exactly where the circulation develops. 

Impacts are also a big question right now that will become more clear as the system becomes better organized. Landfalling tropical systems are always capable of producing heavy rain. The fast forward motion of this system may mean the heavy rain isn't so prolonged. That will help limit the flash flood threat. Storm surge flooding is also a common concern with landfalling tropical systems. Tornadoes and destructive winds are always a threat. A fast-moving system can be especially favored to bring both, especially east of the center of the circulation.  

All interests in the northern Gulf Coast should stay up to date with new information through the weekend. Don't look at a forecast one day and think the forecast will be the same three days later. It can and probably will change.

4PM Friday Update: We are tracking a disturbance in the tropics that could influence our weather in the Tennessee Valley next week. We will stay mostly dry until at least Wednesday.

Weather looks great for high school football on our Friday evening. Expect dry conditions with temperatures in the lower 80s around kickoff. We will slowly cool into the 70s by halftime.

The warm and dry weather will continue through this weekend. That doesn't mean a stray shower can't happen, but nearly all of the Tennessee Valley will stay dry. High temperatures will be near 90 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday with morning lows in the upper 60s. A few showers are possible on Monday and Tuesday, but both days will still be mostly dry.

A disturbance in the western Caribbean Sea could organize and become the next tropical storm. We are tracking this system closely as it will be tracking northward across the Gulf of Mexico and toward the northern Gulf Coast. It could impact areas from Southeast Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Expect track and impacts are highly dependent on how quickly this system intensifies. That's true for its possible influence on our weather in the Tennessee Valley, too. For now, our chance for rain is increasing for Wednesday and Thursday. Tropical systems can often be good large scale weather pattern changers. A change in the weather pattern may allow more October-like chill to arrive in the Tennessee Valley late next week. This forecast can change, so be sure you're staying updated on fresh information.

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