It's going to be a cool and wet start to the extended holiday weekend period, but most of Memorial Day weekend looks like it's going to shape up nicely for outdoor plans, although there will be periods of inclement weather.
A storm system is currently impacting the Cumberlands; a tornado watch was even in effect for a short time this afternoon (and McCreary and Campbell counties remain under a tornado watch until 8 p.m.). We've lucked out on the rain so far, though, with periods of sunshine and comfortable temps that have been hampered only by very gusty conditions due to the low pressure system to our west interacting with high pressure to our east.
Tomorrow will be much cooler; the GFS forecast model currently indicates a high of just 64 degrees for our area, with very breezy conditions continuing. There will be a threat of rain, as well. The National Weather Service at Morristown is currently forecasting a 50 percent chance of rain on Thursday.
The good news? It gets better after that, although there will be rain chances for just about the entire Memorial Day weekend.
We could quickly see temperatures surge back to 80 degrees by Friday, as a southerly flow kicks in ahead of the next storm system, which should arrive here during the weekend. Ahead of that system, we could see sufficient conditions to kick off some scattered thunderstorms on Saturday; the NWS is currently forecasting a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms during the day on Saturday, increasing to 50 percent Saturday night. That isn't good news for Brimstone's White Knuckle Event, but Saturday isn't gonna be a washout, by any means.
Then the main system will arrive on Sunday, with rain chances increasing to 60 percent. But, again, there's good news. Even Sunday shouldn't be a complete washout, and it looks like the storm system will quickly get out of the way, leaving Monday mostly dry (although the NWS is forecasting a 20 percent chance of rain for Memorial Day).
There is some question about the timing of this system. The latest run of the GFS shows about a half-inch of rain falling, mainly late Sunday night into early Monday morning. Either way, though, it should be gone by the time most folks begin their Memorial Day plans, although the VFW's Memorial Day service in Oneida could be threatened if the system winds up being delayed a bit more than is currently anticipated.
Behind this system, daily high temps drop back into the upper 70s, which is about typical for this time of year.
Further out: The GFS forecast model continues to indicate the first 90-degree temps of the season arriving around June 5-6, but it's also showing a wet pattern returning, too. As I've written previously, this progressive pattern looks like it's going to continue through at least the first part of summer, which means an absence of really hot temperatures (at least for days on end) and above-average rainfall.
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.