Active weather pattern will bring temperature swings and rainy periods

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Friday Night Weather
Our next rain maker is on track to arrive Friday night with scattered showers Friday afternoon to precede the main round of showers and thunderstorms Friday night. Several of our high school football games - especially those played north and west of Meridian - have been moved from Friday night to Thursday night due to weather. Some games had previously been scheduled for Thursday night while schools are on Fall Break.

Friday will start dry, but conditions will begin going downhill as scattered showers and thunderstorms begin developing between noon and 2 PM Friday. An isolated stronger storm is possible. The scattered activity will be around through the games, and a more solid line of showers and thunderstorms will approach Winston, Leake and Scott counties by 8-9 PM. That line of heavy storms will march eastward into Philadelphia, Union, Decatur, Newton, and Lake through 10 PM and then into Meridian, DeKalb, and Bay Springs by around 11 PM. Storms will begin entering West Alabama by midnight and will track over Quitman (MS), Livingston, Geiger, Emelle, and Needham between midnight and 1 AM Saturday and continue eastward through Demopolis, Butler, and Linden through 3 AM before fading to an end. The timing is subject to change between now and Friday. We will update the forecast as new data is available to apply to the forecast.

Here's what all of this means for you: some games are going to be sloppy and stormy on Friday night. Some games may be dry at kickoff and gradually become more stormy. The farther east you are, the better your odds are of making it through the games and staying dry. This is one reason many games in our western and northwestern areas (Philadelphia, Newton, Kosciusko, and Lake) have been changed to Thursday when drier conditions are likely. Take rain jackets and ponchos to the games that will be played on Friday. They're easier to manage than umbrellas in the stadiums, and some stadiums don't allow umbrellas. Lightning should gradually wind down through the night, but early storms can contain plentiful lightning. That's the real reason many of the games have been moved to Thursday.

Rainfall amounts Friday night through Saturday morning will average around a quarter-inch. Locally higher amounts up to a half-inch are possible in isolated areas.

More Rain Next Week
That's just our first rain maker. Another rain maker will form along the tail of our Friday-Saturday cold front. It will come together over the Texas Gulf Coast. Rain could start to arrive as early as Sunday, but the main part of this storm system will bring on-and-off rain Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week. Rainfall amounts could range between one and two inches with locally higher amounts possible. That much rain quickly would bring a flooding concern. That much rain spread out over three days is exactly what we need to bust this developing drought before it fully develops.

The Next 24 Hours
An active weather pattern will mean fast changes, temperature swings, and rainy periods starting late Friday. The next 24 hours will remain calm. Our Wednesday evening will gradually cool beneath a partly cloudy sky from 80s to 70s by 7 PM. Those 70s will ease back to 60s by 11 PM, but increasing cloud cover after midnight will slow the cooling through daybreak Thursday, and temperatures may even increase a bit by sunrise. Thursday morning will start with mid-to-upper 60s and warm through the 70s and into the low-to-mid 80s through noon. Highs will be in the upper 80s beneath increasing cloud cover. A stray shower is possible, but most areas will stay dry.