Storms staying north of 40 ahead of intense heat

Meteorologist Ben Cathey tracks better chances of storms in our northern counties. The heat is the big talker.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 4:28 PM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 10:58 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - We just had the hottest day of the year, but that only lasts for a few hours. Diminishing - but still potent - storms graze our northern counties Wednesday night and again Thursday.

Near-record warmth is here Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Better rain chances roll in Sunday.

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The haze is back, arriving up high from those huge wildfires out west. We’re not actually breathing this stuff in. We’re watching ‘MCS’ type storms in central Kentucky, that will try to extend south late tonight. Long story short: storms have the best chance of cooling you down if you’re along the TN/KY/VA state lines. There’s much, much less chance for rain south of Interstate 40. It’s humid and warm tonight, with a low near 68 degrees.

Thursday is a wacky weather day. Who gets rain is totally dependent on Wednesday night’s storms. This should be the hottest day of the year - IF it does not rain at your location. The high temperature could hit 90 degrees at least for a few minutes. The best chance of rain is north of I-40, once again, and closer to the Cumberland Gap and Eastern Kentucky’s ‘coal country.’ If storms form, some will have the potential of brief damaging winds and very intense rain rates. This is no ‘slam dunk’ for rain.


Friday brings our best chance of breaking a record high for the entire week. Friday should also be our warmest temperature of the year so far. The record is 81 years old but should be well within reach of tying. Friday is totally dry, hot, hazy, humid.

Saturday is now mostly dry and mostly sun-filled. Showers should be rare but we are still really hot.

Sunday is more of a rain-filled day. Rain looks to be off-and-on, and it’s still relatively mild for late May. The high temp is climbing, however, now to 81 degrees in Knoxville.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday each have low-end threats for rain. Point is, most stay dry.

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