It has been an interesting day weather-wise. Mostly cloudy skies dominated the day with scattered showers this afternoon and into the evening. We had many reports of hail in and around the Knoxville area. This was made possible due to the cold air aloft. As stronger convective (warmer moist air rising & colder denser air sinking) storms rolled through, the lifting of air was much stronger. Hail is created initially by water freezing, sinking, being lifted again where water freezes to it, and then sinking again. This process continues to happen until the hail "ball" is too heavy from water freezing to it for the updraft to "hold" (lift anymore) and therefore falls to the ground as hail. This is why in very strong storms, hail tends to be much larger. Today, the cold air in the mid to upper atmosphere allowed for ice particles to form much quicker than normal. Tying this with the stronger updrafts within stronger convective storms, penny sized hail formed in many east TN areas. So what can East TN expect next? Lots of sun and warmer temperatures.
A high pressure system will be moving in from the Minnesota/Canadian border bringing with it sunny skies and warmer temperatures. It definitely will feel like Spring with sunny skies and high's in the 60's Friday, Saturday, and the first half of the day Sunday. Late Sunday and into the early part of next week, showers return. Some of these showers could be heavier at times, but I will keep you updated as time gets closer. Until then, enjoy some vitamin D and warmer temperatures to end the work week and into the weekend.