published Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Midwinter warmup: Highs in the 70s expected Friday, Saturday

Jack Berghel, a member of the local Village Volkswagen auto dealership cycling team, and friend T.J. Killelea, a collegiate cycler, train in the rain by the Walnut Street Bridge.
Staff photo by Jay Bailey
Jack Berghel, a member of the local Village Volkswagen auto dealership cycling team, and friend T.J. Killelea, a collegiate cycler, train in the rain by the Walnut Street Bridge. Staff photo by Jay Bailey

WARMING UP

Day Forecast Record

Today 67 78

Friday 69 78

Saturday 71 71

Sunday 69 74

Source: National Weather Service

Dig the flip-flops out from under the boots and galoshes. Chattanooga is about to get a weekend of spring right in the middle of winter.

Today, temperatures will be near 67, and on Friday the mercury will hover closer to 70.

Then, on glorious and only partly cloudy Saturday, 71 is the predicted high. Best of all, the chance of rain is a mere 20 to 30 percent.

Somersaults, cartwheels, birds singing.

Just the thought is enough, but National Weather Service meteorologist Sam Roberts says it will be more than a sweet dream.

"It definitely will be springlike," Roberts said. "For this time of year, the normal high is about 50 degrees. So for four or five days we're going to be close to 20 degrees above normal."

Even lows on those days will be above 50, according to forecasts.

Saturday could be a record-tying or record-breaking day, according to Roberts and Paul Barys, chief meteorologist with WRCB-TV Channel 3.

The prediction is for 71, matching the record set in 1890.

"If the clouds break completely for two or three hours and we get good sun, it could climb into the mid-70s," Barys said.

But don't let your galoshes get lost.

Sunday likely will cool down slightly and the rain will come back into the forecast with a vengeance -- especially on Monday and Tuesday, according to Barys.

"We have the potential to see quite a bit of rain. We could pick up a couple of inches pretty easily," he said.

And Monday and Tuesday will just be the beginning of what Barys calls "probably the wettest period" the Chattanooga area has seen for a while.

"Expect at least 3 to 6 inches over that next seven days, and the further west you are, the more you'll get. We're in a wet pattern," Barys said.

about Pam Sohn...

Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...

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