Monday, January 25, 2010

Take your Dramamine - a roller-coaster weather week ahead!

We'll have enough different types of weather this week to make just about everyone happy, upset, or perhaps downright disgusted depending on how it all plays out!

Our roller coaster begins at the bottom of the hill today as an upper-level trough of low pressure is positioned to our north and extends south into the region. This trough trails yesterday's cold front which brought a round of thunderstorms to many folks in the area in the late afternoon and even some reports of pea-sized hail (up to dime sized in West Memphis). The trough is responsible for the increased cloudiness, a few spits of light rain, and cool temps today. In addition, high pressure over Texas is combining with a large low pressure system to our north to produce windy conditions. Thus, a Wind Advisory is in effect today as gusts this afternoon will reach 35-40 mph.

Tonight, we begin a slow uphill climb as cool and clear conditions prevail and continue into Tuesday. We reach the peak of the roller coaster's ascent on Wednesday with mainly dry conditions and highs back into the 50s, though the foreshadowing of the next descent arrives with clouds on the increase.

Heading into Thursday, we'll see the tide turn and the descent begin as rain moves in. Some of the rain could be heavy at times and a clap of thunder is possible as a potent winter low pressure system moves from TX into the Lower MS River Valley. On the backside of the low, temps plummet as cold air rushes in from the north. It appears precipitation continues however, bringing us a decent chance of wintry weather starting sometime late Thursday and into Thursday night, when temperatures will fall below freezing.

Precipitation types and exact timing are much to difficult to pinpoint 4-5 days out, but it appears that rain could change to freezing rain Thursday evening in the metro area (earlier to our north and west), mixing with sleet and snow as the cold air strengthens its grip, before ending as light snow Friday (more on precip types). Certainly the scenario bears watching as the potential exists for a fairly disruptive ice storm. It's simply too early and too many computer models will be run between now and then to make a certain call, but plans should be made for the possibility of winter weather late in the week.

We bottom out again on the meteorological roller coaster as cold air of Arctic origin mostly likely brings lows back into the teens on Saturday and Sunday mornings with highs possibly staying below freezing on Friday and Saturday.

Stay with (click here for the forecast) and the MWN Blog for the latest on the upcoming winter weather possibilities. Remember that you can sign up for free weather alerts from via e-mail or Twitter by visiting this page or following @shelbyalerts.

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