Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A couple days reprieve before the freezer door opens again

The Mid-South is on the backside of the first major blast of Arctic winter air, having been through 4 days of well below normal temperatures, with highs near 40 and lows well into the 20s (teens in some areas away from the concrete of the city). The weather will continue it's roller coaster pattern for the next 7 days, with two "peaks" and one more deep valley in the next week.

High pressure will move overhead tonight, bringing perhaps one of the coldest nights of the season to date, as wind dies down and skies will be clear. Look for temperatures in the teens in outlying areas tonight and lower 20s in the big city. Southerly wind picks up tomorrow, as opposed to the north wind of the past several days, as high pressure moves east and the area sets up for the next weather-maker. The mercury will rise quickly tomorrow morning, landing us near 50 tomorrow afternoon as high clouds increase. Southerly wind continues into Friday, keeping low temps Friday morning "up" near freezing with highs Friday a downright balmy 54 degrees!

We'll see showers (of rain) develop Friday night as low pressure moves towards the area. Clouds and wind will keep temperatures in the 40s. As the low tracks through the Mid-South Saturday, there will be very high rain chances, some thunder possible, and rain amounts could reach an inch or more (see expected precipitation totals on the graphic above). The heaviest precip is expected Saturday afternoon. The low will be followed by another blast of very cold air. Wind shifts to the north and temps drop quickly Saturday evening with a low near 30 Sunday morning. Lingering precipitation could change over to light snow, with little accumulation expected, late Saturday evening.

Sunday will likely be unpleasantly cold as clouds hang on at least early in the day, with flurries still possible, wind blowing at 20-25 mph, and temperatures staying in the 30s throughout the day. This Arctic blast will be part of an outbreak of very cold air that will invade the midwestern U.S. for the start of next week (see Accuweather's wind chill forecast for 7am Monday above, showing single digit "feels like" temps for the Mid-South and -20s over much of the nation's heartland).

Monday will be sunny but continued very cold, though this bout of cold air will not hang around as long as the latest one and we'll be back on the upswing by mid-week. Another system could bring rain by that time, but for now the forecast remains dry until computer models get a better handle on the situation.

The MWN Forecast for the metro area can be found here.

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