Sunday, November 13, 2011

Another week, another high chance of rain and thunder in the forecast

If there’s one word to describe this weekend’s weather, it’s undoubtedly windy! Just days after experiencing our first widespread freeze of the fall, southerly winds have made their return to the Mid-South and in a very strong fashion. Winds have frequently been sustained between 20 and 30 mph, with gusts near 40 mph, and a few gusts even over 40 mph on Sunday. The weekend has also brought back the mild temperatures, with readings reaching the 70s, along with a high overcast as moisture levels begin increasing ahead of our next system.  This system will be moving into the region late Monday into Tuesday, bringing more rain and possibly a few thunderstorms.

The high overcast, windy conditions and mild temperatures will continue through Monday before the arrival of rain, with highs approaching the upper 70s, and wind gusts to near 30 mph possible. Meanwhile, showers and a few thunderstorms will begin developing to our northwest by Monday afternoon, slowly pushing southeast along a cold front.  This rain will move through the Memphis metro area Monday night, but as it pushes through, the cold front will stall near or just north of the region.

National Weather Service surface weather map forecast for Monday evening, showing the cold front to our northwest that will eventually stall in the area by Tuesday morning.
With the front’s stall, widespread rain and isolated thunderstorms will continue developing in the front’s vicinity Tuesday. After a brief break in rainfall is possible early in the day, rain will be moving back in by the evening, and may continue into much of Tuesday night, making for a wet 18 to 24 hour period. Between Monday and Tuesday night, total rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches will be possible. Severe thunderstorms are not expected at this time as instability levels, like in previous systems, will be limited.

NAM model forecast for Midnight Tuesday night showing widespread rainfall over the region occurring along the stalled cold front.
The front will finally be able to push through and out of the region by Wednesday morning, leading to drying conditions along with a cooler airmass dominated by high pressure. High temperatures will return back to the 50s to near 60 to close out the workweek, with lows in the 30s and 40s. Southerly flow looks to be back in the picture for next weekend, along with the milder temperatures and increasing clouds, with our next system and associated rain chances likely to start off the following workweek.

--Kevin Terry, MemphisWeather.Net

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