Monday, February 20, 2012

Spring returns to the Mid-South this week!

The past couple of weeks have featured a return to reality – winter – for the most part in Mid-South weather, with colder temperatures and even a couple of minor flirtations with winter weather, though with no severe consequences.  However, the weather pattern across our region is beginning to undergo another transition, and that will mean more spring-like conditions in the week ahead.

First, a weak system will be passing through the region overnight into early Tuesday morning, which may trigger a few light showers. Moisture will be limited and the system fast-moving, so rain amounts will be minimal and many places may not see rain at all. This system will surely not bring any cooler air behind it, as southwest winds both Tuesday and Wednesday will send temperatures soaring. After reaching the 60s Tuesday, on Wednesday high temperatures are expected to reach 70 degrees, around 15 degrees above normal!

NAM model temperatures for Wednesday afternoon (3 PM)
Nevertheless, the return to spring won’t be permanent. By Wednesday night, a cold front will be approaching from the northwest, as moisture levels begin increasing from the Gulf of Mexico. As it passes through the area during the day Thursday, a chance of showers and thunderstorms will exist. As of the time of this writing, the chance of severe weather appears somewhat low, though it's not non-existent. We'll update again if it appears that the chance of severe weather is rising. The front will definitely bring a shot of cooler air behind it for the weekend though.

GFS model wind/precipitation for late Thursday afternoon (6 PM)
High temperatures will return to the 50s for Friday through Sunday, back close to the late February average, with lows into the 30s. Meanwhile, looking ahead to the beginning of next week, another storm system appears to be on the horizon, likely bringing another chance of rain about next Monday.

For the most up-to-date outlook for the Memphis metro area, check out the MWN Forecast!

--Kevin Terry, MemphisWeather.Net

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