Thursday, October 30, 2014

First fall freeze on tap this weekend, maybe the second as well

As promised, a big time chill is on deck, and is slated to move in behind tonight's cold front. The only good news is that it won't last long, but the magnitude of the cold will be quite a shock after a couple of 70 degree days and last weekend's 80s.

We'll first feel the effects of the front tomorrow during the day. Despite temperatures only falling to 50 overnight, a brisk north wind will pick up by mid-morning under cold air advection stratus clouds, gusting at times to near 30 mph during the day. Coupled with the clouds (which depart by late afternoon), temperatures will remain in the 50s all day. It could be our coldest high temperature since April.

For trick-or-treating, Tiger football, and Friday Night Lights, "layer up" will be the action plan as temperatures fall through the 40s in the evening with wind chills near 40. Doesn't sound bad until you get out and walk a few blocks with Elsa, who will discover she isn't as prepared for Frozen as the real princess! By dawn, temperatures will reach the freezing mark for nearly everyone in the metro with wind chills early Saturday morning in the 20s. A Freeze Watch  Warning (as of early Fri AM) is in effect and will be upgraded to a Freeze Warning tomorrow. (The average date of first freeze at Memphis International Airport is November 12, while it is November 5 at the Agricenter, which is representative of the suburbs.)

Overnight lows Friday night will be below freezing across a huge portion of the eastern U.S.

Saturday will be downright cold for November 1. Though it won't set a cool record, temps in the 40s nearly all afternoon (the high will be just above 50) with a north wind at 10-15 mph will feel more like mid-December than the day after Halloween. Sunny skies will be little comfort. Saturday night will again see temperatures plummet to near freezing. The is a little more uncertainty with regard to reaching 32 in the city, but with calm wind, most areas outside the city will fall to freezing and outlying areas have the potential for upper 20s early Sunday morning. A Freeze Watch has been issued for early Sunday morning.

Another very cold night Saturday night with low temperatures Sunday morning shown above.

Temperatures start to moderate Sunday with highs nearing 60.  Another 10 degrees of warmth can be expected on Monday as we return to a more normal pattern.

If you have outdoor plants or other vegetation that could succumb to frost or a freeze, plan to have them covered Friday and Saturday nights, especially if they are not within a couple of feet of a heated structure like a home. There is not a lot of concern over water or pipes freezing as the duration of freezing temperatures will be a couple of hours or less. Also, bring in your outdoor pets or provide a warm spot for them each night. Finally, keep space heaters away from any flammable items, such as drapes or upholstery that could cause a fire.

Now to get back to inciting panic...

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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