Monday, April 27, 2015

April showers to end the month, then a beautiful start to May!

We've experienced a cool, breezy day today with high cloudiness covering the region. The clouds and breeze can be traced to the atmosphere battling between high pressure to our north over the Plains and Midwest and low pressure to our south from old Mexico into the Gulf Coast region. Despite the last few days of cooler weather, the month of April is about 3 degrees above normal temperature-wise.

High pressure to our north and multiple areas of low pressure to our south mean cloud cover and a northeast breeze in the Mid-South as the storm track stays to our south into this evening.

The string of low pressure systems has been responsible for severe weather from TX to LA last night into this early afternoon. Below is a graphic that shows lightning density (number of strokes per square kilometer) from 1:30am-1:30pm today. It's easy to pick out the storm track!

Lightning density plotted between 1:30am-1:30pm CDT today (cumulative) clearly show where storms have occurred in the past 12 hours or so. Image courtesy WxBell.

The storms in Texas last night dropped tornadoes and softball size hail. By mid-day today, the same system was responsible for torrential rain, copious lightning, and extreme wind (strong enough to blow several empty train cars from a rail bridge in New Orleans, watch the amazing video from WGNO-TV below).

As the main area of low pressure moves across the Gulf Coast over the next 48 hours, our cloudiness will turn into periods of showers as we head into Tuesday, with lingering clouds and possibly light rain or drizzle on Wednesday. This will help reduce our rainfall deficit for the month of April a bit as we head into May. Temperatures will stay below normal through mid-week thanks to the clouds and rain.

Total precip expected by the GFS (American) computer model through Wednesday evening as low pressure tracks to our south. Most areas in the metro are forecast to receive about 1/2" of rain with the Tuesday/Wednesday system.

However, as we head towards week's end and the first weekend in May, we'll return to more seasonal weather with afternoon temperatures slowly climbing back towards 80° though mornings will remain pleasantly cool as humidity values stay fairly low. In addition to pleasant temps, sunshine will be ABUNDANT for the kickoff of Memphis in May and Beale Street Music Fest! At least for this weekend, it won't be "Memphis in Mud" and the biggest concern will be possible sunburn prior to dusk!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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