Sunday, May 10, 2015

Unsettled weather bookends the week with pleasant weather between

UPDATE, 6:30am Monday, May 11 -
Afternoon t'storms described below now look very unlikely as morning storms and rain serve to stabilize the atmosphere prior to the cold front's arrival. A few storms early this morning may be strong with wind gusts to 40-50 mph and lightning the greatest threats. 


A couple of weeks of dry weather is over as we have entered a stormier pattern this weekend with a couple of systems, remnants of big thunderstorm complexes in the Plains, moving through the region. The system responsible for multiple days of severe weather to our west, including tornadoes, large hail, wind damage, and record flooding, will move through the Mid-South tomorrow.

Actually, the front associated with the low pressure system will move through, but the low itself will move well to our north. This is good news as it means we won't be dealing with nearly the severe weather threat that the southern and central Plains experienced the past few days. However, there will still be some decent instability in place, plus lifting created by the front will mean a chance of some severe storms Monday afternoon.

The evening setup shows showers and t'storms ahead of the cold front in the Plains that sweeps through the Mid-South tomorrow. Also notice the remnants of Subtropical Storm Ana in North Carolina, which will move northeast with no effect on our weather.

Tonight/Monday - Unsettled

Starting tonight, a few scattered showers will be possible throughout the night and then the remnants of severe storms to our west will once again move into the area early Monday morning. Most of this activity will be just rain though some thunder will be possible as well. No severe weather is anticipated early Monday. It will be another very warm, muggy night with lows only near 70.

An evening run of the high-res HRRR model shows an area of showers and embedded thunderstorms at the river by 8am Monday. Note that this is ONLY A MODEL and actual radar may vary considerably from this model representation.

A lull in the precip is expected once morning showers move out, likely from mid-morning to early afternoon. During this time, some sunshine will push temperatures into the lower 80s, creating instability as the main cold front moves across Arkansas. The front will move across the region during the afternoon hours. As mentioned above, the best dynamics associated with the low pressure system will be well removed from our region, but the lift generated by the front in an unstable airmass will likely spark scattered thunderstorms as it moves through. These storms will be capable of producing some strong wind gusts and perhaps some hail. The tornado risk will be very low. Due to the possibility of a few strong storms, the Storm Prediction Center has placed the region (in fact a very large area from the Great Lakes to Texas) under a Slight Risk (category 2 of 5) of severe weather tomorrow.

A very large Slight Risk (category 2/5) area is forecast from the Great Lakes to Gulf Coast tomorrow, indicating the breadth of the front that will move through the Mid-South during the afternoon. Damaging wind and hail will be the main risks with any storms.

Heading to mid-week - a reprieve

By evening, the front will be to our east and slightly drier air will be filtering in as temperatures  fall through the 70s. No precipitation is anticipated Monday evening. By Tuesday morning, lows will be as cool as we've seen in several days, around the 60 degree mark. Tuesday looks very pleasant with highs in the upper 70s and much lower humidity (dewpoints in the 40s vs 60s of this weekend).  Another dry and pleasant day is on tap Wednesday with morning lows in the 50s, highs near 80, and low humidity.

Ending the week unsettled again

Thursday will be a transition day as southerly wind returns, bringing increasing humidity levels and warmer temperatures back in the 80s as the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest gets into full gear. To start the weekend, Friday and Saturday look to be unsettled once again with daytime showers and thunderstorms, higher humidity, and temperatures in the 80s.  No severe weather is anticipated late this week at this point, but I guess after a beautiful Beale Street Music Fest, Memphis in May will have to deal with a potentially wetter barbecue contest.

We'll have more on tomorrow's severe weather threat as the picture becomes clearer tomorrow morning via our social media feeds. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and download the MWN mobile app for the latest information, including StormView Radar and our premium severe weather alerting tool, StormWatch+, which you'll find only in the MWN apps. Links to all of these can be found below.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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