Sunday, June 26, 2016

A cooling trend heading towards the July 4th holiday!

Another hot, dry week is in the books, but some relief is in sight as we look ahead to the end of June and early July! Looking at the last several days of temperatures in Memphis, one might think it was early August with highs in the mid to upper 90s and lows in the upper 70s to near 80. Heat indices above 105 have again been common the past couple of days after a slightly less humid start to last week. Barely any rain has occurred in the past week for most in the metro either.

Almost no precipitation has fallen in the past week over a large part of the Mid-South.
As we move into the last days of June though, an unseasonable cold frontal passage is set to occur on Monday with a reinforcing front on Tuesday. A strong area of continental high pressure building to our north from the Plains to the Ohio Valley will push these fronts south, resulting in scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly during the day Monday. No severe weather is currently expected on Monday from any potential storms. With increased clouds and more widespread (and much needed) rainfall, temperatures will only top out near 90 on Monday. However dewpoints (a measure of humidity in the atmosphere) will remain in the mid 70s, so it stays sticky for one more day.

Forecast rainfall amounts from the NWS for Sunday night through Monday. Most areas in the metro will likely see a quarter-inch of rain with some areas seeing a half inch and higher amounts from any thunderstorms.

By Tuesday, the first front is south of us, pushing rain to our south, and a northeast breeze will be welcome as dewpoints drop into the mid 60s as the second front moves through. That will make it feel a little more comfortable. Temperatures in the June sun will still reach the lower 90s, or very near average for this time of year. That trend continues Wednesday with similar conditions expected. With dewpoints in the 60s, morning lows will be more tolerable - near 70 in most locations versus the 80 degree readings we've seen early the past several mornings.

The surface map for Tuesday morning indicates that one cold front will be to our south while a reinforcing front, with lower humidity behind it, will be moving into the area. Despite green shading over the metro, rain chances are slim on Tuesday.
By late in the week, another front approaches the area as yet another high pressure system builds in to our north and the early week fronts lift back towards the region from the Gulf states. We'll be wedged between these systems, resulting in increasing rain chances heading towards the holiday weekend. The good news is that additional clouds will keep temperatures near or slightly below normal for next weekend's Independence Day celebrations despite increasing humidity. Now we just have to hope that Mother Nature doesn't display her fireworks instead of our man-made ones!

Looking beyond the 4th, the long-range outlooks from the NWS Climate Prediction Center indicate a slightly elevated chance that average temperatures remain below normal for the first full week of July from the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic into the Mid-South - a welcome change from a June that has been much warmer than average for most of the nation! Let's hope it pans out!

The NWS Climate Prediction Center believes temperatures could average below normal for areas in blue between July 4-10, while areas of the western and far southern U.S. will see above normal temperatures.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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