Tuesday, August 9, 2016

As rain chances go up, temperatures come down (a bit)

A potential reprieve from summer heat is on the horizon and I doubt anyone is complaining!

A broad area of low pressure has developed along the central Gulf Coast and will very slowly move northwest towards and through the Mid-South over the next several days to perhaps a week, bringing a prolonged period of elevated rain chances. In addition, high temperatures will start to recede a bit, though that will partially be offset by increasing humidity as very moist tropical air invades the region after lower humidity to start this week.

We'll see a couple more days with temperatures in the lower to mid 90s and heat indices above 100, but scattered afternoon thunderstorms will provide some folks some relief late in the day Wednesday and Thursday. By this weekend, rain becomes likely at times, resulting in somewhat cooler, but humid, conditions.

The main threat from showers and thunderstorms the next several days, particularly this weekend and perhaps early next week, will be heavy rain and potential flash flooding as the low pressure system merges with a cold front that moves into the region. The axis of the heaviest rain is still to be determined, but the potential for 3-6" of rain through early next week exists across portions of the Mid-South. Severe weather is not currently expected the next several days.

Computer models still diverge quite a bit on when the most likely rain period comes to an end as the low moves northeast out of the region along the front, ranging from Sunday to perhaps as late as Tuesday. That will also affect rainfall totals with more rain likely if the low lingers.

NWS forecast total precipitation for the upcoming week, through Tuesday night, August 16. Heaviest rain will fall along the central Gulf Coast, though amounts of 3-6" are likely where the low intersects the approaching front early next week, currently depicted from AR northeast through the Ohio Valley. 
Besides some needed rainfall, the best news out of this forecast is probably the highs in the 80s, even if lows remain in the 70s due to abundant moisture and high dewpoints. We'll take a break from the 90s any way we can! For a complete look at the forecast, including daily rain chances and temperatures, download the MemphisWeather.net app or visit the MWN website.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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