Friday, November 17, 2017

A cold front that means business and an early look at Turkey Day

The weekend before Thanksgiving brings lots of activities across the area, not the least of which is a Memphis Tiger football game with conference championship implications at 11am Saturday, as well as the downtown Memphis Christmas tree lighting event and a Christmas event in Arlington later in the day. So what's this big cold front we've been heading about? Let's get into the details.

Friday Night

You have to know that gusty south wind and temperatures in the lower 70s in mid-November, like we have today, are typically followed by a dose of reality just around the corner. That is certainly the case this time, as a cold front is getting ready to barrel across the region on Saturday. Today is "prep day" with that south wind pushing higher dewpoints (aka, more moisture) into the Mid-South. The wind will pick up even further tonight as the front makes progress in our direction with southerly gusts that will exceed 30 mph and could approach 40 mph! That will keep temperatures mild overnight (in the 60s), though precipitation chances are very low.

Surface low pressure will be located in southern Kansas and heading towards the Ohio Valley tonight into Saturday. Overnight into Saturday morning, the low combines with high pressure to our east to bring gusty southerly wind to the area. (PivotalWx)

Saturday

As low pressure in the Plains moves east-northeast across the Midwest/Ohio Valley on Saturday, a cold front will sweep across the Mid-South. Current ETA for Memphis is 1-2pm, but that could vary an hour either way.  Ahead of the front, the strong southerly wind will continue with temperatures rising to 70° by noon. If you're tailgating, it'll be short sleeve weather with tie-downs for your tents a MUST. In addition, a few scattered showers are possible in the morning but they should be brief as the cloud-level wind will be pushing them at nearly highway speeds (for those that don't speed...).


After lunchtime, and probably during the second half of the Tigers game, when Riley & Co. will be in the midst of raining touchdowns on SMU (Go Tigers!), the front will arrive at the speed of Tony Pollard's kickoff returns. You'll know when it hits, because it'll be marked by a sudden wind shift to the northwest, a brief period of potentially heavy rain, and possibly a rumble of thunder. The line of rain along the front looks to be narrow and fast-moving, so it may only last 10-15 minutes. Don the ponchos over the short-sleeve shirts, then be prepared to quickly add a sweatshirt layer once the rain ends! Once the quick-hitting rain ends, the wind turns cold and just as gusty (25-35 mph) and temperatures head down, tumbling quickly into the 50s.

The high-resolution NAM model from Friday morning shows scattered light showers Saturday morning (the beginning of the loop above) then a narrow line of heavy rain along the cold front by early afternoon. The latter half of the loop is Saturday afternoon into early evening and shows dry weather behind the front. (Tropical Tidbits)

The good news is that the rain threat ends once the front passes, mid to late afternoon and evening activities will be dry. Temperatures continue to fall into the upper 40s by tree lightning time downtown (5:30pm) and the blustery wind starts to let up, though will remain at 10-20 mph into the evening hours. If you have evening plans, think warm coats, not the shorts you had on in the morning!



As for a severe weather threat, the Storm Prediction Center currently has the metro on the edge of a "Marginal" (category 1 of 5) threat. There is meager instability ahead of the front and plenty of wind energy, so a brief wind gust to 60 mph is possible, though not likely, in the line that moves through along the front.

A Marginal Risk of a few severe wind gusts are predicted by the NWS for portions of the area in dark green. The thunderstorm threat, as well as severe threat, is very low (category 1 on the 5-point scale). (SPC)

The Tigers seemingly have been snake-bitten by weather events this year, but this event at least looks to be brief (outside of the sustained wind), so grab the poncho and #PackTheBowl for what promises to be a great football game! #StripeUp

The graph above shows temperature forecasts from several high-resolution models from tonight through Sunday. The black line is the model average. Note the very warm temps overnight, the large drop Sunday afternoon, and much cooler weather on Sunday, despite sunny skies. (NOAA)

Sunday and beyond

High pressure quickly builds in, making for a return to November-esque weather with highs generally in the 50s for Thanksgiving week and lows that could threaten freezing outside the city on Monday morning. A reinforcing shot of cool air arrives Tuesday night with freezing temperatures again possible Thanksgiving morning. Highs on Turkey Day will be cool - in the lower 50s most likely. Weather looks dry next week though, as any flies in the ointment that might bring precipitation stay well to our south in the Gulf.


Stay up to date with the latest conditions and forecast, as well as monitoring our Twitter and radar feeds, via the MWN mobile app. We appreciate your support of MWN in this small way, which pays big dividends for you!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thoughts on the appearance of the sun and La Nina

Seven thoughts on a bright sunny day in Memphis...

1. It's been a while hasn't it? The sun came out in Memphis this morning, proof that it does still exist despite some folks expressing doubt over the past week!

Today is the first day since we went trick-or-treating that we've had an extended period of sunshine. Looking back through the hourly records from Memphis International Airport (link for weather geeks), there have been a few times after dark that skies have been clear since Halloween, but those don't count (no sunshine). During daylight hours, we've been partly cloudy for an hour or two here and there a couple times as well, but the overall character of each day since the calendar turned has been cloudy to mostly cloudy.

2. In fact, I had a feeling people wouldn't be ready for this rare event, so last night I issued a Bright Orb Warning. I hope it helped you adequately prepare!



3. It also occurred to me that tonight will be the first night we'll be able to fully experience a "Standard Time" sunset! It's gotten dark early this week, but at least today we'll have some daylight until the late, late hour of 5pm...



4. How long does the sun stick around? The MWN Forecast shows more sun than clouds through Saturday morning before some dense cirrus cloud cover arrives. We'll see a weak system move through Sunday that brings a chance of rain, but the sun should return Monday for a couple days. Another cold front arrives next Wednesday with slightly higher rain chances. Overall, we should be able to get used to seeing sunshine more days than not over the coming week.

5. How about temperatures? We'll call them "seasonal," which is pretty decent. Normal highs are in the mid 60s this time of year with lows in the mid 40s. After a reinforcing shot of cool air tomorrow, we should see numbers fairly close to that for the upcoming week. Friday will be chilly with highs only in the mid 50s and if you're up early Saturday morning, you'll need a coat if you head to the patio for coffee. Rural areas will be near freezing and everyone will be in the 30s. Layer up if you're running the Greenline Half or 5K at Shelby Farms!

6. Meanwhile, to our west, the National Weather Service (NWS) has officially declared that La Nina has begun (again) in the Pacific. We had a weak La Nina last winter, which then turned "neutral" earlier this year. The NWS calls this return to La Nina a "double dip." It will have effects on the winter ahead.

Red areas are places where the forecast odds favor a much warmer than usual winter, while blue colors favor cooler than usual winter. The darker the color, the higher the probability of that outcome (not a larger departure from average). NOAA Climate.gov map, based on data from NOAA CPC.

Brown areas are places where the forecast odds favor a much drier than usual winter, while blue-green colors favor wetter than usual winter. The darker the color, the higher the probability of that outcome (not a larger departure from average). NOAA Climate.gov map, based on data from NOAA CPC

7. Though I don't have an official "winter forecast" published, locally I expect we'll see a warmer than average winter season, but it could actually start cooler than average (late November into December). Mid to late-winter will likely be above average overall. While areas to our south (closer to the Gulf coast) will be drier than usual, I expect we will see a storm track that could favor some storminess as we sit in a "battleground" between warmer air in the south and pushes of cold air to our north. This setup could favor a winter weather scenario or two. I'm leaning more towards ice than snow, but that can't be predicted in this area more than a few days out, so why listen to me in November??


Enjoy the sunshine!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Saturday, November 4, 2017

October 2017 Climate Data for Memphis, TN

October Climate Recap

Temperatures ended up slightly above average for the month, though the first half of the month featured more above average days, while the second half of the month saw more below average temperatures. In the early half of October, there were several days in the upper 80s and one day reached 92 degrees, which set a record for the date (9th). The tide turned at mid-month with more 60s and 70s, and even a couple of days with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. According to the National Weather Service, the low of 31 degrees on the 29th was the first sub-freezing low temperature in the month of October in 24 years!


Except for two days of the month, October was also dry. However that was offset by a 2.50" rain event on the 10th and another one inch-plus soaker on the 27th. Those two days totals over 90% of the monthly precipitation. The rain on the 10th was also not evenly distributed, as MWN's Bartlett weather station only recorded 0.41", thus ending the month well below normal. There was no severe weather for the month and no warnings issued.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN


Temperature
Average temperature: 65.2 degrees (1.1 degrees above average)
Average high temperature: 75.8 degrees (1.4 degrees above average)
Average low temperature: 54.6 degrees (0.8 degrees above average)
Warmest temperature: 92 degrees (9th)
Coolest temperature: 31 degrees (29th)
Heating Degrees Days: 128 (8 above average)
Cooling Degree Days: 143 (51 above average)
Records set or tied: Record warm minimum temperature tied on the 8th (72 degrees). Record high temperature set on the 9th (92 degrees).
Comments: Year to date, the average temperature of 68.0° is tied for the fourth warmest on record.

Precipitation
Monthly total: 4.04" (0.06" above average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 7
Wettest 24-hour period: 2.50" (10th)
Snowfall: None
Records set or tied: 2.50" of rain on the 10th was the second wettest October 10th on record.
Comments:  Only two days recorded precipitation of more than one-half inch, however those dates accounted for 91% of the rain total for the month. Year to date, precipitation has totaled 42.31" or 99.7% of normal (average year-to-date: 42.45").

Miscellaneous
Peak wind: Northwest/32 mph (24th)
Average wind: 7.9 mph
Average relative humidity: 64%
Average sky cover: 40%

Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International Airport.

Cirrus Weather Solutions / MemphisWeather.net, Bartlett, TN


Temperature
Average temperature: 62.9 degrees
Average high temperature: 76.5 degrees
Average low temperature: 50.5 degrees
Warmest temperature: 91.9 degrees (9th)
Coolest temperature: 27.2 degrees (29th)
Comments: None

Precipitation
Monthly total: 1.74" (automated rain gauge), 1.69" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 8
Wettest date: 0.74" (27th) (via automated gauge)
Snowfall: None
Comments: None

Miscellaneous
Peak wind: Northwest/22 mph (15th)
Average relative humidity: 76%
Average barometric pressure: 30.07 in. Hg
Comments: None

Click here for a daily statistical recap for Bartlett, TN.

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 1.89 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 70%
MWN average dewpoint error: 1.79 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 73%

MWN's forecasts extend out five periods (2.5 days, or roughly 60 hours). Historical accuracy statistics can be found here.

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

It's November? Where did fall go?

We've had a nice little run of fall weather lately with a mix of cool and warm temperatures that seem to average out to about what most people expect this time of year. Yeah well... you can forget about all that for the next several days!


High pressure aloft will strengthen over the Gulf of Mexico and far southern U.S. into Mexico, forcing the jet stream well to our north. At the surface, high pressure will build into the southeastern U.S. from the Atlantic, setting up a good fetch of warm air from the Gulf into the Mid-South. While a front will attempt to move into the Mid-South from the north on Friday, it will stall to our north, blocked by the edge of the high pressure area over our region. Combined, the result is well above normal temperatures for several days.

The Wednesday mid-day run of the American GFS model valid Thursday evening shows surface high pressure drawing warm air into the Mid-South from the Gulf as the cooler air remains well to our north. (PivotalWx)

The warm weather started to creep back today as a warm front lifted to our north, shifting the wind to the south, escorting in moister air (higher dewpoints in the lower 60s versus 30s and 40s of late), and thus warmer temperatures. Even despite cloud cover all day and a few light showers around, the mercury still rose to the upper 60s.

Dewpoints will remain in the 60s for the next few days according to the GFS model. That is a lot of moisture in the air for early November! (PivotalWx)

We'll have low chances of showers daily for the next few days with the best chances being Thursday night into Friday, though still only 40-50%, as minor waves in the upper levels move through and trigger possible showers. An isolated thunderstorm can't be ruled out Friday as well. By Saturday, the surface high establishes itself a bit more and rain chances dwindle to just a slight (20%) chance. That trend continues into early next week. 

A loop of forecast precipitation from the GFS model through Monday shows scattered chances several times between now and then. The primary rain chances will be Thursday night into Friday with a drying trend this weekend.

As for temperatures, if you really like cool, crisp fall air, look away! The highs, and especially the lows, will be far from that. Normally we average upper 60s for high temperatures this time of year and upper 40s for lows. You can add about 10° to those average highs as we will likely reach 80° at least once if not a couple times in the next 4-5 days (starting Thursday). Overnight lows will be very mild as well, owing to the warm moist air and cloud cover. Look for wake-up temperatures in the mid 60s each day into early next week.

GFS forecast temperatures over the next week show the warm air in place through the middle of next week. (Temperatures are for trend purposes only and are not exact.) (PivotalWx)

Looking ahead, the high should begin to break down, allowing a cold front to finally move through the Mid-South by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. That would push us back toward the "normal" range for temperatures and bring our next best chance of widespread rainfall of the measurable variety. Hopefully then we can get back to more "fall-like" weather!

Check for the latest updates to the MWN Forecast anytime using your MWN mobile app and follow us on social media for the latest info! Pertinent links can be found below.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fall cold blast on our doorstep!

Those who are seriously ready for some "real fall" weather - with fire pits and crisp mornings - will like what we have in store. Those hoping for a few more warm days, enjoy today and stop reading. :-) The autumn weather roller coaster rolls on, but the valleys and peaks get a little lower after today! Enjoy the upper half of the 70s this afternoon as I don't see anything close to that for at least the next week.

Friday

Tomorrow starts mild as you wake up to temperatures near 60 degrees, a mild south breeze, and increasing clouds. But by mid-morning, a potent cold front sweeps through the region. A few showers are expected along the front, but most precipitation will occur behind the front. In addition to rain during the day tomorrow,  the wind shifts to the north and shoves MUCH cooler air over the Mid-South. Our high temperature (near 60°) occurs before the front arrives in the morning, then temperatures fall during the day, initially to around 50° by lunchtime and then into the upper half of the 40s during the afternoon. Yes, it'll be a good 15 degrees colder when the kids leave school in the afternoon than when they go in the morning! Plan accordingly. A brisk wind will make it feel colder. Welcome to fall.

Temperature predictions from the American GFS model (blue) and its ensemble members (variations on the same model - gray lines with the average in black) for the next 4 days. Note the precipitous drop during the day Friday and cold temperatures upcoming this weekend. (NOAA)

Friday Night

Lots of questions/concerns out there about Friday evening as many of us have fall/Halloween activities that are affected by what's going on outdoors, including football at multiple levels. At this point, it looks like scattered cold showers will hang on into the early evening, but probably not as steady as the afternoon hours. After 8pm or so, the showers should taper off, as temperatures continue to slowly fall towards 40°. Overall, just a raw, damp evening unfortunately! Total rainfall from this system looks to be in the neighborhood of 1/2".

Forecast accumulated rainfall through Saturday morning from the NWS. (WxBell)

Saturday

The front and its rain will be gone by Saturday morning and it appears the sun will return. A few afternoon clouds are expected, wrapping around low pressure to our north, but it will be dry. It'll also be our coolest day since mid-March as high temperatures only reach the mid 50s, despite sunshine. You can thank (sarcastically, if you want) a large trough over the Mississippi Valley that pushed the Friday front through.

Forecast upper-level (500 mb, or 18,000') wind and pressure pattern on Saturday from the GFS model. The "full-latitude" trough along the Mississippi River Valley will be responsible for our cold weather. (PivotalWx)

Sunday

Another chilly day is on tap. In fact, Sunday morning will be the coldest sunrise of the forecast period. Mid 30s temperatures and frost will be widespread, even within the Bluff City limits. Outlying areas could see a freeze. Plan ahead to protect any outdoor vegetation that you don't want cold damage done to. Highs again remain in the 50s. Maybe this airmass will finally start changing the color of the leaves!


Next week

An upwards trend in temperatures starts the week before another front, this one not quite as potent, arrives Tuesday. It will have a minor effect on our near-surface thermal layer, but we should still be able to get high temperatures above 60° for most of next week. It appears some post-frontal rain could affect the area on Wednesday so that day could be a little cooler. For trick-or-treating on Tuesday night, the early forecast calls for a slight chance of tricks and temperatures in the 50s. Not far from an "average" Halloween. We'll hope that the small rain chances stay just that - small - otherwise...


Be sure you have the MWN app for daily forecast updates (things can change fairly quickly around here this time of year!), current StormView Radar imagery, and more great MWN content, including our frequently-updated social media feeds. All the links you need are below!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Friday, October 20, 2017

The fall weather roller coaster is leaving the station!

A gorgeous fall week is in the books and I know many of you are grateful for that! After a few "false starts" and a late end to the warm season, the pleasant days and cool mornings this week have been welcomed.

Friday Night

Now we're all ready for a beautiful fall weekend right? Well, perhaps Mother Nature can partially deliver... The weekend starts with Friday night though and it promises to be a nice one. Skies will be mainly overcast, but it will be dry with temperatures in the 70s and comfortable humidity levels for Friday Night Lights, the last free concert of the fall season at Levitt Shell (here's a plug for their awesome end-of-season benefit concerts in 2 weeks), and whatever else you might have planned.

Saturday

As we head into Saturday, I expect most of the day to be pretty decent, though clouds stick around and the south wind increases a bit ahead of our next weather-maker. Despite the chance of a few sprinkles or a brief light shower, it will be mainly dry with highs topping out near 80. Morning lows won't be as cool as this week - near 60 most likely, owing to increasing dewpoints on that south wind. Saturday evening should also be dry for most with a persistent south breeze at about 10 mph.

The surface map for Saturday evening shows a cold front across the Plains, with most active weather (some severe storms) well to our west. There will be a low chance of a couple showers in the Mid-South tomorrow evening. (NWS)

Sunday

Things change early Sunday as a cold front nears and a fairly deep upper level trough , which is currently along the west coast, slides into the Plains. Precipitation chances increase precipitously (which they are wont to do) Sunday morning with a few non-severe thunderstorms thrown in for good measure. It will be mild as you head to church or brunch with temperatures in the 60s as rain becomes occasionally heavy. Look for the trend to continue throughout the day Sunday with temps not rising much above the lower 70s and rain continuing, producing up to 1-2" totals on Sunday. Though models differ a bit on the details, and any potential lulls, if you have outdoor plans Sunday, you'd be best served by having an alternate arrangement made.

An upper level trough is shown over the Plains on Sunday morning just behind a cold front that will be advancing into the region. Rain will arrive early Sunday in the metro with a few thunderstorms also possible. (PivotalWx)

Predicted rainfall totals through Sunday evening from the NWS - between 1-2" is a likely amount for the metro. (WxBell)

Monday

The forecast Monday is a little murky and unclear, mostly because the trough overhead is apt to form a "cut-off low" over the lower Mississippi Valley. Basically, this means a piece of the trough "cuts off" from the rest of the upper level flow and forms its own low pressure. That looks to prolong rain chances, at least in scattered form, into the day Monday. Again, details are still TBD, but for now I"m going with scattered showers and cooler temperatures (60s) Monday, as well as a steady north wind behind Sunday's cold front.

By Monday morning, the upper level trough has lifted north and left behind a cut-off low pressure system (shown over the Mississippi Delta), which will keep showers in the forecast on Monday. (PivotalWx)

Predicted rainfall totals through Monday evening from the NWS. We'll probably end up with widespread 2" rainfall amounts from this system. (WxBell

Tuesday and beyond

By Tuesday, the low moves east, high pressure builds back in, and in fact, another large trough develops over the eastern U.S. driving much cooler air into the Mid-South for mid-week. While it will be sunny out, this will likely be the coolest air of this early fall season with highs (maybe struggling) into the 60s and a few outlying areas probably seeing frost on Wednesday morning.

A massive upper level trough will be in place over the eastern U.S. by mid-week (shown on Wednesday morning), bringing the coolest weather of the fall to areas under its influence. (PivotalWx)

Looking out a bit further, another large-scale system quickly transits into the region as the progressive upper level pattern continues and we're probably looking at another rain event a week from now. Hang on tight - the autumn roller coaster has left the station!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Thursday, October 19, 2017

NOAA / NWS Winter Outlook released

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released their 2017-2018 Winter Outlook, which is predicated on the emergence of a weak La Nina event in the eastern Pacific. NOAA indicates that La Nina is likely to be "weak and short-lived," but will still have an effect on the weather patterns over the United States. La Nina typically results in cool and wet conditions across the northern tier of the country and warm and dry conditions for the southern U.S. as compared to an average winter. The outlook graphics reflect that general thinking.

Temperature

The temperature outlook calls for a broad area across the southern United States with a high chance of above average temperatures. Specifically, the most likely areas for above average warmth are from the Four Corners region across Texas to the central Gulf Coast. North of those areas though, there is a good chance of seeing above normal temperatures across the rest of the southern U.S. and potentially the eastern U.S. Memphis and the Mid-South is also expected to average above normal this winter in the temperature department.



Precipitation

On the precipitation side, La Nina is well known for dry conditions across the southern tier of the U.S. and that is exactly what we see in the outlook graphic. The desert southwest, southern plains, Gulf Coast, and Mid-Atlantic are all forecast to end up drier than average. Areas that are likely to see above average precipitation include the norther Rockies, Ohio Valley, and central Great Lakes. The Mid-South is in an "equal chances" area, meaning there are no clear signals to indicate above or below precipitation.


Commentary

It should be noted that above average temperatures for a season do not necessarily mean a lack of winter precipitation in the Mid-South. The Memphis area averages about four inches of sleet and snow each year, though it tends to vary each winter around that average, from an inch of two to 5-6" or more during the snowiest winters. Of course, one or two storms can produce those amounts, so it really comes down to having the right mix of moisture and cold air simultaneously. In addition, ice storms can also occur when a rain event runs into a shallow layer of cold air, either behind a cold front, or when high pressure north of the region filters cold air south into the region.

It's been several years since the area has seen "good" snowfall. The past six years have yielded a total of 7.1". The two previous years, 2009-10 and 2010-11, recorded 6.8" and 9.7" respectively, with big storms dumping even higher totals that affected portions of the metro but missed the airport. Maybe this will be our year for another heavy snow! As an aside, it should be noted that La Nina can sometimes produce severe weather episodes in the late wintertime as well, so we'll need to keep an eye out for that potential as well.


Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Friday, October 13, 2017

Trending towards fall... after one more hot day

The past couple of day have provided some evidence that fall is indeed here, while the warmth this afternoon and Saturday remind us that "fall" is relative and includes peaks and valleys.

As opposed to last weekend when hot temperatures (90°+) were coupled with very muggy air, the hottest day (Saturday) before the next fall front arrives (Sunday) will feature dewpoints in the mid 60s instead of the low to mid 70s. So while it'll be quite warm for the Tigers tilt against a formidable-and-respected Navy opponent (forecast highs of 89° are within a degree of the record), a southerly breeze and only-somewhat-uncomfortable humidity levels should make for a bit more tolerable day. Just ignore the calendar and pretend it's early September! [As an aside, I suffered through the weather to revel in a win over UCLA and expect the level of suffering, at least from a weather perspective, to be a bit more muted. As for the outcome of the game... we can only hope that the heat of the day translates to a hot hand on the end of the right arm of one Riley Ferguson.]

The surface map for Saturday shows high pressure to our east ushering in warm air from the south, but a frontal system over the Plains is poised to dive south as a cold front by Sunday morning, bringing relief from the heat. (NWS)
Back to weather... As for what comes next - a return to the fall weather we expect in mid-October! A cold front moves through the Mid-South early Sunday. A warm start turns to off-and-on showers, a gusty north wind, and temperatures that don't move a lot from the morning lows in the upper 60s. Humidity falls on that north wind as temps only peak in the mid 70s. Don't expect a lot of sun, but I also don't expect prolonged rain.

Rainfall amounts associated with Sunday's front taper off from north to south with very small rain amounts expected in the Memphis area. (WxBell)

Precipitation earlier this week helped the dry ground that had developed, but don't expect enough Sunday to continue the trend. No drought indications are currently showing up in west TN or east AR, but parts of north MS have moved into the "abnormally dry" category on the most recent Drought Monitor.
The Drought Monitor shows D0 (abnormally dry) conditions over parts of north MS.
Looking ahead to next week, the first few days post-front look stunning, and the rest of the week doesn't look half bad! Sunny skies pervade as cooler high pressure builds in. Highs for most of the week will be in the 70s (though we might not quite make it there on Monday). Evenings will be cool with low humidity allowing temperatures to drop quickly once the sun sets - which is now getting closer to 6:00 than 7. Mornings will be crisp (I've been waiting to use that word!) with lows near 50° in the city and into the 40s in rural areas. Now THAT is fall!

The American GFS model forecasts temperatures to drop to autumnal levels next week behind Sunday's front. (WxBell)

A slow warming trend takes place  by week's end, though clouds will also start to increase as the next system approaches about a week from now. The good news is that the warmest days behind this weekend's front will be closer to 80° than 90°. Yet another sign that we're nearing Halloween. Enjoy this time of year - before you know it, we'll be complaining about it being too cold!


Keep tabs on the temperature swings and precipitation chances with the MWN mobile app and our social media feeds! Links are provided below.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

----
Follow MWN on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps, featuring StormWatch+ severe weather alerts!
MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder