Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wet weather and roller coaster temps on the way!

It felt a bit like spring on this Valentine's Day with warm, muggy, and wet conditions. While that will be a trend that we'll get a lot of in the next week or more, there is one major front that will disrupt the pattern on Friday. Let's dig a bit into the details.


After a night in which temperatures remain in the 60s and south wind increases, Thursday will be the warmest day of 2018 to this point with highs projected to be near 75°. Rain chances will be minimal but southwesterly wind gusts will reach 30 mph in the afternoon hours. Clouds dominate the skyscape.

Thursday night - Friday

With a cold front remaining to our north Thursday night, another very warm night is in store, though rain chances will increase a bit as we head into the early morning hours. Southwesterly wind keeps the mercury above 60° all night long. Friday is one of those "upside down" days - and not necessarily pleasant! A significant cold front arrives in the morning, maybe by 8am, and triggers temperatures to plummet, in addition to rain. Despite the potency of the front, thunderstorms are not forecast, as most precipitation will fall after the front passes. Rain totals of less than a a half-inch are expected. Temperatures will fall quickly into the upper 40s with the morning frontal passage, then continue to slowly fall throughout the day. By evening, we'll likely be in the upper 30s with a wind chill near freezing, after starting the day near 60°.

Forecast temperatures at 6am Friday as a potent cold front moves south through the Mid-South, dropping temperatures from the lower 60s overnight into the 40s during the day. (WxBell - 3km NAM model)


Despite the temperatures residing in the 30s Friday night, most precipitation will take a break. On Saturday though, rainfall returns on the cool side of the front with temperatures in the 40s throughout the day. Another chilly, wet day.

Overall, Sunday appears to be mainly dry, though clouds will linger and a few showers can't be ruled out. It will start to warm back up though as Friday's cold front returns as a warm front and helps lift temps back into the 50s.


The start of the work week returns us to a warm, but unsettled pattern. As high pressure builds off the Atlantic coast, the favored region for precipitation will be around its perimeter. Depending on the strength of the high, that "perimeter area" could be right over the Mid-South, meaning continued chances of showers, perhaps some thunderstorms, and an increasing concern for flooding in low-lying and urban areas, as well as along local streams, creeks and tributaries that feed the Mississippi River, as rainfall totals for the week approach 3"+. Some areas by mid-week next week could see week-long rain totals of 6" or more. This will be in addition to the 5" of rain we have already received this month, which is already above the average for the entire month! Quack.

Total precipitation forecast by the NWS through next Wednesday is 3-4" across the Mid-South. Some local areas could see more than that. (WxBell)

Looking further out, the pattern is trending towards a continuance of generally warm and wet conditions right through the end of the month. Could it be an early spring? Or will March bring a now-almost-expected cold blast or two? We'll have to wait and see!

NOAA predicts a high likelihood of above average temperatures for the last week of February.

NOAA predicts a good chance of above average precipitation for the last week of February as well.

Stay in touch with the forecast conditions, and a very busy radar, with the app. We'll have the latest information via our always-current social media feeds. All links are 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

Sunday, February 11, 2018

January 2018 Climate Data for Memphis, TN

January Climate Recap

2018 started off brutally cold, in the midst of a spell of cold weather that began around Christmas 2017. Though temperatures warmed by the second week of the month, another lengthy cold spell gripped the Mid-South during the middle of the month. The second half of the month was generally warmer than average, but the damage was done by the very cold first half, which resulted in a colder than normal month.

Precipitation was right at average for the month, but featured a couple of wintry precipitation episodes during the mid-month cold spell that dropped 2-3" of snow and sleet on the city and resulted in multiple "snow days" due to the lingering cold and resultant slow melt. Thunder occurred on the 22nd but no severe weather occurred. Specific information for Memphis International Airport and headquarters in Bartlett can be found below.

A GOES-East visible satellite image from January 17 shows snow cover over the Mid-South. Image credit: NOAA/NWS.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 37.4 degrees (3.8 degrees below average)
Average high temperature: 46.2 degrees (3.6 degrees below average)
Average low temperature: 28.6 degrees (4.0 degrees below average)
Warmest temperature: 68 degrees (21st)
Coolest temperature: 7 degrees (17th)
Heating Degrees Days: 847 (109 above average)
Cooling Degree Days: 0 (0 above/below average)
Records set or tied: None
Comments: None

Monthly total: 4.02" (0.04" above average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 10
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.10" (11th)
Snowfall: 2.5" (0.6" above average)
Records set or tied: None
Comments: Snowfall was recorded on five days, three of which were a trace. Measurable snowfall occurred on 12th (0.7" of sleet and snow) and the 16th (1.8" of snow).

Peak wind: South/39 mph (22nd)
Average wind: 9.2 mph
Average relative humidity: 65%
Average sky cover: 50%

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 37.4 degrees
Average high temperature: 46.2 degrees
Average low temperature: 26.6 degrees
Warmest temperature: 69.4 degrees (21st)
Coolest temperature: 1.9 degrees (17th)
Comments: None

Monthly total: 2.74" (automated rain gauge), 3.44" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 9
Wettest date: 0.62" (22nd) (via automated gauge)
Snowfall: 3.0"
Comments: Snowfall was recorded on four days, two of which were a trace. Measurable snowfall occurred on 12th (0.3" of sleet and snow) and the 16th (2.7" of snow).

Peak wind: West/32 mph (22nd)
Average relative humidity: 71%
Average barometric pressure: 30.33 in. Hg
Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 2.08 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 65%
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.86 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 51%

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

Friday, February 9, 2018

A wet weekend is in store, but will temps remain "warm?"

If you were hoping for a string of dry days, you'll have it wait a while longer! The second half of January was relatively dry, with just two rain days after the 16th. However five of the first eight days in February have had measurable rainfall and the wet pattern looks to continue for at least a few more days, if not longer.

In a nutshell, a cold front will slowly make its way south into the Mid-South by Saturday, finally pushing out of the area Sunday. However, with southwest wind aloft basically blowing parallel to the front, multiple upper level disturbances will traverse the area, bringing rounds of rainfall that continue through Sunday night. 

Animation of surface maps from Friday morning through Monday morning as a slow-moving front crosses the region. Green colors indicate rainfall, while orange (ice) and blue (snow) stay to our north. (NOAA)
The initial shower activity with this weekend's slow-moving system arrives around rush hour tonight. This activity will "prime the pump" by raising dewpoints and moistening up the atmosphere. Behind those showers, steadier rain, as well as some isolated non-severe thunderstorm activity, will engulf the region overnight and continue Saturday. If you have outdoor activities Saturday, I'd call them a washout at this point. Saturday is when the front slowly crosses the metro, so again, a few claps of thunder can't be ruled out. Overnight into Sunday morning, look for rainfall to dwindle to showers as the front pushes further south. Much of the PM hours on Sunday could be dry, though a chance of passing light rain is possible. One more piece of upper level moves through Sunday night, bringing a last round of light rain before exiting early Monday morning.

National Weather Service rainfall projections indicate weekend totals of around 2" are likely across the metro, especially along and south of I-40. Lighter amounts will fall in northeast AR and amounts nearing 3" are possible in portions of middle TN. (WxBell)
As for temperatures, very mild weather is expected ahead of the front with the mercury generally in the 50s. Once the front passes, temperatures will drop Saturday night to around 40 in the city and likely linger there for much of Sunday with a cool north wind. There will be a noticeable difference between Saturday and Sunday with "feels like" temperatures dropping from the 50s to the 30s. Sunday night will see lows approach freezing. We'll be watching that carefully as the last wave of precipitation moves through, but for now the expectations are for light rain in the metro counties and perhaps some light freezing icing or snow to our north across northwest TN and northeast AR.

The NWS-Memphis hazardous weather outlook highlights the potential for some icy conditions this weekend in areas of northeast AR and far northwest TN while a few thunderstorms with heavy rain are likely south of I-40. (NWS-Memphis)
Once rain departs Monday morning, we'll be dry for about 48 hours before the patter shifts again to a wet one for the second half of next week. This time, it looks even warmer with temperatures in the 60s for highs and chances of thunder re-emerging.

The overnight model ensemble run of the European Prediction System predicts a wet week ahead, with 50+ members of the European model averaging over 4" of rain in the coming 7 days and about an inch and a half this weekend! 75% of those members are between 3-5" in the coming week. (
Bottom line: keep the rain gear handy this weekend and plan for mild weather through the first half of Saturday, then colder for Saturday night through Monday! You can always find the latest forecast on our website and apps linked below and be sure to stay up to date with our radar updates and supplemental information on our social media channels all weekend long!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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Visit on the web or 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

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Progressive weather pattern yields rapidly-changing conditions & an important anniversary

The various rodents from across the nation - including Punxsutawney Phil, Gen. Beauregard Lee, and Chattanooga Chuck - have all agreed that we've got six more weeks of winter.  I for one am rooting against them! It'll be a busy week ahead in the weather department, but global patterns suggest that we might begin edging away from a wintry pattern in the eastern U.S. as we move through the second half of February. However, I never rule out a snow day until we get past the first week of March! (In fact, you may remember the very light snow we got on March 13-14 just last year!)


Mother Nature was kind to bring us rain last night, but to keep it confined to the overnight hours. She left us with mostly sunny skies and near average temperatures today, though an upper level trough that follows last night's system arrives late this afternoon with gusty northwest wind and cloudy skies. A sprinkle or flurry this evening can't be ruled out, but I have no concern. A flurry or a few would melt immediately as they reach the ground.

An upper level disturbance (orange/red colors) delivers a glancing blow to the Mid-South as we head into the overnight hours. An increase in northwest wind, cooler temperatures, and a very small chance of an evening sprinkle or flurry accompany it. (PivotalWx) 

We'll feel the post-trough cold air Monday with morning lows back into the 20s and highs remaining below 50. Morning wind chills will be in the teens again tomorrow so add a layer to the kiddos as they head out the door. We should get a fair amount of sunshine on Monday to partially modify the cold airmass.

The next rainmaker - Tuesday

The pattern begins to change again Monday night as southerly wind and clouds return, holding temperatures up near 40 as rain chances re-emerge. Tuesday and Tuesday night bring our next chance of rain. In fact, we could see a good deal of it, particularly Tuesday night, though Tuesday will be fairly wet as well, just not as heavy as could occur Tuesday night. By the time it's all said and done Wednesday morning, portions of the Mid-South could see as much as a couple of inches of the wet stuff. As low pressure tracks through the southern portion of the region Tuesday night and instability increases in the mid levels of the atmosphere, a few rumbles of thunder are also possible. Tuesday's highs will be near 50.

Forecast precipitation totals for our Tuesday/Tuesday night weather system. A few rumbles of thunder are also possible Tuesday night but no severe weather will occur. (NWS via WxBell)

The second half of the week

The mid-week period provide a short, cool reprieve from the rain (once any lingering showers depart early Wednesday) with highs generally in the mid to upper 40s and lows in the mid 30s Wednesday and below freezing Thursday. Though clouds stick around Wednesday, Thursday will be sunny. By Friday, south wind will push temperatures into the mid 50s with continued sunshine, as it looks right now. Overall...

Next weekend

The next weather system (our third in a week - who debates that we are in a progressive weather pattern?) arrives next weekend. The European and American GFS models are once again battling over how the weekend plays out like it's the Ryder Cup . If you want at least half of it to be decent, you're rooting for the Euro. If you like wet weekends, we Americans seem to be good at forecasting that. #EuroFTW

Stay in tune with rapidly-changing and often only partially-predictable conditions with the MWN mobile app. The forecast is updated daily to give you insight into our latest thinking and our social media feeds will keep you in the know on how to plan your day! Links are below in the footer.

The anniversary of an important weather day

Monday marks the 10 year anniversary of the Super Tuesday tornado outbreak that included among its 87 tornadoes an EF-2 that moved from Southaven, MS into the Hickory Ridge area of Memphis while being shown live on WREG-TV during the afternoon rush hour. In addition, no one will forget the EF-4 that tore through the Union University campus in Jackson, TN, but miraculously took no lives.

A screen-capture of the tornadic storm carried live on WREG-TV on February 5 ,2008. The flash of light in the lower right is likely a power flash caused by the downing of power lines by the tornadic wind. (YouTube/WREG-TV)
In addition, it is National Weatherperson's Day and the 8th birthday of Cirrus Weather Solutions, LLC, my private company that serves as an umbrella organization for, and StormWatch+. For more on the events of this day in history, see this blog post from last year.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

Follow MWN on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
Visit on the web or 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