Monday, April 23, 2018

Temps Remain Below-Average for the Week, Periods of Clouds & Showers

Editor's Note: This is the first of what will likely be many blog posts authored by new MWN Meteorologist Intern Caroline MacDonald. We look forward to posting these more in-depth weather updates on a regular basis than we have of late. Caroline is just one part of that diabolical plan to keep you better informed on area weather! Please welcome her to MWN!

I wish I could say that the rest of this week was going too be sunny and warm, but unfortunately Mother Nature won't allow me to. This week looks to be characterized by below-normal temps with plenty of clouds and some showers.

Scattered showers from earlier today will continue to move out through the overnight hours tonight. Temps will fall into the mid 50s overnight. Dew point temps in the low 50s and saturated grounds from today will leave prime conditions for overnight/early morning fog development. Fog development will depend on how the skies clear overnight. If our cloudy skies remain in place, expect patchy fog in some low-lying areas. If we are able to get more clearing, more widespread fog development will be possible. Any fog that develops should dissipate around sunrise.


The upper-level low that brought showers today will continue to hang around our area tomorrow, leaving cloudy skies behind. There is a slight chance of showers into the afternoon hours. Any shower that develops will be light and scattered in nature. These dreary conditions will keep temps in the 50s through the AM hours and the 60s into the afternoon. Expect high temps to be well below-average with highs near the mid 60s.

We will finally begin to see some clearing in the cloud coverage as we head into the evening hours tomorrow with temps falling into the mid 50s overnight.


Things look to start off pretty nice on Wednesday with some partly sunny skies. By the afternoon, another cold front will be knocking on our doorstep. Luckily we won't have to worry about temps dropping drastically with this front. High temps will remain in the upper 60s with overnight temps falling into the mid 50s. 

Along with this front will be some more scattered showers. Showers look to begin around / after the lunch hour and continue through the evening hours. 

NAM loop from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning shows off/on showers through both days. (Pivotal Weather)
While we will not see a lot of rainfall in terms of total accumulation, we will see enough that you may want to keep the umbrella handy for those sprinkles.


Some early morning showers may linger from the night before, but skies will begin to clear as we move through the day. We may even get to see the sun, just maybe.

This clearing will help to propel highs once again into the upper 60s. Overall, Thursday looks to be the go-to day for the week for those outdoor evening plans if you have any. Partly cloudy skies will allow temps to fall into the low 50s overnight. 


Friday appears to be one of those good news and bad news types of days. The good news is we may get some more clearing, which will allow some partly sunny skies during the AM. The bad news is that by the afternoon, yet another cold front poses to move through. This will bring another bit of showers along with it. Regardless of the showers, temps will remain below-normal with highs topping off in the upper 60s. 

While there are several rounds of showers possible this week, there won't be heavy rainfall events nor any thunderstorms. Less than half an inch is expected now through early Saturday.

Weather Prediction Center's Precipitation Forecast now through early Saturday morning. (WeatherBell)

Caroline MacDonald
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Spring struggling against the lingering forces of winter

Despite being past Tax Day, with most foliage blooming or budding or growing, late winter still seems to want to keep popping its head up like an annoying rodent from Whack-a-Mole.

The past couple of weeks have been evidence, given that we had an 80-degree day a week ago, only to be followed up 3 days later by a record cool day in the mid 40s and several recent mornings with wind chill factors and patchy frost. A persistent pattern featuring an upper level trough over the eastern U.S. is to blame. It also is responsible for a relatively slow start to severe weather season this spring. What does the near-future hold?

Friday and Saturday

For now, we're back in "warm-up" mode after some frosty areas early this morning. April sun and wind that has shifted to the east, rather than north, means temperatures climbing towards 70 today. Saturday will see an increase in clouds, but wind that shifts further around towards the south. Pair it with a morning low that is about 10 degrees warmer, and we should make it to 70 without much trouble. That is still several degrees below our mid-April average though. There is a low chance of some afternoon sprinkles, but overall your Saturday looks to be pretty pleasant for outdoor activities and spring festivals!

Surface map for Friday evening. The low pressure in the Central Rockies will move slowly our direction, dragging the associated precipitation this way, but not before Saturday night. (NWS/WPC)

Saturday night into Sunday

This is when spring rains make their return as weak low pressure moves slowly out of the southern plains and scoots by to our south. Since it will be to our south, with little in the way of instability feeding into the area, I expect we'll see rain and very little thunder. That rain arrives Saturday night (chances increase during the evening) with the wettest period late overnight into Sunday morning. However, scattered showers stick around most of Sunday as the low moves slowly by. It may not be a washout, but you can just pretend that it is as timing any short dry spells will be difficult. Total rainfall will likely end up in the 1-2" range by Sunday night. Temperatures will be below average, as expected on a rainy day, but not too cold - lows in the mid 50s and highs in the lower to mid 60s.

Forecast precipitation amounts through Monday morning from the NWS Weather Prediction Center.

The Severe Weather Outlook for Sunday from the Storm Prediction Center shows that Memphis will be on the edge of a "general" risk of thunderstorms. No severe weather is expected, and in fact, there is a low chance of any thunder at all.

Early next week

As the low slowly shifts east across the southeast U.S. Monday, we'll see "wrap-around" showers off and on Monday, but it will be drier than Sunday. Temperatures will be very similar to Sunday though, so look for 60s in the afternoon. We should catch a bit of a break Tuesday. I don't expect a ton of sun, but rain chances should only be about 20% as the low weakens and departs the region. There is no strong high pressure center replacing it though, thus the lingering clouds mixing with a bit of sun. Temperatures will be a few degrees warmer, maybe pushing 70 again. The mid-week will see another front push through on Wednesday, bringing yet another chance of scattered showers and highs near 70.

By Monday morning, the rainy low pressure center will be well to our southeast, but still close enough to bring a chance of some showers to the area. (NWS/WPC)

Looking ahead

The longer-range shows a dry day Thursday and another front on Friday, but temperatures that reach 70 degrees both days. Fortunately, there are no cold air masses behind any of these, so there is no frost or really cold mornings in the crystal ball. If all goes to plan, we should see things clear up in time for the last weekend in April. Long-range climate models are split on May, but I am thinking that temperatures will be a bit below normal to start the month, then closer to normal by mid to late May. By late May, "near normal" means mid 80s, so don't be surprised if we warm up fairly quickly once we get into May!

The NOAA May outlook indicates slightly above average odds of above normal temperatures for the month, hinging fairly tightly to the American climate models. (NOAA/CPC)

On the other hand, the European ensemble models forecast for the next 6 weeks (46 days) is for below normal temperatures. We'll see which solution wind this battle! (WxBell)

As always, you can get the latest forecasts for the next 7 days, as well as current conditions, StormView Radar, and StormWatch+ severe weather alerts all via the app. Find it at the links below and follow us on social for routine updates.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: on the mobile web or via the MWN mobile app
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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder