Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Relief in sight, with a price

It's become clear to us that everyone is sick of the heat, us included. If this is actually true, we do have some good news in this forecast blog. The only problem? This dry spell we've had the past several days is finally coming to an end, because any good thing has to come with a catch.


Our nighttime forecast has become a broken record for the past week almost now (not just daytime). Plan on clear skies tonight. As for temperatures: despite those clear skies, conditions will be very mild with a low around 75 and dew points hanging around 70 (that dew point means it's muggy!).


Tomorrow, the ridging over the southeast continues, bringing in muggy conditions from the south with southerly flow. Source: Tropical Tidbits (GFS MSLP and 10m winds)

The "Death Ridge" as I'm calling it remains in the south tomorrow. That means that we are going to remain dry as temperatures again soar into the mid 90s and heat indices linger around 100. With winds wrapping around that high from the south, muggier air from the Gulf will be brought in during the day. What does that mean: bad hair day, uncontrollable sweating, swearing every time you step outside and you feel like you are stepping into an oven. The only thing we've got going for us in the forecast tomorrow is mostly sunny skies. As for tomorrow night, an increase in clouds is expected. Temperatures drop to a not so cool low of 75, once again.


Friday, especially in the afternoon/evening, we start watching a front that will be working its way into the Mid-South. With it comes our break from the heat. Source: Tropical Tidbits (12km NAM Reflectivity and MSLP)

Here's where we finally break free of that bland, intolerable forecast. Friday will start with a mix of sun and clouds, along with humid, hot conditions (but not as hot with highs around 90). Later in the day, we start watching an inbound front that will start dipping down towards us. With it comes the chance for showers and storms for the afternoon and evening. That rain chance will hang on through the night, meaning clouds will be stuck in the forecast keeping our low in the 70s, but slightly cooler around 72. Along with those clouds during the night, rain chances remain as we deal with that front starting to stall.

The Weekend

Plans for the weekend? They might be a little difficult. That front coming Friday stalls over the Mid-South. That means each day, throughout the entire day, we will be dealing with scattered showers and storms. That said, it won't be a total wash out. We will see some breaks in the rain. Temperatures will be noticeably cooler with the arrival of the rain. Saturday will see temps topping off in the mid 80s and Sunday will be even cooler in the lower 80s (oh sweet relief). Now despite the cooler weather, clouds at night mess up any chances at crisp fall-like temps overnight. Instead, look for lows around 70. For those heading to the Liberty Bowl for Memphis Tigers football game Saturday, it's still TBD how exactly rain could/will impact the game, but know that there is the chance for it. But hey, cooler temperatures at least!

Next Week (Monday-Wednesday)

That stalled front from the weekend? Yeah, about that. It stays in our forecast for Monday as it weakens, meaning we hang on to our rain chances; however, they do drop slightly as the energy for the front dissipates. While that energy drops, we will start to see a weak southerly flow start to be reestablished. All of this adds up to our temperatures starting to climb slightly. Despite that, we don't return to the 90s and dewpoints should remain below 70. Despite the falling rain chances, plan on more scattered shower and storm activity, rather than more organized precipitation like we will have during the weekend. Nights should be mostly dry as lows keep hovering around 70.

A Bigger Cool Down In Sight?

Models are picking up on a bigger cool down near the end of next work week. What exactly will the temperatures be? They will be noticeably cooler, but we want to wait before giving any exact details since we are still a week or so out. But it is conceivable that we could see lows into the 50s. The week 2 temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center indicates a strong likelihood of below normal temperatures - the first time we have seen that in recent memory!

The week 2 (Sep 27-Oct 3) temperature outlook for the U.S. indicates a strong chance of below average temperatures for a large portion of the central U.S., including the Mid-South. (NOAA/CPC)

Reggie Roakes
MWN Meteorologist

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Is it August or September? Hot temps will remain all of this week

There really are no major weather talking points for the Mid-South region this upcoming week as our forecast will be primarily dominated by hot temperatures and not a whole lot in terms of precipitation.

Unfortunately, there are parts of the U.S. that have been seeing historic amounts of rainfall lately. As we discussed in last week's blog, former Hurricane Florence eventually made landfall along the North Carolina coastline and has since brought catastrophic flooding to both North and South Carolina. Florence, now a tropical depression in wind strength, continues to bring bands of heavy rainfall to both states and has been doing so since last Thursday. Some areas have received over 30" of rainfall in this event alone.

A look at the 7-day observed precipitation total over the Carolinas displays a large area that has received 20+ inches of rain over this period. The majority of this rain has come over a 3 to 4 day span. (NOAA/NWS)

An additional crazy statistic from this event is that Wilmington, NC has already broken its annual rainfall record. The previous record, set in 1877, was 83.65 inches over the 12 month period. The area has already broken this record by reading 86.79 inches so far, and we still have three more months left in the year!


Back to the Mid-South, expecting for a generally quiet evening tonight as temps slowly begin to cool off after sunset. Additionally, clear skies overnight will help our temps to cool with lows expected to reach near 74 in the city and a bit cooler in the suburbs by early tomorrow morning. 

Tomorrow through Thursday

In general, the first several days of this week will be extremely similar with no major weather pattern variations. There will be plenty of sunshine to go around each day with mostly sunny skies expected to dominate our weather pattern. Highs each day will reach into the low 90s with tolerable humidity. We could even sneak into the mid 90s range on a day or two. Dewpoint temperatures will generally stay around 70, which isn't comfortable but isn't completely miserable either. The good news from this is that heat index values to go along with our highs in the 90s should near 100, but shouldn't go much over that. Nonetheless, it'll be toasty outside this week! 

For the evening and overnight hours, clear skies will help temps to cool each night with temps falling into the lower to mid 70s. 


The end of the work week appears to be the only day with a slight variation from the rest of the week. Overall, expecting for a similar weather pattern in terms of temperature with highs in the lower 90s and lows in the mid 70s. Our difference maker will be that rain chances will slowly begin to re-enter the forecast starting on Friday. 

A cold front will approach the Mid-South through the second half of the work week, but will slowly push into our area this weekend and eventually stall out. So what will this mean? We should eventually get a little relief from the heat we have experienced all of this week, but not as much relief as we all really want. 

The WPC shows a cold front slowly making its way southward by early Friday morning (NOAA/WPC)

WPC's Day 7 (Sunday morning) surface front map shows very little movement as compared to Friday's chart with Friday's cold front becoming a stationary front draped over the Mid-South. (NOAA/WPC)
We aren't expecting a washout for Friday; showers and thunderstorms will likely stay scattered at best. 

Week in review

Overall this upcoming week looks to dip a little back into the summer-like category rather than fall-like, despite the autumnal equinox occurring on Saturday evening. Hopefully Mother Nature won't make us wait too long to finally get some of that fall weather we are all craving. Fingers crossed!

A glance at next weekend 

In short, this upcoming weekend appears to keep the above average temperatures in place with a few additional rain chances becoming possible. To put things in perspective, "normal" high temps for mid-September are generally in the mid 80s with "normal" low temps in the mid 60s. We are expecting to be near 90 for our high this weekend with overnight lows in the lower 70s. These temps sound more like mid-August than mid-September if you ask me. 

The CPC has temps remaining well above average next weekend through the first part of the following week (Sep. 22-26). (NOAA/CPC)

The CPC keeps the Mid-South in the above average category for precipitation from Saturday through the beginning of next week, largely due to the presence of the front in the area during a good part of that timeframe. (NOAA/CPC)

Caroline MacDonald
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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