Saturday, July 13, 2019

Saturday update: Barry's impacts on the Mid-South

Briefly a hurricane, Barry made landfall on the central Louisiana Gulf Coast this morning and is moving slowly north through Louisiana. It will remain over Louisiana through much of Sunday before heading north through central Arkansas west of Little Rock Monday as it weakens to a tropical depression. Unfortunately, that means the weather in the Memphis area will be depressing for a few days as well.

Pictures are worth at least 1000 words each when you're talking about weather, so I'll use a lot of them in this update. First, the latest track from the National Hurricane Center:

And as an overview, below is how the European model handles Barry's movement through Wednesday evening. It has done a very good job of predicting the path of the storm to this point.

Water, water everywhere

The main story for our area will not be wind (though for the Mid-South, it will be more than we are typically used to), but the rain. We'll start there. The outer portion of Barry's main rain shield will move into the metro Sunday morning, maybe before daybreak. However, despite likely being steady, we won't get an unusual amount during the day Sunday. Here's the NWS rainfall total through Sunday at 7pm (it's about half an inch):

Precipitation 7pm Saturday- 7pm Sunday

Sunday night is when the rain really starts to pick up, especially after midnight. We could see a couple inches of rain in some areas. A few thunderstorms are possible as well which could enhance rain totals in spots.

Monday is a continuation on the rainy pattern, though with the center moving by to our west, we could see more banding of rain set up with localized heavy amounts and others getting less. The NWS puts precipitation totals Sunday night through Monday at 7pm above 2" in the metro, heavier to the west, closer to the center of the storm.

Precipitation 7pm Sunday - 7pm Monday

Rain remains likely Monday night as the remnant low moves north into southern Missouri with showers and thunderstorms continuing off and on Tuesday. As the rain is not quite as continuous by Tuesday, a bit more heating could take place and result in more thunderstorms than Sunday or Monday. Precipitation from Monday night through 7pm Tuesday, another 2-3":

Precipitation 7pm Monday - 7pm Tuesday

By Wednesday, the system starts moving east through the Ohio Valley and we get back to a more scattered thunderstorm pattern as highs climb back to near 90. All of the previous rain will mean a muggy environment. After a few days in the 70s and 80s, a heat index near the century mark Wednesday will be an unwelcome reminder that it's still summer. By Wednesday evening, total rainfall amounts from Barry will likely be in the 4-7 inch range. That's a month's worth (or more) in 4 days. Some areas could potentially see 8"+.

Total precipitation expected from Barry through mid-week

For this reason, Flash Flood Watches go into effect Sunday and continue through early Wednesday.

The long duration event means that local rivers will rise and poor drainage areas could be a real issue. We remind you to "Turn Around, Don't Drown!" Avoid areas with water covering the road. Stay away from drainage ditches and high water in creeks, ponds, etc. (and keep your kids away from them too!). If you're in an area prone to flooding, you might consider leaving for a few days.

Gusty wind too

As expected from a remnant tropical system passing nearby, we'll get enough wind for some bad hair days, but probably not a lot of widespread damage. Southeast to southerly wind will be the norm as the low passes by to the west. We'll see gusts Sunday afternoon and evening into the mid 20s to near 30 mph.

Sunday night and Monday will likely be the windiest with gusts routinely into the 30s and some areas seeing 40 mph or higher. Coupled with the soaking rain and soft ground, 40 mph could be enough to topple some trees and maybe affect power to some areas as well. Plan to keep those devices charged and secure anything outdoors that you can Sunday before the wind picks up. By Tuesday, it'll be breezy but nothing we don't see semi-routinely in spring or fall.

Tornado threat

Land-falling tropical systems are also known to spawn a few weak and brief tornadoes in their eastern semicircle well inland. It doesn't take big supercell thunderstorms to initiate these. Heavier showers in bands rotating around the center can encounter just enough instability, and already are in a high shear environment, to spin up weak tornadoes with very little notice. The most likely time that these spin-ups MAY occur is Sunday afternoon and Monday. For this reason, the Storm Prediction Center has placed areas mainly near and west of Memphis in a Marginal Risk (level 1/5) for an isolated tornado Sunday and Monday.

That gives you a pretty good overview of the hazards we could expect over the next several days. Stay with, particularly on our social media channels, and other local sources as we bring you the latest information while Barry moves through the region.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Bring it Barry! (But take it easy on us, ok?)

More rain chances are returning to the Mid-South, and this time in the form of a remnant tropical cyclone. Barry is getting closer to the coast, and currently most models are in agreement that some remnants will be heading our way. This is good news for some, and bad news for others. While some areas and saying "bring it on," others have had entirely too much water the past couple weeks. However, for everyone our regular afternoon thunderstorm chances are still sticking around to end your week and welcome in your weekend. 

Earlier Today

We had a cold front move through this morning, and push into central MS. Now that it has stalled out, wind will momentarily be northerly overnight but clouds are going to clear out, bringing some decent conditions with temps dropping into the mid 70's. 


NAM-3km model precipitation from midday Thursday into the evening hours Friday. (Tropical Tidbits)

The high-resolution NAM model is showing that cold front being pushed back north into the metro, bringing the threat of an afternoon shower or thunderstorm for Friday. Highest chances lookg to be in north MS, as areas north of Memphis look to be more stable. Most of the day we will see partly cloudy skies and continued highs in the lower 90's with high humidity. Some cloud cover sticks around overnight and into Saturday with lows overnight dropping into the mid 70's.


Partly sunny skies to begin your Saturday, but increased chances of scattered showers and thunderstorms as Barry continues to push north. We'll still feel those sultry conditions with highs in the lower 90's despite the scattered showers and thunderstorms. Not too shabby for your Saturday, considering rain chances increase as we head deeper into the weekend. 


As we continue to wait in anticipation of the arrival of the remnants of Barry, we're still seeing what's left of the front that pushed back to our north. That'll bring us more cloud cover, along with higher rain and thunderstorm chances. Highs are only expected to get into the mid-80's however, so there is something to celebrate! Overnight temps will drop just a bit into the mid-70's. 

Beginning The Work Week

Barry's Predicted Path (NHC)
Monday is when the chances of Barry moving through are becoming likely for the Mid-South. Although this track could still change a bit, the National Hurricane Center is beginning to get a better picture of what to expect. With this system heading towards us, we are looking at a good chance of showers and t'storms. On the bright side this will bring us some cooler weather, with highs only in the lower 80's. By Tuesday, Barry should be pushing further north into the Ohio River Valley, leaving behind some scattered showers or thunderstorms. Temps will be nearing 90 again however, and by mid-week we will return to our typical Memphis summer weather. 

The European model showing the entire path of Barry over the next week. (WxBell)
An overall interesting week planned for the Mid-South, but we will begin to return to your average July weather in no time. Be sure to follow us for any updates to this system, and stay dry everyone! 

Jennifer Lambers
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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