Thursday, May 28, 2020

A spring weekend, but June means summer! Parting words from #TeamMWN intern Caroline

An upper level low pressure system trapped in the upper flow to our west the past few days has resulted in scattered showers and thunderstorms, somewhat more muggy air, and near average temperatures. That low pressure area will finally move through the Mid-South over the next 24 hours as an accompanying cold front moves through. That leads to what should be a very pleasant weekend before summer heat builds.

Thursday-Friday

As the upper low moves over the Mid-South, expect another uptick in thunderstorm activity this afternoon again with a few strong storms possible mainly south of I-40. Gusty wind and small hail are possible in a Marginal Risk area over north MS into southern west TN. Storms will diminish into the evening but a lingering chance of a few showers remains overnight with the presence of the low.

A Marginal Risk (level 1) of severe weather exists mainly for locations south of I-40 today. The more likely area for scattered severe storms is southeast of the metro. (SPC)

On Friday, a cold front moves through, but with slightly less upper level support and atmospheric moisture, the risk of rain (and even thunderstorms) will be lower. Some pop-up showers or a thunderstorm will be possible but rain chances drop to about 30% from 50-60% Thursday as wind shifts north and highs reach 80. Skies clear early Friday evening, beginning a lengthy dry spell.

An upper level (500mb, or 18,000') low over the Mid-South Thursday morning (represented by a valley in the pressure pattern) shifts east and is replaced by a ridge of high pressure by late in the weekend (represented by a "hill" in the pattern). Model data is Wednesday night's European model. (Pivotal Weather)

Saturday-Monday

High pressure will build south from Canada into the Ohio Valley, pushing drier and cooler air into the Mid-South. This setup is perfect for a gorgeous late May weekend with abundant sunshine, a dry northeast breeze, and below average temperatures. Highs will likely be right around 80 degrees with cool morning lows near 60. If you want one last spring weekend before summer really sets in, this is it!



Tuesday-Friday

As the high to our north shifts to the east and re-establishes itself over the western Atlantic and southeast U.S., wind flow shifts to the south bringing in warmer air. A high pressure ridge aloft will also build in from the west, which will suppress rain chances and result in summertime temperatures as we change the calendar to June. Starting Tuesday, high temperatures climb near or above the 90 degree mark for most of the rest of the week with enough low-level moisture in the air (elevated dewpoints) to keep morning lows at or above 70. 

A quick transition to summertime temperatures arrives next week, according to the NWS NBM model. (WeatherModels.com)

There are hints of a slight weakness in the upper ridge late in the week which would allow for a few showers or thunderstorms, but that is questionable a week out. What we do know is next week will feel like summer, so get those pools ready!

Parting words from an MWN intern

As things go around here, we occasionally have to say good-bye to team members, just as we welcome new ones into the fold. With May ending this weekend, we bid farewell to Caroline Sleeper. Caroline came on a year ago as she was just getting started in her core meteorology classes at Mississippi State as a rising Junior. Here are a few words from her:

I have had the great pleasure of being a part of the MWN team for the past year, and the experiences I have had in this time are invaluable. Thank you so much to Erik especially for giving me this opportunity. You’ve become a mentor to me and have helped me discover what my passions are in the field of meteorology. I have learned so much through this internship that cannot be taught in the classroom. I grew up coming to Memphis (small town Mississippi life) and it has been a joy to help forecast for an area I’ve come to know and love so much. Thank you, Memphians, for all of your support this year! I’ll be in town for some barbecue and shopping soon.

Sincerely, Caroline Sleeper (CS), MWN Intern

Caroline heads into her Senior year having learned a great deal this past year. It's been an absolute pleasure to have witnessed her growth and contributions over the past year. I selfishly wish we could keep her on #TeamMWN for one more year! But with a heavy class load and  preparation for grad school among many other contributions she makes to campus life in Starkville, we must send her on and wish her well! 

Thank you Caroline for being an invaluable part of the team and for serving the residents of the Mid-South so faithfully! You have a very bright future ahead of you and we all wish you the best as you become another rising star in the field of meteorology!

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

Friday, May 22, 2020

What's in store for Memorial Day weekend? Are we heading into "summertime" conditions?

Over the past week we saw mainly dry conditions, but substantial cloud cover and below normal temperatures due to a stagnant upper level low pressure system over middle TN. As we move into Memorial Day weekend we expect temperatures to rise and the "muggy" feel to return to early summer levels for the first time since early last fall. Even after the rise in temperatures over Memorial Day weekend, we will most likely stay warm with temperatures in the 80s throughout next week.

Saturday and Sunday

After overnight temperatures on Friday only drop to around 70 we will see a big warm up on Saturday. Saturday temperatures will top out in the upper 80s with high humidity, which means it will be hot and "muggy". Heat indices could reach the lower 90s, making for an unpleasant time outside but great if you have a pool! There will also be a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms on Saturday. Saturday night lows will only drop to the lower 70s under mostly cloudy skies.

On Sunday the hot and muggy conditions will stay with us as temperatures will again top out in the upper 80s. Heat indices could again top out in the lower 90s, along with another slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. During the overnight hours heading into Monday the low will only drop to around 70, under mostly cloudy skies.

Surface map valid the morning of Sunday May 24th. We are in the area signaling possible showers and thunderstorms. (NWS)

Memorial Day (Monday) and Tuesday

On Memorial Day not much will change as the highs will reach the mid 80s along with another chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms. Be sure to watch for our social media posts on Memorial Day so you can stay updated on potential showers and thunderstorms. If you have appropriately-distanced outdoor activities planned, keep an eye on the sky for mainly afternoon scattered storms. As we head into Tuesday lows will again only drop to around 70 overnight under some cloud cover.


On Tuesday, temperatures will top out in the mid 80s, with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Overnight lows will drop to around 70. 

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday all have very similar forecasts. The afternoon high will probably reach the mid 80s with lows dropping to around 70. All three days there is a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms (~50% chance).

The reason we are seeing rather consistent conditions over the second half of next week is due to a 500mb (18,000ft) jet streak being positioned to our west and Bermuda high to our east. This will result in moist and unstable southerly flow which will lead to a low forming in Texas and possible showers and thunderstorms over our area.
This is model output from the Euro showing 500mb heights and wind valid Tuesday morning. On the map there is a 500mb low centered along the Red River between Oklahoma and Texas. There is also a high pressure system centered over the Mid-Atlantic region (WxBell).


"Summertime" Conditions

Interestingly next week will stay very consistent, as you can see from the forecast. This signals the start of "summertime" conditions in the Memphis area. Summertime conditions are usually characterized by warm and muggy conditions with a chance of showers and storms mainly during the hottest part of the day. These summertime conditions might struggle to maintain their grip though at first, as the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) thinks we could be headed towards a bit cooler temperatures as we head into early June. CPC is predicting slightly below normal temperatures and slightly above normal precipitation from May 29th to June 4th.

The CPC is predicting that temperatures could be slightly below normal for the week of May 29th to June 4th.
The CPC is predicting that precipitation could be slightly above normal for the week of May 29th to June 4th.

Max Magness
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: MemphisWeather.net on the mobile web or via the MWN mobile app
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