Saturday, December 13, 2008

A wet week ahead, and maybe freezing precip?

Enjoy this weekend, as it may be the last couple of dry days we have for a while! There will be only a little sun, but a lot of wind, the next couple of days as temperatures climb into the 50s today and 60s on Sunday thanks to strong warm southerly wind. I expect a Wind Advisory will be needed Sunday as gusts occasionally approach 40 mph. By Sunday night, scattered showers will break out ahead of a potent cold front. Those showers, and wind, will continue into Monday with the front passing through sometime Monday afternoon. Behind the front, temps will drop precipitously, from near 60 at lunch time to the 40s by rush hour and into the 30s in the late evening.

Unfortunately, rain could continue into Monday night and early Tuesday, setting the stage for possible freezing rain during that period. Freezing rain because the temperatures above the lowest 1000 or so feet will be way too warm to support snow or sleet. Freezing rain is defined as rain that falls as a liquid then freezes on contact with surfaces that are below freezing. It is also potentially the most dangerous form of winter weather due to its ability to accumulate quickly, forming a slick coating of ice on bridges, overpasses, trees and power lines, and vehicles. I am not expecting large amounts of ice by any stretch in the Memphis area just yet, but northeast AR and northwest TN should definitely be preparing for this possibility. It's still too early to determine whether the air will be cold enough and enough rain will fall in the metro area to promote accumulating freezing rain.

For the rest of the week, the front will hang around the area all week, continuing the rain chances throughout the week. Models are having a difficult time with its placement and any upper-level waves that might move through, triggering rain events, so you'll just have to stay tuned!

I'll do my best to keep the forecast updated throughout the weekend, and definitely into next week, so that you have the latest and greatest information from the most accurate source in Memphis!

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