Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A beautiful fall week; thunder ahead

We've enjoyed a gorgeous fall week as the calendar turns to October tomorrow. Typical fall weather will mean cool crisp mornings, pleasant afternoons, and occasionally breezy conditions ahead of passing cold fronts every few days. Some come through dry, others can pack a wallop.

Our first true "autumn front" arrives tomorrow night and this one could pack the punch. Though the atmosphere is fairly dry right now, wind will switch around to the south overnight and become gusty tomorrow, ushering in Gulf moisture ahead of a potent front. The Storm Prediction Center is expecting some severe weather, mainly in the form of high wind and potentially large hail during the afternoon hours over Missouri and Oklahoma. Late in the afternoon, the storms should coalesce into a squall line that moves fairly rapidly eastward through Missouri and Arkansas. I expect that line to reach the Mississippi River sometime around midnight or very early Friday morning. Though it should lose a little energy as it moves into the Mid-Sough, the western portions of the metro area are in a SLIGHT RISK for severe weather with this system (see map below).

The good news is that this front will move quickly and by Friday morning rush hour, the storms should be well east of us. Friday and Saturday will be back to coolish weather behind the front as high pressure briefly takes over. We'll be back to a rainy pattern by early next week it appears, though.
Stay with for the latest on the potential severe weather threat, interactive radar, and the most accurate forecast for Memphis.

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