Friday, December 31, 2010

MWN forecast discussion: severe weather chances for the remainder of New Year's Eve

As of mid-afternoon, radar trends and atmospheric analysis indicate the cold front moving across Arkansas with a narrow band of thunderstorms over northeast Arkansas, a few briefly touching severe limits. Meanwhile, to the south, an upper-level disturbance has sparked an area of strong to severe thunderstorms over Louisiana, moving into Mississippi. These storms are expected to spread to the northeast for the remainder of the afternoon.

Mid-day high resolution model data (click for loop of forecast precipitation from the HRRR) indicates that the storms to the southwest will move into north Mississippi and the Memphis area by early this evening as the cold front moves in from the west. This should result in a period of enhanced thunderstorm chances in the 7-10pm timeframe. The greatest severe thunderstorm chances should also occur during this period with the main threat being damaging straight-line wind with lower chances of hail and an isolated tornado.

Prior to 7pm, showers and thunderstorms will remain primarily below severe limits and scattered in nature with very little activity expected before 5pm in the immediate area. After 10pm, expect shower activity to continue for a few hours, perhaps through 2-3am, as temperatures fall behind the front.

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