Sunday, April 10, 2011

Is severe weather in store for the Mid-South again?

As I type, another spring cold front is moving slowly across the Plains in the general direction of the Mid-South, while ahead of it, we are basking in near record-breaking temperatures in the 80s, a fair amount of humidity, and a gusty south wind. Sounds like a recipe for severe weather huh?  Well, it could be.

One week ago tomorrow, a nasty line of storms ravaged portions of the city with straight-line wind in excess of 80 mph through downed trees and power lines, broke windows in high rises, and resulted in one death.  It took 5 days for MLGW to restore power to 71,000 customers that all went out in a matter of an hour or so.

One week later, we're watching another front that could bring damaging wind to the region, though I believe we have a couple of things going for us on this one. The main one is timing. Storms are expected to fire up late this evening across eastern OK and western AR and move very slowly east.  They won't arrive at the Mississippi River until around 7-9am Monday. Though the storms will have the ingredients necessary to keep them going overnight, they will arrive in the Memphis area during the "coolest" part of the day, relatively-speaking (what is referred to as the diurnal minima). In addition, the strongest dynamics with this system will be to our north as the associated low pressure moves into the Great Lakes, even though there will be strong wind at all levels of the atmosphere and plenty of moisture ahead of the front to work with.  Following the line of storms, I am anticipating a steady, occasionally heavy, rain that will last a few hours, or into the early afternoon. Below is a forecast model's rendition of what the radar will look like just after the lunch hour (remember this is a computer model, not an actual forecast).

In sum, I don't believe these storms will be nearly as strong as last week's, however, don't let your guard down! A SLIGHT RISK of severe weather still exists, as shown in the image from NWS-Memphis below. In addition, more than an inch of rain is expected tomorrow morning, so be prepared for the possibility of heavy rains and minor street flooding.

Stay with MWN for the latest on this developing scenario. We'll be now-casting on Facebook and Twitter once the storms gets closer in the morning.

Links you want during the next 24 hours:
MWN Forecast - The most accurate in the Mid-South
MWN Storm Center - watches/warnings, radar, safety tips, and more!
StormView Radar - the where and when as thunderstorms strike
MWN iPhone app - for iPhone users - radar, currents, forecast, etc.
MWN Android app - for Android users - same as iPhone, plus additional severe weather features!
MWN on Twitter - now-casting at @memphisweather1 and @shelbyalerts weather alerts for Shelby Co.
MWN on Facebook - now-casting during the storm

Stay up to date on the latest weather conditions and forecast by checking out on Facebook and Twitter and our new iPhone and Android apps!

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