Thursday, November 17, 2011

The cycle continues … another round of weather ups and downs ahead

It’s becoming a bit of a broken record by this point, but the cycle of ups and downs that have highlighted November’s weather thus far will not be letting up in the week ahead.  After our last bout of rain brought some impressive totals, and much needed as well, to the region – from 1 to as much as 3 inches – we’ve now settled back into a period of high pressure, dry conditions, and much cooler temperatures.  However, as with the last several weeks, the mild weather’s return is not far off in the distance, and neither are our next rain chances. In fact, it appears another extended period of wet weather is on the way to the region for next week.

First, the cool temperatures still have another day or two left to go, as readings have struggled to climb through the 50s today with a light northerly breeze and crystal clear, sunny skies aided by very low humidity levels.  These conditions will set up a cold night tonight, with another freeze expected for most of the metro area, including upper 20s outside the Memphis city limits. Southerly wind flow will set back in on Friday, marking the start of a gradual warmup, though readings will remain a bit below the mid-November average for one more day.

Breezy south winds Saturday will allow moisture levels to increase, leading for increased mid and high level cloudiness, with temperatures back well into the 60s. Meanwhile, a cold front will begin slowly pushing southeast out of the Central Plains states, and it will begin impacting Mid-South weather on Sunday.  Rain will break out along and ahead of the front, and push through the region Sunday and Sunday night. A few thunderstorms are possible as well, but with no severe weather expected.

Very similar to the situation earlier this week, it appears the front will then stall Sunday night just north of the metro area, across Northeast Arkansas into Northwest Tennessee, and will remain nearby the area through at least Tuesday. This will mean continued rain chances, with several rounds of showers and a few thunderstorms possible. On Tuesday, a stronger upper level disturbance will allow a low pressure area to develop and track through the region, finally sweeping the cold front through by early Wednesday. A final round of rain and thunderstorms is anticipated as this happens. Models are still not in agreement on the exact timing and track of this low pressure, which will ultimately determine if there is any threat of stronger thunderstorms with this final round of wet weather.  Regardless, between Sunday and Tuesday, total rainfall amounts of a few inches are certainly possible. With this week’s rainfall, this may allow for some ponding and standing water issues to develop in flood prone areas.

National Weather Service surface weather forecast for Monday shows the stalled front just north of the Memphis metro area, which will keep clouds and rain chances in the forecast through Tuesday.
Fortunately, this system looks to exit the area just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, with a return to high pressure, drying conditions and cooler temperatures anticipated. Those traveling on Wednesday currently look to have no significant weather concerns to deal with, and Thanksgiving itself currently looks sunny and seasonably cool.

Early look at the GFS model forecast for Thanksgiving afternoon shows nice weather for the Mid-South and much of the country.
You’ll want to stay close to MemphisWeather.Net over the next several days as new details emerge on our rain and thunderstorm chances early next week, with the forecast fine-tuned. We’ll also keep you up-to-date on the Thanksgiving weekend forecast!

--Kevin Terry, MemphisWeather.Net

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