Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week ahead features high chance of rain and thunderstorms Tuesday night

As is typical for fall, the last few weeks have featured their share of “ups and downs” in weather conditions over the Mid-South region, as several cold fronts have brought rain, followed by cooler weather, then the return of mild conditions ahead of the next front. This week promises another cycle of the same, with our next cold front expected to move in on Tuesday night bringing with it more rain, but also a good chance of thunderstorms.

Ahead of Tuesday’s system, mid and high level cloudiness began increasing today over the region, which will be here to stay until the front clears the area. Still, temperatures will manage to warm into the lower 70s on Monday, and mid 70s on Tuesday as southerly wind flow increases. Meanwhile, the front will be making its approach from the west, sparking off areas of rain and thunderstorms.

By Tuesday afternoon and evening, rain and thunderstorms will begin organizing over Arkansas and Missouri ahead of the front, then spreading east. This activity will move into the Memphis metro during the course of Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning.  The heaviest activity will likely become focused within a squall line. While strong wind energy throughout the atmosphere will allow storms to become organized, instability is expected to be limited overall. Nevertheless, a few strong to severe storms are not out of the question as the squall line moves through the area, with the main threat being strong to potentially damaging wind gusts.

A large-scale trough and cold front will move through the region Tuesday night, bringing a chance of severe weather
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK has the Memphis metro area on the eastern fringe of a slight risk area for Tuesday night (see below) with most severe weather expected to occur west of the Memphis metro area early Tuesday evening across central Arkansas. We will be closely monitoring the situation and bring you updates on the thunderstorm potential as it evolves over the next few days.  Total rainfall amounts of 1/2 to 1 inch, with locally higher amounts, are also possible.  Visit the MWN Storm Center and MWN Forecast for full details.
SPC places AR and the western portions of the Memphis metro in a slight risk of severe storms Tuesday 
The cold front should be pushing east of the area Wednesday morning, with clouds and perhaps light rain lingering into the day. The front’s passage means another round of cooler weather, as highs return to the 50s to near 60 through Veteran’s Day (Friday) under renewed high pressure. Conditions will be dry and mostly sunny. The entire area should see lows dip into the 30s Thursday night with another round of frost possible. As high pressure moves east, the southerly winds come back for next weekend, bringing with it the milder temperatures before our potential next front and associated rain chances come into play by early next week.

--Kevin Terry, MemphisWeather.Net

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