Monday, January 30, 2012

As February begins, spring-like weather to continue

As January comes to a close Tuesday, it’s been a month that’s featured very little winter weather in the Mid-South and more days you’d expect to find in March and April! The same was true today as temperatures soared back into the 60s following a brief cool down over the weekend. With February’s arrival, very little change is on the horizon in our weather pattern, meaning more mild days and just a few chances for rain in the foreseeable future.

The first shot at rainfall in the days ahead is just about 24 hours away, expected to arrive late Tuesday night in association with a cold front sweeping in from the northwest. However, prior to any wet weather, another nice afternoon is expected Tuesday as temperatures climb to the upper 60s, though south winds will be breezy as moisture levels increase.

As the front approaches after midnight, rain chances will increase, which will continue into much of Wednesday as well. Fortunately, with instability limited and the system expected to pass through rather quickly, most rain should just be in the form of showers. Amounts will on the light side, generally a quarter to third of an inch.
GFS model forecast for 6 AM Wednesday, February 1st
The front will clear the area Wednesday night, meaning a return to dry weather Thursday and at least part of Friday.  However with arctic air still locked in place well to our north, the mild temperatures will continue with highs expected to remain in the 60s, a good 15 degrees above normal!

The next cold front is then expected to move toward the area later in the day Friday, providing our next chance of rain. Computer models are somewhat disagreeing with the timing of this next system due to the complex pattern in place, but rain may be possible on both Saturday and Sunday, and details will be refined as necessary in the days ahead. Temperatures may turn slightly cooler as well by next weekend, but any true arctic air still looks to be further out in the month where confidence is dramatically lower.  For the complete forecast, visit

--Kevin Terry, MemphisWeather.Net

For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our Android app, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Severe weather to remain south of the metro tonight

Just a quick post as some people may be taking note of severe weather (including the risk of tornadoes) to our southwest over eastern TX and LA this afternoon.  The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Tornado Watch for much of Louisiana, extreme western Mississippi, and extreme southern Arkansas as a squall line moves into the region from east Texas.  The ironic part of this is that the American Meteorological Society is having it's annual meeting in New Orleans this week.  Hope all those weather nerds know the squall line is a-comin'! (I can say that because I am one...)

While we are expecting rain overnight into tomorrow, and some thunder will likely occur in the metro late tonight and early Thursday, we do NOT expect any severe weather in the immediate area.  The area highlighted by the Storm Prediction Center for possible severe weather is shown below by the Slight Risk (yellow) highlight. While Memphis is in the green (general thunderstorm outlook) area, the severe threat is minimal.

Slight risk of severe storms tonight over the Lower MS River Valley
As for what we do expect to receive, look for rain to begin again tonight by late evening and continue overnight and through at least Thursday morning, likely into early afternoon. Low pressure will move across Mississippi with a warm front extending roughly along I-40 by morning.  Near and south of the front, some thunder is likely.  This will make for another wet rush hour tomorrow morning, so plan ahead!  Rainfall totals for the next 24 hours will likely be more than an inch.  Check the MWN Forecast for further details, including your seven-day outlook!

By the way, this is blog post #900 for MWN. Thanks to all of our readers!

For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our Android app, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Recap of Mid-South severe storms and MWN's storm coverage - January 22, 2012

Contrary to Monday night's lead story on ABC World News, severe storms moved into the Mid-South with plenty of advance notice (MWN Blog post #1, MWN Blog post #2) on Sunday night.  The morning started like a typical winter day - cool and cloudy - but quickly changed such that by late afternoon, it felt like spring as a very spring-like severe weather episode unfolded.  By the end of the event, and certainly the next morning after seeing images of devastation in places like Fordyce, AR and Birmingham, AL, we realized how fortunate we were here in the Mid-South.  Though several tornado warnings were issued in the eight-county metro area, we were fortunate to not have tornadic damage, even though the environmental setup strongly favored their formation.
Zoomed view of the squall line as it crossed the metropolitan Memphis area around 10:20pm
However, that doesn't mean the metro escaped completely. Teams of storm damage surveyors from NWS-Memphis visited a number of sites over the past couple of days to assess damage.  The map below shows the reports of severe weather received in the metro during this event (wind, hail, tornado) with an interactive version of this map available here.

In the metro, reports of 58-65 mph wind were received in east Memphis and Atoka (Tipton Co.), multiple interstate signs were blown down on I-55 near the MS/TN state line, power lines were down in Robinsonville (Tunica Co.) and Mason (Tipton Co.), 13,500+ MLGW customers lost power, and straight-line wind of approximately 105 mph lifted a large roof off a building and dropped it 200 feet away across railroad tracks in an area just east of Memphis International Airport around 10:20pm.

In the latter case (105 mph wind), we were able to retrieve the Doppler wind velocity data from the NEXRAD and have inserted an annotated version below.  The radar detected 87 mph wind at an altitude of approximately 14,00 feet above the ground.  Note the localized nature of the high wind field (small area of light blue color).  In fact, the airport itself reported a maximum wind gust of 40 mph. We hypothesize that this damaging wind might have been the result of a downburst, or microburst, of wind from the thunderstorm overhead.

To recap's efforts before and during the event, two blog posts (linked above) were written on Saturday and Sunday, describing in detail the potential for severe and damaging storms.  We used social media and the MWN Forecast to continually keep our followers abreast of the developing situation, including relaying safety tips ahead of time in order to properly prepare for the storm's effects. Beginning at 5pm (5+ hours before damage occurred in Memphis), we began our wall-to-wall nowcasting coverage of the storms, entering "severe weather mode" and splitting duties so that both Erik and Kevin could provide updates for the duration of the event.

Our nowcasting efforts covered a total of 7 straight hours (including a couple of periods in which Twitter had significant issues that limited our ability to post) with a total of 265 tweets and untold number of Facebook posts.  We covered the issuance of 6 Tornado Warnings and 10 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, naming the communities to be impacted and when the danger had passed.  Thanks to YOU and your referrals to friends and family, we also added well over 1,000 new followers on Facebook and Twitter, bringing us very close to the 10,000 follower mark among all our social feeds!  We are so grateful that you choose to put your trust in us.  It is not something we take lightly.

Be safe and be weather aware.

For up-to-date weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our Android app, and visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

More rain in the forecast in the days ahead

After Sunday night’s severe weather event (we’ll have a recap soon here on the MWN Blog), the weather in the metro area has turned much quieter over the last 48 hours. However, our next weather maker is beginning to organize to our southwest, and will begin making its impact felt tonight.

As an upper level disturbance approaches the area, with moisture levels increasing from the Gulf of Mexico, light rain will move into the area late tonight, most likely after Midnight. Rainfall will continue into at least Wednesday morning, meaning residents should expect a wet morning commute. Overall rain amounts should remain light, no greater than a half inch, and thunderstorms are not expected either as the Mid-South will stay on the “cool” side of a warm front to our south across Louisiana and Central Mississippi.

While we may see a brief break in rainfall during the afternoon hours Wednesday, surface low pressure organizing over South Texas will begin slowly pushing northeast toward the area by Wednesday night. Additionally, the warm front to our south will begin advancing northward closer to the area. As this occurs, more rainfall will break out, that will persist into much of the day Thursday. Rainfall amounts during this wave will likely be more significant, up to an inch. With the warm front pushing as close as North Mississippi during this time, a few thunderstorms may develop, but any threat for strong storms should remain south of the metro with the warm front not expected to pass through, unlike this past Sunday.

NWS forecast rainfall amounts through Thursday evening, with up to an inch and a half possible in the metro.
By Thursday evening, with the system pushing off to our southeast, rain will begin tapering off, with decreasing clouds expected by Friday along with slightly cooler temperatures. Between tonight and Thursday evening, total rainfall amounts upwards of an inch and a half are possible (see above image).

--Kevin Terry, MemphisWeather.Net

For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our iPhone or Android apps, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Significant severe weather event possible tonight - plan now

Weather models have continued to come into agreement over the last 24 hours on the storm system that will impact the Mid-South tonight. Unfortunately, ingredients are coming into place that favor the development of organized and possibly significant severe weather.

Currently, a warm front is surging north and will move across the metro area late this afternoon. As this happens, strong southerly winds and rapid temperature rises to near 70 degrees are expected. Additionally, dewpoint temperatures will climb above 60 degrees as well, leading to an increasingly unstable and volatile airmass for the area.  As this occurs, a powerful upper level disturbance and surface low pressure area will begin to lift out of the Central Plains, passing just northwest of the area this evening through Missouri. The strong dynamics of this system will help to overspread significant wind energy and wind shear across the Mid-South.

In response to the expected combination of increasing moisture, wind energy, instability, and with a cold front moving in from the west, thunderstorms are expected to rapidly develop and intensify over Arkansas late this afternoon into the early evening then spread east across the metro. At first, thunderstorms that develop will be individual cells, or supercells, but will eventually organize into a large, robust squall line during the evening hours.

The factors expected to be in place tonight favor all modes of severe weather: damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes. Tornadoes, which may including the chance for a strong tornado or two (EF2 or higher, winds greater than 110 mph), are most likely with individual supercell storms early. Meanwhile, widespread, possibly significant straight-line damaging winds may occur once the squall line fully organizes, though the risk of isolated tornadoes remains as well. With the threat of widespread and/or significant severe weather, the Storm Prediction Center has issued a moderate risk of severe storms (see below)

Storm Prediction Center severe weather outlook places all of the metro in a "Moderate" risk for severe storms
The most likely time for severe weather in the metro will between 6PM and midnight. The threat of supercell thunderstorms with tornadoes, large hail, and strong wind will occur throughout the evening.  The squall line that could produce widespread damaging wind gusts will move through the metro between 10pm and midnight.

Severe weather timing/impact graphic from the NWS Memphis office.
With most if not all severe weather expected to occur after dark, it is of even more importance that area residents are aware and prepared to take action in the event of severe weather tonight.

  • Know what you would do and where you would go if a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Warning is issued during the affected time period.
  • Do not go outside to try and "find" the tornado if a warning is issued. It will be dark and storms will be moving at up to 50 mph! Take cover immediately.
  • Have your cell phone charged in advance
  • Have your NOAA Weather Radio programmed and fresh batteries installed
  • Have flashlights with fresh batteries in your safe place
  • Follow our StormWatch Twitter feeds and activate mobile following for alerts by text
  • Android users: download the MWN mobile app then upgrade to StormWatch+ for location-specific severe weather alerts
  • Please consult our MWN Safety Tips page for more information on actions you can take.
MWN will be in “wall-to-wall” nowcasting mode tonight on our social media feeds (linked below) and will keep you updated throughout the event.

Stay safe and be weather aware!

For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our Android apps, and visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another possibility of severe weather on Sunday evening

A quick update on how the weekend weather is shaping up...  Fortunately, and not too far removed from how we predicted, strong to marginal severe thunderstorms avoided the metro area last evening, though there were some reports of hazardous conditions over northeast MS after midnight last night.  The responsible cold front has moved well to our south and stalled across MS and AL today, which means we are on the cool side of the system.  Cold in fact.  At 11am, temps continue to linger in the mid 30s under cloudy skies with a north breeze.  It will get no higher than 40 this afternoon as cold air continues to spill in behind the front.

Weather scenario as of mid-morning Saturday. The front to the south returns north on Sunday, putting the  metro back in the warm sector in preparation for another round of possible severe weather.
This will change overnight tonight into tomorrow however, as the front moves back north as a warm front.  The moist unstable air south of the front will return Sunday and any breaks in the clouds during the afternoon will cause temperatures to soar back into the mid to upper 60s. Dewpoints will also be back up to at least 60 as a potent low pressure system moves through Missouri and wind fields strengthen.  The setup is conducive for the possibility of severe weather once again.  The most likely time for strong to severe storms right now appears to be between 6pm-midnight, with a heightened chance in the 8-11pm time frame. All modes of severe weather are possible, with damaging wind the main threat, though a few tornadoes are also possible.  A slight risk of severe weather is currently forecast by the Storm Prediction Center.

Computer models have not completely settled on a solution but are fairly similar, leading to increased confidence in the forecast.  Fine tuning will be needed up until the event occurs.  As we did Friday evening, MWN will nowcast the event - keeping Mid-Southerners up to date on the latest radar trends, any watches/warnings, timing and impacts - on our social media feeds linked below. StormWatch Twitter feeds will also automatically bring you any watches and warnings as they are issued and you are encouraged to check out StormWatch+ for Android, found in the mobile app, which will alert you via push notification and audio alerts if severe weather threatens your specific location.

Stay weather aware!

For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our Android app, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chance of strong storms in the metro this evening

The Storm Prediction Center has just placed the metro area on the far western edge of a slight risk for severe thunderstorms for tonight (see image below).While "garden-variety" thunderstorms have been in the MWN Forecast for tonight, this represents a minor increase in the chance that some of these storms could be strong.  A warm front is currently lifting north through the metro and temps and moisture trapped behind the front are spreading over the city.  In fact, at 3pm, mid 60s could be found south of the boundary (including at Memphis International) with dewpoints soaring into the 50s.  Meanwhile on the north side of the front, conditions are still fairly cool. With the spread of the warm sector (warmer/moister air) over the region and increasing wind aloft, some storms that form have the potential to be strong.

Slight Risk area for Friday evening, courtesy SPC

The most likely severe weather threat tonight will be damaging thunderstorm wind.  SPC places us in a 15% area for this threat (see image below).  Basically that means we have a 15% chance of seeing 58 mph wind or greater within 25 miles of any point.  Due to the turning wind with height (wind shear) in the lower levels, there is also a small, though not negligible, chance of a tornado as well.

As the warm front retreats north, a low pressure system will move along the front from west to east, reaching the area around midnight and accompanied by a cold front. The passage of the front will end any chance of strong to severe storms.  So, the timing for potential strong storms appears to be in a small window from about 8pm to midnight, give or take an hour.  The best CHANCE for severe weather will actually be across north MS/AL and TN east of the metro.

Risk for damaging wind (58 mph+) tonight, courtesy SPC
After a cool day in the wake of the front tomorrow, the atmosphere will once again prime for the possibility of severe weather on Sunday with strong storms possible again Sunday night.  More details on this event will be forthcoming once we get past tonight's storms, but for now the SPC has again placed the entire region in a slight risk (see image below).  Initially, the threat on Sunday appears to be greater than the one for tonight.  The MWN Forecast and MWN Storm Center will keep you updated on the latest information and we'll be nowcasting any and all severe weather on our social media feeds listed below.

Slight Risk area for Sunday night, courtesy SPC
For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our iPhone or Android apps, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A warm and windy forecast with one fly in the ointment

A recent cold spell, punctuated by scattered snow showers earlier in the week, is being pushed into our collective memory bank by a return to mild conditions during the day this weekend and chilly morning lows. It will likely be totally forgotten by tomorrow afternoon as temperatures approach a mark 15 degrees above normal and overnight lows looks like typical daytime highs!  There is one "fly in the ointment" with regards to the warm forecast, and that is a brief cold snap courtesy of a fast-moving cold front on Tuesday.

Ahead of this week's cold front, a very nice push of warm moist air originating in the Gulf of Mexico will move over the Mid-South. The air will arrive on gusty south wind, which will begin overnight tonight and last until the cold front arrives on Tuesday. Gusts could reach 30 mph or more on Monday and Monday night and a Wind Advisory may become necessary. The moist air will also mean mainly cloudy conditions and a chance of showers on Monday, but that will be offset by high temperatures in the mid 60s for MLK Day!

MWN surface map for Monday afternoon. Strong south wind escorts warm temps into the Mid-South ahead of  a cold front over the Plains.
By Monday night, the front will be moving closer and more showers and some embedded thunderstorms will be possible. Rain chances are in the high range (about 70%) Monday night, though the threat of severe weather is fairly low.  A few storms may contain a brief strong wind gust to 50-60 mph or 1/2" hail. Temperatures will remain near 60 degrees overnight Monday night - which is 10 degrees warmer than typical daytime highs in mid-January!

The cold front will move through the region around mid-day on Tuesday and we'll see another "upside down" day as high temperatures in the lower to mid 60s occur in the morning, followed by temperatures falling into the 40s by late afternoon. Rain and t'storm chances will be confined to the pre-frontal atmosphere, which will be mainly in the morning. Behind the front, the wind will remain strong, but shift to the northwest versus the south. Skies clear Tuesday night with lows in the upper 20s and wind chills in the teens.  The Wednesday morning "feels like" temperature could be some 40 degrees colder than Tuesday morning!
MWN surface map for Tuesday morning. A strong cold front nears the Memphis area with very cold temps in it's wake.
The cold snap will be short-lived however, lasting about 36 hours, before 50s return on Thursday.  More warm Gulf air will move in by week's end and we could possibly see temperatures approaching 70 degrees next weekend!  As it stands, except for possible brief cold snaps, the long-range outlook (see 8-14 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center below) for the remainder of the month predicts well-above-normal temperatures on average.  We're likely done with snow for the month of January and will have to wait to see what February might bring!

For the complete forecast click here, and stick with MWN as we keep you updated on the rain and thunder chances, as well as our roller coaster temps this week.

What do you prefer - a warm January with highs in the 50s and 60s or cold, occasionally snowy, weather?

For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our Android app, and visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dippin’ Dots snow? Nope - that was graupel!

As advertised, a potent Arctic cold front swept through the Mid-South this morning, bringing much colder temperatures, strong wind gusts, and periods of snow flurries and light snow showers. As the snowflakes began falling in the metro area, several people took notice of the slightly unusual shape and characteristics of some of the “flakes.”  Some wondered if it was sleet, others likened the snow to Dippin’ Dots ice cream or "the stuff inside a beanbag" – which is a pretty accurate comparison! No, it wasn't ice cream falling from the sky (unfortunately!), but it does have a meteorological explanation.

Some of the snow you may have seen today is actually termed “graupel.” Graupel forms when snowflakes falling through the atmosphere collide with supercooled water droplets, or water droplets that maintain their liquid form even in temperatures below 32 degrees. Once these supercooled water droplets collide with a snowflake, a thin coating of ice instantly forms around the snowflake, turning it into a small, often irregularly-shaped ball of ice that may look similar to a sleet pellet or even small hail. Because of its similarity in appearance to sleet, graupel sometimes may be referred to as “snow pellets,” though graupel is not a form of sleet. With sleet, the original snowflake melts in a warm layer aloft, and then refreezes before reaching the ground. With graupel, the original snowflake never melts as ice coats it.

Also like sleet, as graupel hits the surface it may slightly bounce, though because it is softer than hail, it doesn't bounce as much! Due to its thin coating of ice, graupel is often very fragile, and can fall apart if touched or when coming into contact with a surface. Graupel, like ice and snow, can accumulate on roadways and cause slick conditions, but fortunately today’s snow and graupel was light and brief enough that no travel problems resulted, with any accumulations generally limited to a small dusting on grassy areas, cars, and rooftops.

Graupel in south Jonesboro, AR earlier today. Photo credit: Hunter Smith (@huntergsmith)

--Kevin Terry, MemphisWeather.Net

For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our Android app, and visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Arctic Express arrives in Memphis tomorrow morning!

Today's weather pattern is akin to taking a one-stop flight without having to change planes - and we're sitting at the layover airport!  The first mildly bumpy leg of the flight occurred last night as low pressure moved directly overhead and was preceded by widespread rain and some thunderstorms during the late afternoon and evening hours.  Fortunately, the possibility of severe weather never materialized and general thunderstorms dotted the radar but were not widespread.  Precipitation totals from yesterday's storm system are shown below.

The next leg of the journey will be on the "Arctic Express" which moves through early Thursday morning.  In the wake of a strong cold front, we'll see temperatures fall through the 30s during the day with gusty wind as high as 35-40 mph from the west-northwest.  In addition, leftover moisture in place from yesterday's system could get squeezed out in the incoming cold air and fall as light rain and/or snow.  No accumulations are expected, but there will be a chance to see some snow showers between 7am and noon Thursday.  Due to the falling temperatures and gusty wind, wind chill readings in the upper teens to lower 20s will be common Thursday afternoon across the region.  It will definitely be colder by the afternoon rush hour than it will be early Thursday morning!
In the wake of an Arctic cold front, temps will fall into the mid 30s by lunchtime Thursday
Looking ahead, skies will clear tomorrow evening and temperatures will fall into the mid 20s in the metro.  You can thank a steady 10-15 mph wind for keeping them from dropping any lower, though wind chill readings on Friday morning will be in the mid teens.  Dry weather will continue through the holiday weekend with a warming trend evident by Saturday as temps climbing back to 50+ during the afternoon.  Our next decent chance of rain will occur late Monday into Tuesday as the next system takes shape.  The complete forecast can be found on the MWN Forecast page.

For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our iPhone or Android apps, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First potential severe weather episode of 2012

Parts of the Mid-South are in line to possibly receive their first severe weather of 2012, and the first round in a few months.  The possible severe weather will be the result of a fairly potent low pressure system that will move almost directly over Memphis around midnight tonight (see graphic below).  Ahead of the low and it's accompanying cold front, atmospheric parameters will come together to support thunderstorms with some possibly strong to severe.
Low pressure will track over the Memphis metro overnight bringing a potential round of severe weather
The main threat of severe weather will be over MS, where large hail, damaging straight line wind and isolated tornadoes are possible. Closer to the track of the low - in the immediate metro - the main threat will be large hail, though damaging wind is possible in individual storms near the low pressure track.  The convective outlook from the Storm Prediction Center (below) indicates a slight risk of severe weather with this system.

The SPC convective outlook for today indicates a Slight Risk for severe weather
As for timing, showers and non-severe thunderstorms will be likely beginning this afternoon.  The best chance for any severe weather though appears to be a few hours ahead of the arrival of the low until it passes - which would be during the evening hours, or roughly from 6pm to midnight.

Though the threat of severe weather in the greater Memphis area is low, remain aware of changing weather conditions and stay with for the latest forecasts and severe weather information.  As thunderstorms approach and cross through the area, we'll be nowcasting the event on our Facebook and Twitter streams (linked below) to keep you abreast of the situation.  We also encourage you to check out our MWN Android app, which now includes the option of adding StormWatch+ - our personalized severe weather alert service that delivers watches and warnings directly to your Android device as they occur.

Behind this system, a strong Arctic cold front will move through the area Wednesday night, which will bring the first blast of winter to the area since the New Year. High temperatures will occur early Thursday with temperatures falling through the 30s on a gusty northwest wind during the day.  For the complete forecast, visit MWN.

For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our Android app, and visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The best kind of rejection - an iPhone app status update

Earlier today I got an e-mail I have been looking forward to for 3 months!  The contents of the e-mail were really not as important as the sender and no, it wasn't from Publishers Clearinghouse.

If you have been following the saga of the MWN iPhone app, you know a major update was submitted to Apple in mid-September and that nearly 4 months has passed since then, with  neither an approval or rejection from Apple (see a previous post on the topic from December).  Last Thursday, I finally made contact with a human - a support specialist at Apple who promised to assist however he could in moving the process along.  It appears that that broke the logjam loose and the app emerged from purgatory today.

Now before you get too excited, though it finally got a look from the App Review Team, it was rejected for inclusion in the App Store.  SO, while I am thrilled that at least it isn't just sitting in no-man's land, we still have a little work to do.  Fortunately, it's not major work (honestly, I think after 4 months Apple couldn't approve the app without looking incredibly stupid, so they got nit-picky).  Within a few days, we should have the app ready to go again and will have it back to Apple for another review.  My hope is that this time it will require a "more typical" review time of approximately a week, but I no longer hold my breath with Apple.

I'll continue to keep you posted. iPhone and iPad users: thanks for your patience.  I can assure you that the updated app is worth the wait!  In the meantime, if you aren't familiar with StormWatch+, learn more about it so that you are ready to purchase once it gets released!

For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our Android app, and visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Slower than molasses in January - a status update on the MWN iPhone app

Many of you who are regular blog of social media followers of ours are aware that we have been waiting an eternity on the "re-release" of our iPhone app.  So many of you ask about it on a regular basis, I figured a mass update was probably in store.  The MWN Android app was updated with StormWatch+, MWN's personalized push notification-based weather alert service, in mid-November.  The iPhone app was supposed to get StormWatch+, as well as pan and zoom radar, back in September.  The litany of events from September through early December has been documented previously on the blog.

In a nutshell, the app has to be reviewed by the "App Review Team" at Apple and approved prior to being released at the App Store.  Generally this process takes about a week or so (though Apple does not publish an expected review time).  Instead, in our case, the app has been "In Review" for nearly 4 months, despite repeated attempts by me to expedite (or at least get a status report) on the the process.  Through the end of December, very little had changed. In fact, the App Review team was on vacation for a week between Christmas and New Year's and everything stopped.
In the past week, I have been in contact (again) with Apple Developer Support.  This time, I was able to speak with a Senior Support Specialist who commiserated with my plight and agreed to attempt to assist, though he told me (again) that even the Developer Support team does not have direct access to the App Review Team.  He gave me his direct extension and promised to try and ping the App Review Team daily to prod them along, as well as keep me updated on the process until the issue is completely resolved.

Bottom line: very little has changed and someday the app will be approved, out of the blue, and you'll be able to download it.  Until then, we all wait... and wait...  Our PR machine continues to idle.  As soon as the app is available, we'll crank 'er up and you'll know via our traditional channels.

For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our Android app, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Roller-coaster temps and the first rain chances of 2012

With the first week of 2012 underway, a temperature roller coaster has been the highlight in Mid-South weather so far. An arctic front brought frigid temperatures to the area with readings dipping into the teens in suburbs and outlying areas on Tuesday morning, but the Mid-South has quickly settled back into a milder pattern as 60s made a return this afternoon. That milder weather looks to continue for a few more days, but along with that will be the first rain chances of the new year, and more Arctic air may not be far behind either.

The nice weather looks to peak tomorrow afternoon as high temperatures climb into the mid to upper 60s, nearly 20 degrees above average. Clouds will be increasing as the latest cold front begins to approach, but dry conditions should prevail. Rain chances begin by evening though as a few light showers may begin developing. As the cold front crosses the metro during the day Saturday, chances for light rain continue. Fortunately, moisture over the area will be limited, so it will be far from a wash-out. The cold front won’t have much cold air associated with it either, so while temperatures will cool some Saturday night into Sunday, they’ll still remain a bit above average.

NWS forecast map for Saturday morning shows a cold front as it moves through the metro area.
Following the cold front’s passage through the metro, models begin to diverge on a possible stall of the boundary just south of the area, complicating the forecast through the early part of next week. Some models show the front stalling just south of the area, which may keep low rain chances in the area through Sunday or early Monday, though any amounts would continue to be on the light side.

GFS model forecast for Tuesday evening depicts low pressure tracking northeast through the area.
Regardless of where the front stalls early in the week, the overall weather pattern will begin to shift mid-week as new low pressure develops to our southwest Tuesday into Wednesday. This low pressure area will track northeast through the area, and rain looks to be a good bet, with amounts potentially more significant this go-around.

Meanwhile, as the low sweeps past the area Thursday, a new arctic front will be fast approaching, and our next cold snap looks to be behind it. The first effects are likely to be felt Thursday as high temperatures fall back into the 40s, but some model indications show even colder weather may come by next weekend. At this point, details are still sketchy, but you can bet we’ll keep you up-to-date on MemphisWeather.Net as the forecast evolves over the next several days!

--Kevin Terry, MemphisWeather.Net

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

December 2011 Climate Data and MWN Forecast Accuracy

December continued the trend started in November of above average temperatures and rainfall in the Mid-South, despite an early-season snowfall that blanketed the area with 1-2" of wet snow.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

The average temperature for the month of December was 46.5 degrees, which was 2.9 degrees above normal. The average high temperature was 55.3 degrees and the average low was 37.7. The coolest temperature of the month was 27 degrees on the 8th and 11th, while the highest temperature was 70 degrees set on the 14th.  There were 10 days in which the low temperature dropped to, or below, the freezing mark (32 F).

Precipitation for the month totaled 8.85", which was 2.81" above average.  There were 10 days with measurable rainfall (8 of those recorded at least 0.10") and 6 of those days had more than 0.50". The greatest 24-hour total was 4.98" on the 4th-5th. The peak wind gust was 38 mph (from the south) on the 15th with an average wind speed for the month of 6.9 mph. Snowfall for the month totaled 1.3", all of which fell on the 7th.  Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International Airport.

Cirrus Weather Solutions, Bartlett, TN

The average December temperature at Cirrus Weather Solutions in north Bartlett was 44.6 degrees with a maximum of 70.3 degrees on the 14th and a minimum of 20.5 degrees on the 11th.  December precipitation totaled 8.17" in the automated gauge, which was likely biased low due to snowfall early in the month. A co-located manual gauge used for the CoCoRaHS program measured 9.36". Snowfall totaled 1.7" on the 7th. The peak wind gust was 26 mph on the 14th. Average relative humidity was 74%. Click here for a daily recap on

MWN Forecast Accuracy

For the month of December, the average temperature error in all MWN temperature forecasts was 2.23 degrees, lower than all compared computer models including the NWS by at least 8%. Over 63% of the MWN temperature forecasts for the month were within 2 degrees of the actual temperature. MWN's forecasts extend out five periods (or 2.5 days). For dewpoint accuracy, the MWN forecast beat all data sources, averaging 2.82 degrees error and falling within 2 degrees of the actual dewpoint almost 56% of the time. Historical accuracy statistics can be found here.

For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our iPhone or Android apps, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.