Monday, June 11, 2012

Mid-South placed in a Slight Risk for severe weather today

2:00pm Update: A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for the entire metro until 9pm. The mentioned MCS (area of storms) has moved into northeast AR and will move into northern Tipton Co by 3pm and into the city of Memphis by 4pm, continuing through northwest MS, including DeSoto Co, by 5pm. Damaging wind of 60 mph+ and hail are the main severe weather threats.  Heavy rain will also affect the afternoon commute with areas of standing water likely. Plan additional time during your drive home this afternoon and exercise caution on area roadways.

At 11:30am, the Storm Prediction Center expanded the Slight Risk zone to encompass all of west TN and north MS, adding to the previous area that included all of AR. This places the entire metro area in the middle of a chance of severe weather.

The Mid-South was placed in a Slight Risk of severe weather for today by SPC
The reason for the expansion has to do with the formation of an MCS (mesoscale convective system) in southern MO that is propagating east-southeast into an unstable atmosphere over the Mid-South.  If it holds together, it could bring a squall line with damaging wind (or a #memstorm as it's come to be known on Twitter).
MCS moving east-southeast out of southern MO at 12:15pm CDT. Click for larger image 
Timing for this line initially appears to be late afternoon, possibly during the afternoon rush hour. As we know, MCS's typically bring straight-line wind of 50-60+ mph, torrential rain that can produce localized flash flooding, and even some hail to a large area, which could include the entire metro area.  Any wind damage could cause power outages in this type of storm as well. The chance of severe (58 mph or greater) wind with this slight risk of 30%, which is fairly significant.

Wind and hail probabilities for today (chance of 58+ mph wind and 1"+ hail within 25 miles of any location).
Though we are not certain that this storm system will make it all the way to the metro, the likelihood is increasing. In fact, with a cold front approaching the region, computer models are beginning to hint at another one of these storm systems forming over the AR Ozarks late this afternoon and moving southeast behind this system. Chances are this one would miss the metro to our south, but we'll need to be prepared for the possibility of more storms during the early overnight hours. will be monitoring the developing weather scenario throughout the day and will be nowcasting any strong to severe storms as they happen on our social media channels listed below. Now is also a great time to pick up the mobile app for Android or iPhone and activate StormWatch+, which will alert you via push notification if your location of interest is placed under a watch or warning.  Get it at the link below!

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.

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