Saturday, September 1, 2012

Another Slight Risk of severe weather for Saturday football

As college fans celebrate the arrival of one of the most coveted days of the year - the first Saturday of the college football season - another round of severe weather may be brewing on the horizon. There are at least three games of keen Mid-South interest that could be affected by local weather, so we're putting together this brief blog update as a heads-up.

The first game is in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium pitting the Memphis Tigers against UT-Martin; the second is in "The Grove" in Oxford, MS, featuring Ole Miss and Central Arkansas.  The games each kickoff at 6pm. The game of chief concern weather-wise will be the Memphis/UT-Martin match-up.
First, a Slight Risk of severe weather has been expanded to include the Memphis metropolitan area (see updated map below).  As the remnants of Isaac move east across Missouri towards St. Louis by this evening, dry air on it's south side has brought plenty of breaks in the clouds over the Mid-South and allowing daytime heating to raise the instability in the atmosphere.  As a lobe of energy rotates around the low in Missouri, it will encounter this unstable airmass and thunderstorms are expected to erupt this afternoon over Arkansas.

Most models are now showing a northeast-southwest line of convection firing over central AR by mid-afternoon and pushing southeast towards the metro.  One high-resolution model's scenario (the RAP model) plays out in the sequence of images below.  As you can see, the line is just northwest of the city of Memphis by 8pm and moves over the city before 11pm.  Like last night, the storms bring the possibility of strong to severe wind (40-60 mph), dangerous lightning, and certainly very heavy rain.

Given that most college football games are about 3 hours long, the Memphis game will probably wrap up around 9pm.  This could be a very close call!  For those attending the game in Oxford, I believe you will get your contest in without too much of a problem.  If the line happens to arrive an hour or two early in Memphis, the tail end of the Ole Miss game could be threatened.  I don't suspect that will happen.

For those going to the Liberty Bowl: umbrellas are NOT allowed. Ponchos are, and so is good common sense. It was just less than a month ago that a spectator at a NASCAR race at Pocono, PA was killed by lightning when shelter (his vehicle) was right next to him.  Lightning and high wind are dangerous!  The line also brings the small possibility of an isolated tornado.  Please use common sense and heed any and all warnings provided by local media and stadium officials.  With any luck, the storms will hold off until the stadium is empty. If storms are imminent after the game, get to your vehicle and take shelter.  There's no sense in someone dying because they lacked common sense.  (It sounds harsh, but it is reality.) will be nowcasting any and all weather threats throughout the day and evening. Follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter, as well as via our mobile website ( or our mobile apps (iPhone / Android).  If you activate StormWatch+ on our app, you can even put your seat in the stadium as one of the alert locations using GPS.  You'll receive push notifications if a watch or warning is issued for your seat!  How's that for personalized service?

And by all means, if the person you're sitting next to at the game asks about the cool ( app you're looking at for weather information (or even if they don't), introduce them to us! We'd love to provide them the same world-class service you get! :-)

Have fun, stay safe, and be smart!  And GO TIGERS!!  (yes, I'm a Memphis alum...)

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