Friday, October 5, 2012

The Big Kahuna front brings the coldest air of the season so far

All week, we've been talking on our social feeds about what we have called the "Big Kahuna" cold front that is due in tonight and how it's going to have a drastic affect on our weather.  It's time to provide some more detail, especially with regard to tonight and Saturday, as there are plenty of outdoor activities planned, including Live at the Garden with Bonnie Raitt, high school football games, the Bluff City Blues 100 bike events Saturday, and Memphis Tigers football game Saturday night.

Very warm air and sufficient Gulf moisture ahead of a potent Canadian cold front is the recipe for possible thunderstorms and the Storm Prediction Center has keyed onto the region.  A Slight Risk for severe weather, mainly due to possible hail or a wind gust, has been issued for roughly the southeast half of AR, including western portions of the metro (see below).  

Scattered thunderstorms will be possible to our west by the evening rush hour but are a little more likely along the front as it moves across the metro this evening. We expect the front to arrive in the city around 8pm.  Storms should not be as strong east of the Mississippi River as over AR, but everyone should still be weather aware, especially those outdoors tonight.

Besides possible showers and thunderstorms along the front, showers are also likely behind it as we head into the overnight hours. The graphic below shows a high-resolution computer model's "idea" of what the radar may look like at 8pm.  Remember this is a model and is not necessarily what will actually happen - but it gives a good idea of the possibility.  Expect rain to linger into the night as the front continues to move south.

The next graphic shows this computer model's interpretation of temperatures at 8pm tonight. Yellows and oranges are 70s to near 80. Light greens are 60s, dark greens 50s, and check out those 40s over southern Missouri! Temperatures will steadily fall behind the front with lows tonight near 50.

Rain should come to an end by early morning, probably by dawn, Saturday, though it will remain mostly cloudy and very cool with a north breeze throughout the day. Temperatures will only rise to the lower 60s (maybe), which would be some 20-25 degrees colder than this afternoon!

By late Saturday and into the evening hours, a disturbance behind the front will trigger additional showers, most of which should fall north of the metro.  However, a few showers will be possible for the Memphis Tigers football game on Saturday evening.  Combined with temperatures in the 50s, the sideline air conditioning units will NOT be needed tomorrow night!  We'll see temps drop to the mid 40s by Sunday morning with any rain ending by dawn.

Sunday should see clouds begin to move out, but again temperatures will struggle to reach 60.  The coldest night of this cool spell will be Sunday night.  Lower 40s are likely in the city and upper 30s (!!) will be likely in the coldest outlying areas.  Could some cold spots get their first frost of the year??  A warming trend commences Monday with 70s back in the forecast by Tuesday. will keep you updated on changing conditions, especially tonight, via our social media channels and mobile apps.  Find all the necessary links to stay informed below.

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