Thursday, October 23, 2014

A warm weekend in store; rain chances hold off until next week

A rather cool afternoon is underway with temps in the mid to lower 60's as a partial solar eclipse will hopefully be visible in the Mid-South. The only issue at this time is some high clouds over the area, but these are showing some signs of breaking up and we're hoping we'll be lucky enough to catch a break for the eclipse beginning at 4:52 PM (more info in our previous blog post). (If we aren't able to view it locally, you can always tune into the Slooh Observatory live broadcast.) However, our main story concerns the fairly drastic change in temperatures for this weekend and into next week.

GFS model valid Friday night showing temperatures (in °C) about 5000' feet above the surface
Warmer temperatures will begin streaming into the Mid-South starting tomorrow mainly due to a shift in the upper-level atmospheric pattern. A ridge (area of higher pressure) to our west will bring northwesterly flow aloft which will advect warmer air into the Mid-South from the lower plains. This may seem like a bit of an unusual pattern, but warmer air is often brought into the plains earlier then the south after several rounds of cold fronts. The ridge to our west and trough to our east promote this atmospheric pattern.

GFS model Friday night showing temperatures (in °F) at the surface
At the surface the pattern is more of what you would expect, with winds shifting towards the south with a weakening surface high over the area (which was responsible for the cooler air). Expect temps to begin increasing tomorrow with highs in the mid 70's. Warming continues into Saturday and Sunday with temps getting all the way into the lower 80's. It will feel quite warm during the day, but by Saturday night temps will only get into the 60's at night, making it relatively mild even in the mornings to end the weekend.

GFS model Tuesday afternoon showing Precipitable Water Values
Rain chances will return early next week as the next cold front moves through. Models are indicating a strengthening low pressure system to our north with a developed cold front sweeping through the Mid-South. The band of high precipitable water values along the cold front represent deep moisture which could bring thunderstorms along with it. We'll keep an eye on this threat and will let you know if we expect anything significant. As always you can check out the full MWN Forecast here.

William Churchill
MWN Social Media Intern

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