Sunday, October 5, 2014

Unsettled weather week starts with a chance of severe storms Monday

A gorgeous, if breezy, weekend is in the books with warming temperatures and increasing rain chances this week. The main discussion point is the potential for severe storms on Monday.

Clouds increase overnight as southwesterly wind continues to bring in additional moisture. Lows will be much warmer than the 40s of the past couple of mornings, only dropping to near 60. On Monday, mid-level energy will rotate around a large trough north of the region. As temperatures warm to near 80 by afternoon, temperatures aloft will cool due to the approaching mid-level disturbance. The disparity in temperatures creates a scenario with high lapse rates (which is the rate at which temperatures decrease with height). In addition, wind energy will increase as the mid-level wind picks up with the approach of the disturbance,resulting in increasing wind shear. All of these ingredients together will create a scenario which promotes the formation of thunderstorms, some of which could become severe.

The primary severe weather mode will be individual storms or clusters/short lines of storms with the main threats being large hail and damaging wind during the afternoon and early evening hours (coincident with peak heating). A tornado or two will be possible in any strong isolated cells that can become supercellular. We expect storms will be most likely and strongest roughly near a line from near Nashville to Corinth to Clarksdale, MS, but severe weather will be possible throughout the TN Valley, west TN, and north MS. The entire metro is outlooked under a Slight Risk tomorrow with a 15% chance of severe weather within 25 miles.

Severe weather probability for Monday afternoon and evening, centered on the TN Valley/Mid-South.

Preparations should include monitoring the latest forecasts from your favorite local sources, securing loose objects ahead of time (if they haven't already blown away from the wind the past few days!), and protecting anything outdoors that could suffer from hail damage. Have your severe weather apps,including StormWatch+, setup and ready to receive any watches and warnings that are issued.

For the rest of the week, the weather looks somewhat unsettled as we're squeezed between high pressure over the Midwest/Great Lakes and the Bermuda High over the Southeast. Temperatures should average near normal during the day (mid 70s to low 80s) and above normal at night (60s).

Erik Proseus, MWN Meteorologist

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