Friday, April 17, 2015

Have weekend plans? The latest on what to expect from Mother Nature...

Yesterday's blog post contained an initial look at the weekend weather pattern. Feel free to check that out for the overall pattern. Today we fine tune and give you some information you can plan your weekend activities around!

As morning rain and thunderstorms diminish this afternoon, we should be looking at a dry evening and overnight across the Mid-South. Weak high pressure aloft builds in behind this morning's upper-level energy pocket that brought rain to north MS and some flooding to far eastern AR, just west of the metro.

The daytime hours on Saturday look a bit better than they did yesterday. In fact, the morning should be dry and scattered showers may not start affecting the region until well into the afternoon. Garage salers, ball players (and fans), and yard mowers should get several hours to get their activities in to start the day! Temperatures will probably get close to 80° in the afternoon.

On Saturday night, we'll see low pressure move north across north MS and west TN. Showers and a few thunderstorms will be in the area probably by dinner time and steady rain is likely overnight. Fortunately, this high chance of rain will probably not have a big effect on outdoor plans, other than perhaps Saturday evening.

On Sunday, we'll again be between systems as the low departs to our north and a frontal system begins tracking towards the area from the west. However, there will be some instability over the area, which may mean scattered showers or thunderstorms during the day Sunday as temps hit the mid 70s. Models still disagree on just how much rain we could see, but for now, have a backup plan for anything you plan outdoors during the day.

Total precipitation as forecast by NOAA through Sunday at 7pm. These amounts are down a bit from earlier forecasts calling for possible flash flooding, though saturated ground may still result in excessive runoff.
By Sunday late afternoon into the evening, you'll need to keep a close eye on the front moving across AR. The Storm Prediction Center has placed a large part of AR in an Enhanced Risk of severe weather (category 3 of 5) and west TN and north MS in a Slight Risk (category 2 of 5). We'll be watching for you as well.

The outlook shown below will be updated a few times prior to the event unfolding, but it looks at this time like we'll see strong to severe storms in AR, capable of hail, strong wind, or a tornado, move across the metro during the evening hours. As it gets closer, the storms should form a squall line, transitioning the main hazardous weather types to a mainly damaging wind event, though large hail could be possible as well.

For now, we recommend you keep up to date with multiple sources of weather information. There is a high likelihood that any outdoor plans Sunday evening will have to be moved indoors or postponed. We'll have a better idea of timing and how the storms will evolve as we get closer to the event. As they say, "STAY TUNED!"  We also recommend you download the mobile app (linked below) for our latest forecasts and radar updates and consider StormWatch+ within the app for your severe weather alerts.

Things look to improve dramatically by the start of the work week with seasonal spring temperatures and dry weather early next week.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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