Sunday, April 10, 2016

UPDATED: Weather to plan your week around for the first week of April

I decided to give something new a try on this blog post written Sunday night. I'm going to let you know each day how I did and provide meaningful updates as necessary to the next day's forecast. Yep, total transparency! Something no one running for office can promise AND deliver... You'll see the daily updates in red below. Read on...

ORIGINAL POST - Sunday, April 3, 8:23pm

It's been a very busy few days on top of nursing a sore back, so this blog will be brief and to the point. Fortunately, there's not a lot "out of the ordinary" to talk about relative to this week's weather. It's early April when temps average 70/50 (high/low) but large swings are not at all uncommon. Thankfully, we really aren't expecting any severe weather in the next week, despite three cold frontal passages. We also aren't forecasting any heavy rainfall like those that contributed to the wettest month of March on record! Let's take the week day-by-day.


Tomorrow will be a warm sector day ahead of an approaching cold front that will only deliver a glancing blow to the Mid-South as the parent low pressure system moves by well to the north. Only a few clouds are expected as moisture remains very limited with the front that arrives late Monday. Highs will be well into the 70s after lows remain near or above 50. With mostly sunny skies, a nice day to do something outside, unless you're working, then we recommend a long patio lunch.

ACTUAL: Anyone see any clouds today? Right, just a few this evening trailing the cold front that moved through with stealth, as promised. Today's high was 80 (undershot that one by a few degrees) and the low was 52 (nailed it).


Limited moisture falls even further behind Monday's cold front and temperatures will be about 10° cooler, topping out in the mid 60s despite a sunny sky. Morning lows will be in the mid 40s. Wind quickly turns back around to the southeast by Tuesday afternoon, which will have a bearing on Wednesday's weather. (No changes as of Monday night. Right on track.)

ACTUAL: Temperatures overachieved again today (71) under sunny skies, but they were still about 10 degrees cooler than Monday as predicted. The morning low was 51 with outlying areas closer to the mid 40s. Wind was east to southeast this afternoon.


Yet another frontal system moves through late in the day. This one will have a little more moisture to work with, as well as a bit of unstable air ahead of it. Scattered showers are expected, especially in the afternoon, as well as a few thunderstorms. Compared to our cold fronts last week, this one will not have nearly the upper level energy so severe weather is currently not anticipated, nor is widespread heavy rainfall as the system will move through rather quickly. Highs will be near 70 with lows in the lower 50s. Rain will probably be gone by evening, but the upper level pattern shifts behind this front, leading to a change in the pattern for week's end... Very little change for Wednesday (as of Tuesday night). Rain and a few storms are still expected in the afternoon hours, but should not be severe. Temperatures will again run a couple degrees above this forecast.

ACTUAL: Pretty much spot on! Two distinct lines of showers and thunderstorms moved through during the afternoon,. No severe weather occurred, but wind was pretty strong! Rainfall was heavy, but brief with less than 1/2" area-wide. Rain was gone by evening as predicted. Highs were within 2 degrees (72) and lows were accurate for the outlying areas, but stayed warm in the city (near 60).


The upper level pattern becomes dominated by an eastern U.S. trough heading into the end of the week, which will mean northwest flow for the Mid-South (upper level wind blowing from northwest to southeast) and temperatures cooling to below April norms. Northwest flow will mean some clouds linger Thursday with a slight chance of a shower. Highs still reach the mid 60s after morning lows in the upper 40s, but a stiff north wind at the surface will make it feel cooler, especially if sunshine is limited. Wednesday night comments: Looks like I expected a slightly stronger trough than we'll end up seeing, with a little more sun and slightly warmer temperatures than predicted. Will be interested to see how this actually pans out.

ACTUAL: Well, I get to use my favorite slogan: "It seemed like a good forecast at the time!" The upper level trough is in position as expected, but more sunshine than expected and some dry air that heats  rather efficiently resulted in a beautiful day with highs in the mid 70s, or 10° above Sunday's prediction. In effect, the cooldown is simply delayed a bit more than expected. Morning lows in the upper 40s was perfect and the breezy northwest wind also materialized as expected. No rain.


The eastern U.S. upper level trough strengthens, which in turn drops cooler air into the Mid-South. Skies will average partly cloudy but look for highs only near 60, or about 10° below average for this time of year. North wind means a chilly day and the nighttime hours will be cold. Saturday morning lows could drop to near 40 in the city and some frost will be possible in outlying areas. Thursday night comments: Once again, the Sunday night forecast for Friday will be too cool, but probably not a lot - mid 60s versus near 60. Saturday night's temperatures will be as predicted - chilly!

ACTUAL: Mid 60s was the actual high, just a bit above the forecast from Sunday night. The wind was indeed brisk today and tonight's low is right on track with the forecast - lows in the 30s are expected outside the loop, though some wind will keep frost to a minimum.

As I mentioned on Facebook and Twitter Saturday, it's REALLLLY tempting to start planting outdoors, but unless you are planting something hearty, or easy to move to a warmer spot for a night, I strongly suggest waiting until at least next weekend after this cold spell moves through. A gardener told me that it's wise to wait until after Tax Day to plant. Not sure if that has more to do with the warming of the ground and end of potential cool snaps or the status of your bank account when you go to Lowe's or the local nursery, but either way it makes sense.

Saturday and Sunday

Highs rebound fairly well under full April sun with mid 60s expected for highs as wind shifts back towards the south. By Sunday, a developing weather system to our west will mean a slight chance of showers as Gulf moisture starts moving back into the region. Highs should be back near average or slightly above. It looks like early the following week will see out next chance of heavier spring rain and perhaps a few decent thunderstorms. Friday night comments: Saturday will actually be the coolest day of the day with highs in the upper 50s.

ACTUAL: Pretty much dead on for Saturday with sunshine and highs in the mid 60s after a low in the mid 40s. As for Sunday, the slight chance of showers forecast a week ago occurred early in the morning with highs well above average at 81°. The other notable weather event was the very strong south wind.  

For the week, the main points were well-forecast with temperatures averaging above forecast by a category or two for the most part, but with the trends well forecast. The "outlook" for early this coming week, forecast 8 days ago, is also dead on - "heavier spring rain and a few decent thunderstorms." Exactly what I'm expecting tomorrow!

Here's the official MWN Forecast, updated daily (or check it out in our mobile app).

Here's the week wrapped up with a nice little bow on it:

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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