Friday, December 14, 2018

Rain coming to an end soon, but for how long? First thoughts on Christmas weather

Storms are currently rolling through the Mid-South, bringing a good splurge or rain. With the weekend now here, it brings the question: "How wet is the weekend supposed to be?" We will break down those rain chances, talk about how long we remain dry next week, and even take a peak at early projections for our Christmas forecast.

Tonight and Tomorrow

With that low pressure system gradually moving through the Mid-South, we are receiving showers and storms. As of 5pm, a bulk of the storm activity is getting close to wrapping up. That said, rain will not be ending. Instead, showers will continue for tonight as they remain scattered. When not light rain, drizzle/foggy conditions will be taking place. With the rain and clouds, don't look for much day-vs-night temperature changes taking place: low of 46.

National Weather Service's surface analysis map, showing the low pressure system bringing rain for the Mid-South.
Your Saturday will start with lingering rain as we wait for the low to propagate out of our area. The morning brings the greatest chance for rain, with shower activity becoming lighter and more isolated by the afternoon. Minimal diurnal shifts remain a part of the forecast, so our high will only be 50 degrees. Saturday night cooler air creeps in as we just start to lose the clouds. By this point, that low is now out of the area and high pressure starts to build in, bringing an end to our rain chances.


Weather Prediction Center's QPF Totals showing that we aren't expecting much rain over the next 5 days.
Sunday through Wednesday, high pressure takes over, drying us out over this period of the forecast. With the dry weather comes the return of sunshine and clear nights: that means that we will see our diurnal temperature swings return. One thing of note is that today's low is going to be bringing in more Pacific like air, rather than Arctic, so we won't be pulling in colder air. Instead, look for our highs to range between the mid to upper 50s. Meanwhile, that diurnal swing effect means that we have our nighttime lows getting into the upper 30s.

Wednesday Night-Friday

Wednesday night brings the return of clouds and rain chances. A shortwave will drop from the north, meaning that we will have conditions, though minimal, for getting some shower activity going. With the rain comes cloud cover which should help insulate us and keeping our temps a little warmer overnight, with a low near the mid 40s.

A shortwave Wednesday night into Thursday in the Mid-South brings minimal rain chances that night and through the day.

Rain chances from Wednesday night last into Thursday, though rain chances never climb too high. The weak shortwave mean that at most we will see scattered rain chances through the day as we remain mostly cloudy. Highs remain in the mid 50s. By that evening, we dry out somewhat as the clouds try to hang on. Lows in the lower 40s.

Friday takes on an interesting look for the forecast with a low pressure system setting up behind the shortwave. Depending on how fast and how far the low digs will determine how much moisture is pumped out of this system late Friday and into Saturday. Likewise, we need to watch how fast the cold air on the back side of the low infiltrates. For now, we are sticking with our normal forecast and saying mostly sunny skies for your Friday and temps climbing to the mid 50s. We will keep watching Friday night into Saturday as more model runs/data come available.

Christmas Outlook

With Christmas less than two weeks away (queues holiday panic), we are close enough to get some rough idea what that time frame will look like. At the moment, as per the Weather Prediction Center, it looks to be a good chance we keep an above average weather pattern for that time frame. For those that don't like warm Christmases, we do have some good news so don't freak yet. Looks like we will be remaining near average precipitation wise, so no major wash outs for Christmas foretasted at the moment. In fact, ensemble forecasts look like they place us in a ridge during that time frame, which would mean we remain dry. All this said, there is still plenty of time for this forecast to change. Likewise, you know where to go to in order to find those changes!

The WPC's temperature and precipitation outlooks are showing near average precipitation and above average temperature probabilities for the week of Christmas.

Reggie Roakes
MWN Meteorologist

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