Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Plenty of sunshine and warmth for now; showers likely on Saturday

While it may seem like we have been MIA lately, it's because we have been enjoying this incredible and dry weather! For those of you who are springtime weather lovers, you are in luck. We will likely remain dry over the majority of the next week. We could see a few stray showers on Friday, with showers likely on Saturday. However, outside of those two days all you will need is a good pair of sunglasses.

Looking over the next week or so, temperatures will remain fairly comfortable for the end of March and beginning of April. We will see some above-average temperatures over the next few days, with some cooler temps this weekend before things warm back up into the middle to end of next week.

The figure above displays forecast high (in blue) and low (in green) temperatures from the ECMWF model. The main takeaway from this figure is the trend in high and low temperatures, rather than the actual values themselves. (WeatherBell)

Rest of today and tomorrow

Our sky will continue to remain mostly clear for the remainder of today into the overnight hours. For those with evening plans tonight, temps should remain in the upper 50s to low/mid 60s through most of the evening.

Visible satellite imagery from around 4 PM this afternoon shows a few, high cirrus clouds moving across the Ozarks region. (College of DuPage)
Overnight, clear skies will help temps to cool down a bit. Temps will reach down to near 47 by early tomorrow morning.

Another beautiful day is on tap for tomorrow. Despite the occasional cloud or two, temps will reach to near 73 by the afternoon. While it won't quite be the weekend, tomorrow will be one of those days that makes you wish it was. If you get the chance to be outside tomorrow, be sure to enjoy it!


Things will still be pretty warm on Friday, with highs reaching near 72. Despite these above-average temperatures, we will see a few more clouds filling our skies with mostly cloudy conditions expected throughout the day. Although, we will have enough moisture present that a scattered shower or two cannot be completely ruled out. We aren't expecting a full-on washout, but some could see some showers by the afternoon and evening hours.


Unfortunately, our one day of likely rain has to fall over the weekend. While highs will still reach into the upper 60s, you will need your umbrella more than your sunglasses on Saturday. A cold front moving through the region will help to initiate some showers and thunderstorms. Scattered showers will be possible during the morning hours, before becoming more likely in the afternoon to evening hours. All of these showers will pass through by the early morning hours on Sunday.

The GFS model shows scattered showers moving through the Mid-South as a cold front pushes through the area. (Tropical Tidbits)
While a stray thunderstorm or two is possible, widespread severe weather is not expected. The good news from these showers is that we are not expecting a whole lot in terms of accumulation. Most of us will see less than an inch of rain when all is said and done, which is just enough to make all of our plants happy.

The Weather Prediction Center shows around half an inch of precipitation falling on Friday and Saturday with the majority of this coming on Saturday. (Pivotal Weather)  

Sunday into the rest of next week

Following a somewhat dreary Saturday, Sunday fills all of our hopes and dreams of a dry weekend (even if it's just for a day). While things may be a bit on the chillier side, with highs only expected to reach the mid 50s, partly sunny skies will return. Looking into next week, high pressure will begin to move into the region, helping to keep away most showers through the beginning of next week.

The Weather Prediction Center's Day 6 surface forecast shows a high pressure system extending throughout much of the southeast, keeping any frontal system away from our area. (NOAA/WPC)

There is a small chance of a scattered shower on Monday, but the rest of the week appears to be rain-free for now. Highs will slowly creep up throughout the week, only reaching the upper 50s by Monday before leaping up into the lower 70s by Wednesday. 

Caroline MacDonald
MWN Meteorologist

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

A whole lot of sunshine this week with a mid-week shower possible

After what has seemed like a dreary couple of weeks, we will finally experience some pleasant, Spring-like weather this week. While we can't promise to stay dry the entire week, we should only see rain on one/two day(s), which that is still even semi-questionable. All in all, I hope you were able to find your sunglasses over the weekend because you will need to keep them around this week!

In terms of our temperatures this week, and how this compares to "normal", we will actually be a few degrees below normal to start the week and finish off the week a few degrees above normal. "Normal" for mid-March is right around the mid-60s, which we should hang around near 60 the first half of the week before reaching into the upper 60s to near 70 by this weekend. All in all, temps in the 60s sounds pretty nice to me.

Tonight and tomorrow

We have had a beautiful day today and this will continue into the evening and overnight hours. For this evening, temps will slowly begin to fall back into the 50s under a mostly clear sky. Overnight, we could begin to see a few more clouds fill our skies with temps dipping down to near 39.

Tomorrow, expect for a few of these overnight clouds to hang around throughout the day, leaving partly cloudy skies behind. While a few clouds will fill the sky, there will be plenty of sunshine to help temps to rise up to 59 for our high. 


Besides a few more clouds, Tuesday appears to be a near copy to Monday. While some clouds will fill the sky, there will be ample sunshine to make it feel pretty nice outside. Highs will reach near 50.

Wednesday and Thursday

By the middle of the week, we will begin to see a slight increase in cloudiness, with a chance of showers. A very weak "cold" front is expected to move through the area, bringing enough energy to maybe bring a few showers with it. Some models, like the GFS, want to bring showers through the area sometime on Wednesday, while the Euro wants to hold these showers until the AM hours on Thursday.
The GFS shows showers moving through the Mid-South during the afternoon to evening hours on Wednesday. (Tropical Tidbits)
Regardless of the timing differences, it does look like we may get a few showers sometime between Wednesday and Thursday. Highs both days look to be in the low to mid 60s. By Thursday afternoon, any shower chances should have moved along, leaving partly cloudy conditions for our afternoon and evening hours.

Friday and a glance at this weekend

We will begin to get a taste of warmer temperatures by Friday heading into the weekend. High pressure will build back into the Mid-South following Wednesday/Thursday's weak frontal passage. This high pressure will help to keep showers out and sunshine in.

The Weather Prediction Center's surface front forecast shows high pressure extending across much of the Eastern half of the U.S., including the Mid-South region (NOAA/WPC)
Highs will reach into the upper 60s to near 70 this upcoming weekend, with overnight lows falling to the mid 40s. With sunshine and just above average temps, I don't think we could ask for a more pleasant weekend. 

If you have plans for this upcoming weekend Friday and Saturday look like the "better" days to do so. While it is still a week away, models are hinting at some showers next Sunday. Worth mentioning if you are weighing doing something outdoors Saturday vs. Sunday, in which case I would make plans for Saturday rather than Sunday. As the week progresses, we'll keep an eye on Sunday's shower and thunderstorm chances. 

Caroline MacDonald
MWN Meteorologist

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Friday, March 15, 2019

February 2019 Climate Data for Memphis, TN

February Climate Recap

February was dominated by warm air to start the month with multiple days of well above normal temperatures, including record tying temperatures on the 6th. A Strong cold front brought thunderstorms and much colder air for a couple of days before warm and wet conditions continued through mid-month. Below average temperatures followed a mid-month cold front that lasted for a week. Wet and cold conditions dominated the third week of the month with periods of thunderstorms and heavy rain, including precipitation on 7 of 8 days totaling over 5" at the airport. It warmed back up for the last week of the month with dry conditions. Overall, temperatures and precipitation were both well above normal for the month. There was no snowfall during the month.

The February temperature anomalies (departure from average) for the CONUS shows very warm conditions occurred in the eastern half of the country and cold air dominated the west, in particular the northwest. (

As far as severe weather, many Flash Flood Warnings were issued over the course of the month, but the most active weather days were the 22nd and 23rd when Severe Thunderstorm and Flash Flood Warnings were issued in the metro. No damage was observed from storms, but there were several flood reports. Tornado Warnings, and a couple of tornado reports, occurred on the 23rd east of the metro closer to the Tennessee River.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 48.8 degrees (3.3 degrees above average)
Average high temperature: 57.9 degrees (3.2 degrees above average)
Average low temperature: 39.7 degrees (3.4 degrees above average)
Warmest temperature: 73 degrees (6th, 23rd)
Coolest temperature: 23 degrees (8th)
Heating Degrees Days: 449 (99 below average)
Cooling Degree Days: 3 (1 above average)
Records set or tied: February 6 (62 degrees, record high minimum tied; 73 degrees, record high tied)
Comments: Six days dropped to or below freezing this month, 3.5 below average

Monthly total: 8.78" (4.39" above average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 15 (5.8 days above average)
Wettest 24-hour period: 2.04" (11th)
Snowfall: 0.0" (1.3" below average)
Records set or tied: None
Comments: Seven days recorded more than 0.5" of rain, three of which were over 1".

Peak wind: South/47 mph (14th)
Average wind: 9.0 mph
Average relative humidity: 74%
Average sky cover: 80%

Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International Airport.

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 48.0 degrees
Average high temperature: 57.5 degrees
Average low temperature: 38.1 degrees
Warmest temperature: 73.6 degrees (3rd)
Coolest temperature: 22.7  degrees (8th)
Comments: None

Monthly total: 10.05" (automated rain gauge), 11.52" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 18
Wettest date: 1.76" (6th) (via automated gauge)
Snowfall: None
Comments: Five days recorded more than an inch of rain.

Peak wind: South/32 mph (14th)
Average relative humidity: 80%
Average barometric pressure: 30.12 in. Hg

Click here for a daily statistical recap for Bartlett, TN.

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 2.93 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 53%
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.90 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 48%

MWN's forecasts extend out five periods (2.5 days, or roughly 60 hours). Historical accuracy statistics can be found here.

Climate Outlook - March

The March climate outlook for the United State from the Climate Prediction Center is shown below. Temperatures are forecast to be below normal for much of the northern, central and western U.S. For Memphis, odds favor slightly below normal temperatures, with a 30% chance of above normal temperatures, a 33% chance of near normal temperatures, and a 37% chance of below normal temperatures. Memphis typically averages 54.0° degrees for the month of March.

A wet March is forecast for the southwestern and southeastern U.S. with near normal precipitation across the northern tier of the nation. For Memphis, odds favor wet conditions with a 46% chance of above normal precipitation, a 33% chance of near normal precipitation and only a 21% chance of below average precipitation. March historically averages 5.16" of precipitation, including 0.4" of snow.

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Dreary for now; windy conditions tomorrow with severe t'storms possible

After a few days of sunny skies, our dreary conditions have returned once again. Luckily, after some showers tomorrow and Thursday, we should remain dry for a while. Additionally, temperatures are expected to remain near to above average for the next few days.

If you are wanting to know Memphis' weather for the next few days without a nerdy tidbit, go ahead and skip forward to the "today" section. If you want a nerdy tidbit here you go. We are expecting showers and thunderstorms beginning late tomorrow afternoon and continuing through midday Thursday. While this may seem like a normal Springtime system for us, it is actually quite the opposite for some people. The system that will be bringing us showers and thunderstorms is associated with a low pressure system currently in Colorado, drifting towards the Central U.S. Over the next 24 to 48 hours, this system will go from around 1000 mb (pretty typical for a low pressure system) to around 976 mb (not typical for a mid-latitude low pressure system; i.e. this is as low as some land-falling hurricanes, crazy right?!). 

The Weather Prediction Center's Forecast for Wednesday shows a complex system moving across the Central U.S. This system will bring lots of snow to portions of the Western U.S. and Northern Plains while bringing rain across the Ohio River Valley and to us here in the Mid-South. (NOAA/WPC)
While this system will bring us some showers and thunderstorms, many in the Western to Central U.S. will experience blizzard conditions from this system. Additionally, this low pressure being so strong will help to drive some of the windy conditions we will see tomorrow and Thursday.


We've already seen a few showers pass by bringing about a quarter of an inch of rain to the airport so far. Unfortunately, today just looks to be another one of those dreary types of day. While we aren't expecting any widespread showers, scattered showers will continue to pass by throughout the day.

Highs will reach to near 63. I would expect most of us to stay dry this afternoon and evening, but a stray shower or two cannot be ruled out. As for this evening into the overnight hours, clouds will continue to hang around the region. Overnight lows will drop to 56.

Wednesday & Thursday

The first half of Wednesday will be warm and windy. Highs are expected to reach near 75 (yes 75!!) with pretty windy conditions. Sustained southerly winds around 25 mph with gusts upwards of 35 to 40 mph can be expected. If you have any lose items that easily get blown around, I would go ahead and tie them down/bring them inside. These windy conditions will continue throughout the day Wednesday into Thursday.

By the late afternoon to early evening hours on Wednesday, showers with a few thunderstorms will begin to move through the area. Both the GFS and Euro model show the heaviest showers and thunderstorms passing through our area sometime in the evening, between 6 PM and midnight. 

GFS shows showers beginning in the late afternoon hours and continuing throughout the overnight hours into the early morning hours on Thursday. The heaviest showers appear to pass by before midnight. (Tropical Tidbits)
A few strong to severe thunderstorms will be possible as the main line of showers/storms moves through Wednesday evening. Damaging winds are the primary concern but a tornado or two cannot be ruled out.

SPC highlights the Mid-South in the Marginal Risk (1 out of 5) category. Damaging winds and an isolated tornado are the primary concerns. (NOAA/SPC)
In addition to severe storms, heavy rainfall is possible as these lines of storms move through. Since our ground is still pretty wet from all of the previous rain we have seen, it will not take a lot of additional rainfall to get some ponding in low lying areas.

The Weather Prediction Center includes much of our area in a Slight Risk for excessive rainfall/flash flooding. (NOAA/WPC)
While the majority of heavy showers will move through during the overnight hours, the cold front associated with these showers and thunderstorms is not expected to push through the Mid-South until the morning to mid-day hours on Thursday. For this reason, scattered shower chances will remain in place. Additionally, a few of these thunderstorms could become strong to severe, with damaging winds and an isolated tornado once again being the primary concern.

SPC once again highlights the Mid-South with a Marginal Risk (1 out of 5) for severe weather. Damaging winds and an isolated tornado are the primary concerns. (NOAA/SPC)
By Thursday afternoon, showers and thunderstorms are expected to push out of our area, leaving behind some more cloudiness. As the afternoon progresses, we may get a peak or two of sunshine. Highs are expected to reach into the low 70s.

Really the big story for Thursday, during and once showers pass through, will be our winds. Sustained southwesterly winds of around 20 mph with gusts upwards of 30 mph can be expected.

When all is said and done, our area could see anywhere from 2 to 3 inches of rainfall, with locally higher amounts possible.

Extending now through Friday morning, most of the Mid-South could see anywhere from an inch up to three inches of rainfall. Most of the Memphis metro region could see between 2 and 3 inches. (Pivotal Weather)

Friday and this weekend

We have not had a rain-free weekend since February 2nd & 3rd, meaning we have seen 6 straight weekends with some type of precipitation. This is finally set to change this weekend as we are expecting our first dry weekend in a while.

So what is allowing this dry weekend you may ask? Well, a high pressure system is expected to move into the Central and Eastern portions of the U.S. following Thursday's cold front system. 

The Weather Prediction Center's Medium Range Forecast for this upcoming weekend shows several high pressure systems across the Central and Eastern half of the U.S., including high pressure over the Mid-South region. (NOAA/WPC)
What does this high pressure mean for us? This will help to keep away any cold fronts that could bring precipitation into our area, meaning we are not expecting any type of shower activity this weekend. Beginning Friday and continuing throughout the weekend, skies will remain partly cloudy to mostly sunny. Additionally, highs will remain in the 50s, making for some pretty nice Spring-like weather. 

Glance at next week

Prepare for more spring like weather folks, as next week is shaping up to be a pretty pleasant week. With high pressure systems expected to remain over the Mid-South, conditions should remain sunny and dry throughout the majority of next week. 

The Climate Prediction Center's 6-10 outlook for next week, extending Sunday through Thursday, expects below average precipitation, meaning dry conditions will remain in place throughout the Mid-South. (Pivotal Weather)
In addition to this sunshine, highs will remain in the upper 50s to lower 60s, leaving us right around average to just a hair below average for mid-March. All in all, next week looks pretty pleasant if you ask me, just don't forget to keep the sunglasses handy. 

Caroline MacDonald
MWN Meteorologist

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Spring-like weather returns; severe t'storms possible Saturday

UPDATED POST -- 3/8/19, 2:15pm

Our severe weather risk for Saturday has increased and is now in the Enhanced Risk zone (level 3/5).

What to expect

Thunderstorms are expected in the morning. After an early afternoon lull, additional scattered storms are possible, but will not be as widespread. Some people may get no rain in the afternoon, while others could see a strong to severe storm. The chance of severe weather is fairly low in the morning and moderate to high in the afternoon, even though more people will see rain in the morning. All storms should be east of the metro by about 6pm as a front passes through.

The severity of afternoon storms will depend primarily on the amount of "recovery" the atmosphere is able to do after morning rain. Sunshine and dry weather aids in increasing instability - the severe weather ingredient in question. If temperatures soar into the mid 70s with dewpoints in the mid 60s, severe weather chances increase. Wind energy is less in doubt and capable of supporting severe storms should they have the storm "fuel" of instability to get them going.

Morning (about 9am-noon)
Storm chance: 90%
Severe weather chance: Slight
Threats: Large hail, damaging wind

Afternoon (about 2pm-6pm)
Storm chance: 40%
Severe weather chance: Enhanced
Threats: Large hail, damaging wind, a few tornadoes

Note also that it will be very windy tomorrow, even outside of storms in the afternoon. Expect southerly wind gusts as high as 40 mph or so.

ORIGINAL POST -- 3/7/19, 6:30pm

We have finally said goodbye to old man winter, at least for the foreseeable future. Temps are not expected to get near freezing over the next week, so get ready for some semi-spring like weather!

Unfortunately after a mainly dry (much-needed!) week, we will begin to transition back into a wet period starting late tonight. Showers are expected tomorrow with continuing showers and thunderstorms on Saturday. Keep the umbrella handy over the next few days!

Tonight and tomorrow

Clouds will continue to increase for the remainder of the evening, ahead of showers arriving later tonight. Temps currently sit around 50, and will only drop a few degrees overnight. Light rain is expected to develop around midnight with scattered showers continuing through the morning hours.

The high-resolution HRRR model simulated radar through midnight Friday night shows scattered showers remaining prevalent across the area for a good part of the next 30 hours or so. (
The high-resolution HRRR model (shown above) shows scattered showers expected to continue through the afternoon and into tomorrow evening. Highs tomorrow will reach near 60. Other model data indicates the potential for a brief lull late tomorrow afternoon into the early evening hours, however, before more rain arrives early Saturday morning.


I will start Saturday's discussion with this: 
We will need to keep an eye on things on Saturday. As previously mentioned, rain in the morning could be a good thing. If the rain breaks and we get some sunshine, that could become problematic. If we get any sunshine, that could increase the instability over our area. If we get enough instability, some afternoon thunderstorms could become severe. Without this instability, storms may remain sub-severe.

Regardless, the main concerns with any severe thunderstorms are damaging winds, although a tornado cannot be completely ruled out. Additionally, heavy rainfall at times could lead to some ponding on roadways. No major effects are expected on area rivers, streams, or lakes above what is already still elevated from the recent crest of the Mississippi River.

The GFS model has scattered showers hanging around through Saturday AM hours, with heavier showers and storms in the afternoon to early evening hours. (TropicalTidbits)

We will continue to monitor this threat over the next couple days. If you have plans Saturday, be sure to keep a close eye on the weather as the day progresses, particularly in the afternoon and early evening hours. We're hopeful that the storms will move out in time for start of the Memphis 901 FC soccer match Saturday evening, but it could be close!


No rain. Highs in the the lower 60s. I'm not sure what more you could ask for for a weekend day! If you have any outdoor plans this weekend, Sunday will definitely be the day to take advantage of the gorgeous weather. 

Rest of next week

The majority of next week will consist if a semi-normal spring weather pattern. Monday and Tuesday temps will remain right around average for the time of year, with highs in the upper 50s to 60s. There is a chance of showers both days, we aren't expecting any widespread showers.

By the middle of next week, another cold front is expected to push through the area, bringing even more rain along with it. This is almost off in la-la land, so we will just leave it at that.

The Weather Prediction Center's Day 6 and 7 outlook (Tuesday/Wednesday) shows lots of precipitation over the Mid-South. (NOAA/WPC)

Caroline MacDonald
MWN Meteorologist

Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: on the mobile web or via the MWN mobile app
Download our iPhone or Android apps, featuring StormWatch+ severe weather alerts!
MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder