Saturday, July 20, 2019

Barry, then humidity... but a "fall" front is right around the corner!

It's been a fairly wild weather week in the Mid-South. First we dealt with the remnants of "just briefly" Hurricane Barry, which moved across western AR as a tropical depression then sliced into southern MO and headed east into the Mid-Atlantic. Rainfall totals were generally in the 4-6" range from Saturday through Wednesday in the Memphis metro.

Total rainfall from Barry. Generally 4-6" fell in the Memphis metro. (WeatherBell)
As soon as the clouds moved out, the heat built back in as a high pressure ridge took over where Barry left off. The heat, combined with the remaining moisture from Barry's rainfall, resulted in a string of days with Heat Advisories and Excessive Heat Warnings as heat indices climbed into the 105-112° range!

It wasn't the heat, it was the humidity...

In actuality, the humidity was the back-breaker during this week's heat wave. High temperatures were right at normal for July (lower 90s). But typically dewpoints are in the lower 70s and we had dewpoints in the mid to upper 70s, and even some 80° readings, after Barry departed! This made the typical "heat" more dangerous as it was much harder for the body to cool due to excessive moisture in the air. The extra moisture also kept overnight lows warmer than average for summer, which provided less of a chance for cooling (and a much-needed break for our air condition units!).

Daily temperatures for July. Barry's remnants brought cooler temps early this week (blue), but the heat quickly kicked back in late this week (red) with normal highs but very warm lows and very humid air to boot! (NWS)

Fortunately, there is an end in sight! (We just have to hold out a couple more days!)

Rest of this weekend

This weekend will continue the mid/late-week pattern as highs continue to reach the lower 90s and dewpoints remain in the mid 70s. Look for heat indices to peak in the low to mid 100's this weekend. However, there are also small rain chances each afternoon, which might provide some temporary relief for some. For today, the chance is 20% with most afternoon pop-up showers or storms in northeast MS. Sunday will see slightly better chances at 30% for the metro.

The NAM3 model forecast radar from noon Saturday through 7pm Sunday shows a few showers possible Saturday afternoon and a slightly better chance Sunday afternoon. The best chances are southeast of the metro. (WeatherBell)

Monday cold front (hooray!)

Early next week, an anomalously cool and dry airmass (for summer) will push south into our region and hang around for much of the week ahead. On Monday, the cold front preceding this early fall-like high pressure system will move through, bringing with a a high likelihood of  showers and thunderstorms, as opposing air masses collide.

A few strong storms are possible Monday afternoon, though the Storm Prediction Center currently does not have the metro in a severe weather risk. Best chances of rain are Monday afternoon through early evening, though some showers Monday morning are also possible. It'll still be a muggy day but highs should remain in the mid to upper 80s.

The same NAM3 model forecast radar for Monday, from midnight through 7pm. Much higher rain chances, and some storms, appear Monday afternoon as the front arrives. (WeatherBell)

Tuesday-Thursday - an early taste of fall?

Tuesday morning is when we'll first notice the new dome of high pressure as we step outside in the morning to temperatures in the 60s - the coolest in a month. Even better, highs will only be in the low 80s Tuesday afternoon! This lovely pattern continues Wednesday and Thursday with abundant sunshine, low temperatures in the mid 60s and highs in the mid 80s, and low humidity levels.

The European model showing dewpoints from Sunday at 7pm through Wednesday at noon. Notice the high values (deep oranges) slide south and get replaced by dewpoints in the 50s (blues) behind Monday's front! (WeatherBell)

In other words it'll feel more like mid to late September than late July! Perfect weather to kick off the World Golf Championship - FedEx St. Jude Invitational with most of the world's best golfers in town!

Next weekend

By next weekend, as the beautiful dome of high pressure shifts east, southerly wind will start to bring summer back with chances of afternoon thunderstorms and a more typical temperature regime. But at least we will have gotten a nice reprieve after dealing with plentiful rain, then plentiful humidity and heat!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Saturday update: Barry's impacts on the Mid-South

Briefly a hurricane, Barry made landfall on the central Louisiana Gulf Coast this morning and is moving slowly north through Louisiana. It will remain over Louisiana through much of Sunday before heading north through central Arkansas west of Little Rock Monday as it weakens to a tropical depression. Unfortunately, that means the weather in the Memphis area will be depressing for a few days as well.

Pictures are worth at least 1000 words each when you're talking about weather, so I'll use a lot of them in this update. First, the latest track from the National Hurricane Center:

And as an overview, below is how the European model handles Barry's movement through Wednesday evening. It has done a very good job of predicting the path of the storm to this point.

Water, water everywhere

The main story for our area will not be wind (though for the Mid-South, it will be more than we are typically used to), but the rain. We'll start there. The outer portion of Barry's main rain shield will move into the metro Sunday morning, maybe before daybreak. However, despite likely being steady, we won't get an unusual amount during the day Sunday. Here's the NWS rainfall total through Sunday at 7pm (it's about half an inch):

Precipitation 7pm Saturday- 7pm Sunday

Sunday night is when the rain really starts to pick up, especially after midnight. We could see a couple inches of rain in some areas. A few thunderstorms are possible as well which could enhance rain totals in spots.

Monday is a continuation on the rainy pattern, though with the center moving by to our west, we could see more banding of rain set up with localized heavy amounts and others getting less. The NWS puts precipitation totals Sunday night through Monday at 7pm above 2" in the metro, heavier to the west, closer to the center of the storm.

Precipitation 7pm Sunday - 7pm Monday

Rain remains likely Monday night as the remnant low moves north into southern Missouri with showers and thunderstorms continuing off and on Tuesday. As the rain is not quite as continuous by Tuesday, a bit more heating could take place and result in more thunderstorms than Sunday or Monday. Precipitation from Monday night through 7pm Tuesday, another 2-3":

Precipitation 7pm Monday - 7pm Tuesday

By Wednesday, the system starts moving east through the Ohio Valley and we get back to a more scattered thunderstorm pattern as highs climb back to near 90. All of the previous rain will mean a muggy environment. After a few days in the 70s and 80s, a heat index near the century mark Wednesday will be an unwelcome reminder that it's still summer. By Wednesday evening, total rainfall amounts from Barry will likely be in the 4-7 inch range. That's a month's worth (or more) in 4 days. Some areas could potentially see 8"+.

Total precipitation expected from Barry through mid-week

For this reason, Flash Flood Watches go into effect Sunday and continue through early Wednesday.

The long duration event means that local rivers will rise and poor drainage areas could be a real issue. We remind you to "Turn Around, Don't Drown!" Avoid areas with water covering the road. Stay away from drainage ditches and high water in creeks, ponds, etc. (and keep your kids away from them too!). If you're in an area prone to flooding, you might consider leaving for a few days.

Gusty wind too

As expected from a remnant tropical system passing nearby, we'll get enough wind for some bad hair days, but probably not a lot of widespread damage. Southeast to southerly wind will be the norm as the low passes by to the west. We'll see gusts Sunday afternoon and evening into the mid 20s to near 30 mph.

Sunday night and Monday will likely be the windiest with gusts routinely into the 30s and some areas seeing 40 mph or higher. Coupled with the soaking rain and soft ground, 40 mph could be enough to topple some trees and maybe affect power to some areas as well. Plan to keep those devices charged and secure anything outdoors that you can Sunday before the wind picks up. By Tuesday, it'll be breezy but nothing we don't see semi-routinely in spring or fall.

Tornado threat

Land-falling tropical systems are also known to spawn a few weak and brief tornadoes in their eastern semicircle well inland. It doesn't take big supercell thunderstorms to initiate these. Heavier showers in bands rotating around the center can encounter just enough instability, and already are in a high shear environment, to spin up weak tornadoes with very little notice. The most likely time that these spin-ups MAY occur is Sunday afternoon and Monday. For this reason, the Storm Prediction Center has placed areas mainly near and west of Memphis in a Marginal Risk (level 1/5) for an isolated tornado Sunday and Monday.

That gives you a pretty good overview of the hazards we could expect over the next several days. Stay with, particularly on our social media channels, and other local sources as we bring you the latest information while Barry moves through the region.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Bring it Barry! (But take it easy on us, ok?)

More rain chances are returning to the Mid-South, and this time in the form of a remnant tropical cyclone. Barry is getting closer to the coast, and currently most models are in agreement that some remnants will be heading our way. This is good news for some, and bad news for others. While some areas and saying "bring it on," others have had entirely too much water the past couple weeks. However, for everyone our regular afternoon thunderstorm chances are still sticking around to end your week and welcome in your weekend. 

Earlier Today

We had a cold front move through this morning, and push into central MS. Now that it has stalled out, wind will momentarily be northerly overnight but clouds are going to clear out, bringing some decent conditions with temps dropping into the mid 70's. 


NAM-3km model precipitation from midday Thursday into the evening hours Friday. (Tropical Tidbits)

The high-resolution NAM model is showing that cold front being pushed back north into the metro, bringing the threat of an afternoon shower or thunderstorm for Friday. Highest chances lookg to be in north MS, as areas north of Memphis look to be more stable. Most of the day we will see partly cloudy skies and continued highs in the lower 90's with high humidity. Some cloud cover sticks around overnight and into Saturday with lows overnight dropping into the mid 70's.


Partly sunny skies to begin your Saturday, but increased chances of scattered showers and thunderstorms as Barry continues to push north. We'll still feel those sultry conditions with highs in the lower 90's despite the scattered showers and thunderstorms. Not too shabby for your Saturday, considering rain chances increase as we head deeper into the weekend. 


As we continue to wait in anticipation of the arrival of the remnants of Barry, we're still seeing what's left of the front that pushed back to our north. That'll bring us more cloud cover, along with higher rain and thunderstorm chances. Highs are only expected to get into the mid-80's however, so there is something to celebrate! Overnight temps will drop just a bit into the mid-70's. 

Beginning The Work Week

Barry's Predicted Path (NHC)
Monday is when the chances of Barry moving through are becoming likely for the Mid-South. Although this track could still change a bit, the National Hurricane Center is beginning to get a better picture of what to expect. With this system heading towards us, we are looking at a good chance of showers and t'storms. On the bright side this will bring us some cooler weather, with highs only in the lower 80's. By Tuesday, Barry should be pushing further north into the Ohio River Valley, leaving behind some scattered showers or thunderstorms. Temps will be nearing 90 again however, and by mid-week we will return to our typical Memphis summer weather. 

The European model showing the entire path of Barry over the next week. (WxBell)
An overall interesting week planned for the Mid-South, but we will begin to return to your average July weather in no time. Be sure to follow us for any updates to this system, and stay dry everyone! 

Jennifer Lambers
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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

Thursday, July 4, 2019

June 2019 Climate Data for Memphis, TN

June Climate Recap

Following a warm spell to end May, temperatures during June were below average nearly across the board, primarily driven by the above average rainfall for most of the Mid-South. There were only seven days in June that were above average. The coolest temperatures occurred during the second week of the month with highs primarily in the upper 70s to lower 80s. In May, seven days of the final ten reached 90 degrees. For the entire month of June, Memphis reached 90 degrees only nine times. Overall, the average of 77.7 degrees was nearly 2 degrees below normal. As you can see from the image below showing departure from average temperature for June for the U.S., Memphis was an anomaly.

Average temperature anomaly for June for the U.S. (WeatherBell)
Very dry conditions for the latter half of May turned quickly in June with 13 rain days in June at Memphis International Airport, four more than usual. With eight of those days producing a half inch or more of rain, the total for the month was well over double the average and ended as the fifth wettest June on record. The graphic below show most of the Mid-South was well above average for the month. However, an area from northern Shelby County into western Tipton County was below average. In fact, our MWN weather station in north Bartlett more over six inches LESS precipitation than the airport!

Observed precipitation for June in the Memphis area. Note the very high amounts in the southeaster metro juxtaposed to the much lower amounts in the northern metro. (NOAA/WPC)
You'll also notice the very high anomalies in southeast Shelby, eastern DeSoto, and Fayette Counties. Areas around Germantown south into Olive Branch received more than 8 inches of rain in just a few hours during the early morning of the 7th, resulting in significant flooding damage to many homes and business.

Departure from average precipitation for June, expressed as percent of normal. Note again the large variations across the metro as some areas were hit repeatedly with storms, while others seemed to miss out. (NOAA/WPC)

Severe weather, primarily in the form of high wind and flooding, occurred on multiple days in June. Wind damage occurred in the metro on the 7th, 19th, 23rd, and 29th. The evening of the 19th in particular was a large-scale damaging wind event as severe storms brought 60-70 mph to the metro, resulting in over 40,000 MLGW customers without power. As mentioned above, the storms early in the morning on the 7th lead to significant flooding in some areas, and there were power outages incurred on the 23rd as well.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 77.7 degrees (1.9 degrees below average)
Average high temperature: 86.2 degrees (2.7 degrees below average)
Average low temperature: 69.2 degrees (1.1 degrees below average)
Warmest temperature: 92 degrees (21st, 22nd)
Coolest temperature: 57 degrees (14th)
Heating Degrees Days: 0
Cooling Degree Days: 388 (50 below average)
Records set or tied: None
Comments: Nine days recorded a high temperature of 90 degrees or warmer, 4.9 less than the average for June.

Monthly total: 9.51" (5.88" above average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 13 (4.0 days above average)
Wettest 24-hour period: 2.80" (7th)
Snowfall: None
Records set or tied: Record daily rainfall set on June 7 (2.80")
Comments: The month ranked as the fifth wettest June on record. Eight days recorded more than 0.5" of rain and three days recorded over 1.0" of rain.

Peak wind: West/67 mph (19th)
Average wind: 7.8 mph
Average relative humidity: 73%
Average sky cover: 60%

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 76.6 degrees
Average high temperature: 87.0 degrees
Average low temperature: 67.3 degrees
Warmest temperature: 93.5 degrees (22nd)
Coolest temperature: 52.1 degrees (14th)
Comments: None

Monthly total: 3.28" (automated rain gauge), 3.80" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 12
Wettest date: 0.81" (6th) (via automated gauge)
Snowfall: None
Comments: None

Peak wind: South/31 mph (19th/20th)
Average relative humidity: 79%
Average barometric pressure: 29.95 in. Hg

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 1.64 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 81%
MWN average dewpoint error: 1.85 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 74%

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

Climate Outlook - July

The July climate outlook for the United State from the Climate Prediction Center is shown below. The Central Plains into the Great Lakes are likely to feature below normal temperatures, while the Deep South and Pacific Northwest should be warmer than normal. Odds favor near average temperatures for Memphis in July. Memphis averages 82.7 degrees for the month, or about three degrees warmer than June, and is typically the hottest month of the year as a whole.

A wet July is forecast for much of the central portion of the country, coinciding with the cooler than average temperature forecast. Below average precipitation is expected in the Deep South and across the Desert Southwest and Pacific Northwest. For Memphis, odds favor near average rainfall, which historically averages 4.59" in July.

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

Monday, July 1, 2019

Holiday week forecast plays like a broken record

Welcome to your typical summer in the Mid-South, where we have all the heat, humidity, and afternoon rain chances you could ever dream of! Just kidding - but what Memphis forecast is complete without all of that summertime goodness?? No significant weather patterns, or changes in the pattern, for the upcoming week to report on, but here we go again with just more average temperatures and rain chances.


HRRR Model showing pop-up showers around the Mid-South for most of Monday afternoon and early evening. (WxBell)

We experienced another hot day in the Mid-South today with some pop-up showers and thunderstorms affecting parts of the metro. This was in part due to the heat and humidity lingering around much of southeast U.S., but also an outflow boundary that drifted south and stalled out right on the TN/MS state line. Tonight a few clouds linger after evening showers dissipate, keeping us in the mid 70's overnight. Pretty still night with a light southerly wind. 


Lots of sunshine tomorrow with partly cloudy skies overall. Another day with more heat and humidity as highs reach the lower 90s. Rain chances remain at 20% as a few PM t'storms are expected, but widely scattered. The NAM model is showing those showers coming through mainly in the afternoon with more low chances carrying overnight into Wednesday. Overnight lows will be in the mid 70's again with mostly cloudy skies and 20% chance of a shower.

The NAM model shows scattered showers around the southeast U.S. from Tuesday through Thursday. (Tropical Tidbits)


More clouds are expected for your Wednesday with scattered rain chances continuing. Highs will again be in the lower 90's with a southwest breeze. Rain chances are near 30%, with the greatest chances in the afternoon and slight chances lingering into the evening and overnight. For those attending fireworks displays Wednesday evening, the forecast is for mainly dry conditions, especially after 7-8pm.

Guilty as charged...

July 4th!

Rain can't keep us Americans down! We're still looking at partly sunny skies with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 90's will make it a day that calls for lots of water and sunscreen. The GFS model, below, shows just how scattered those rain chances are looking for Thursday around the Ohio River Valley and the Mid-South. However, after sunset, rain percentages look to diminish, making for a decent fireworks forecast! Lows will be in the mid 70's overnight, but from about 8pm-midnight, we should be in the 80's. Plan ahead if you'll be shooting off firecrackers!

GFS showing scattered showers around the Ohio River Valley Thursday. (Pivotal Weather)


The day after holiday festivities includes, you guessed it, temps in the lower 90's with partly cloudy skies. If you're lucky enough to be off work, I would recommend a nice pool party. More chances of afternoon t'storms are expected with chances at 30%, but very scattered once again. Just remember to evacuate the pool if thunder roars! Lows for Friday night will be in the mid 70's, making for a warm but enjoyable evening.  

The Weekend

It's the weekend and I'm done... almost the exact same forecast for both days, and just like the week prior. Highs in the lower 90's with partly sunny skies. 30% chance of showers and t'storms for both days in the afternoon. Lows overnight cooling off into the mid 70's.

With almost every day looking the same, Memphis forecasts are easy, aren't they? 😉 Just kidding. All in all not too shabby for your holiday week/weekend, but no relief from the heat unfortunately. Those typical temps and rain chances will continue, because it's only July 1st. Have a great holiday, and be safe everyone!

Jennifer Lambers
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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