Thursday, May 28, 2020

A spring weekend, but June means summer! Parting words from #TeamMWN intern Caroline

An upper level low pressure system trapped in the upper flow to our west the past few days has resulted in scattered showers and thunderstorms, somewhat more muggy air, and near average temperatures. That low pressure area will finally move through the Mid-South over the next 24 hours as an accompanying cold front moves through. That leads to what should be a very pleasant weekend before summer heat builds.

Thursday-Friday

As the upper low moves over the Mid-South, expect another uptick in thunderstorm activity this afternoon again with a few strong storms possible mainly south of I-40. Gusty wind and small hail are possible in a Marginal Risk area over north MS into southern west TN. Storms will diminish into the evening but a lingering chance of a few showers remains overnight with the presence of the low.

A Marginal Risk (level 1) of severe weather exists mainly for locations south of I-40 today. The more likely area for scattered severe storms is southeast of the metro. (SPC)

On Friday, a cold front moves through, but with slightly less upper level support and atmospheric moisture, the risk of rain (and even thunderstorms) will be lower. Some pop-up showers or a thunderstorm will be possible but rain chances drop to about 30% from 50-60% Thursday as wind shifts north and highs reach 80. Skies clear early Friday evening, beginning a lengthy dry spell.

An upper level (500mb, or 18,000') low over the Mid-South Thursday morning (represented by a valley in the pressure pattern) shifts east and is replaced by a ridge of high pressure by late in the weekend (represented by a "hill" in the pattern). Model data is Wednesday night's European model. (Pivotal Weather)

Saturday-Monday

High pressure will build south from Canada into the Ohio Valley, pushing drier and cooler air into the Mid-South. This setup is perfect for a gorgeous late May weekend with abundant sunshine, a dry northeast breeze, and below average temperatures. Highs will likely be right around 80 degrees with cool morning lows near 60. If you want one last spring weekend before summer really sets in, this is it!



Tuesday-Friday

As the high to our north shifts to the east and re-establishes itself over the western Atlantic and southeast U.S., wind flow shifts to the south bringing in warmer air. A high pressure ridge aloft will also build in from the west, which will suppress rain chances and result in summertime temperatures as we change the calendar to June. Starting Tuesday, high temperatures climb near or above the 90 degree mark for most of the rest of the week with enough low-level moisture in the air (elevated dewpoints) to keep morning lows at or above 70. 

A quick transition to summertime temperatures arrives next week, according to the NWS NBM model. (WeatherModels.com)

There are hints of a slight weakness in the upper ridge late in the week which would allow for a few showers or thunderstorms, but that is questionable a week out. What we do know is next week will feel like summer, so get those pools ready!

Parting words from an MWN intern

As things go around here, we occasionally have to say good-bye to team members, just as we welcome new ones into the fold. With May ending this weekend, we bid farewell to Caroline Sleeper. Caroline came on a year ago as she was just getting started in her core meteorology classes at Mississippi State as a rising Junior. Here are a few words from her:

I have had the great pleasure of being a part of the MWN team for the past year, and the experiences I have had in this time are invaluable. Thank you so much to Erik especially for giving me this opportunity. You’ve become a mentor to me and have helped me discover what my passions are in the field of meteorology. I have learned so much through this internship that cannot be taught in the classroom. I grew up coming to Memphis (small town Mississippi life) and it has been a joy to help forecast for an area I’ve come to know and love so much. Thank you, Memphians, for all of your support this year! I’ll be in town for some barbecue and shopping soon.

Sincerely, Caroline Sleeper (CS), MWN Intern

Caroline heads into her Senior year having learned a great deal this past year. It's been an absolute pleasure to have witnessed her growth and contributions over the past year. I selfishly wish we could keep her on #TeamMWN for one more year! But with a heavy class load and  preparation for grad school among many other contributions she makes to campus life in Starkville, we must send her on and wish her well! 

Thank you Caroline for being an invaluable part of the team and for serving the residents of the Mid-South so faithfully! You have a very bright future ahead of you and we all wish you the best as you become another rising star in the field of meteorology!

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

Friday, May 22, 2020

What's in store for Memorial Day weekend? Are we heading into "summertime" conditions?

Over the past week we saw mainly dry conditions, but substantial cloud cover and below normal temperatures due to a stagnant upper level low pressure system over middle TN. As we move into Memorial Day weekend we expect temperatures to rise and the "muggy" feel to return to early summer levels for the first time since early last fall. Even after the rise in temperatures over Memorial Day weekend, we will most likely stay warm with temperatures in the 80s throughout next week.

Saturday and Sunday

After overnight temperatures on Friday only drop to around 70 we will see a big warm up on Saturday. Saturday temperatures will top out in the upper 80s with high humidity, which means it will be hot and "muggy". Heat indices could reach the lower 90s, making for an unpleasant time outside but great if you have a pool! There will also be a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms on Saturday. Saturday night lows will only drop to the lower 70s under mostly cloudy skies.

On Sunday the hot and muggy conditions will stay with us as temperatures will again top out in the upper 80s. Heat indices could again top out in the lower 90s, along with another slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. During the overnight hours heading into Monday the low will only drop to around 70, under mostly cloudy skies.

Surface map valid the morning of Sunday May 24th. We are in the area signaling possible showers and thunderstorms. (NWS)

Memorial Day (Monday) and Tuesday

On Memorial Day not much will change as the highs will reach the mid 80s along with another chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms. Be sure to watch for our social media posts on Memorial Day so you can stay updated on potential showers and thunderstorms. If you have appropriately-distanced outdoor activities planned, keep an eye on the sky for mainly afternoon scattered storms. As we head into Tuesday lows will again only drop to around 70 overnight under some cloud cover.


On Tuesday, temperatures will top out in the mid 80s, with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Overnight lows will drop to around 70. 

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday all have very similar forecasts. The afternoon high will probably reach the mid 80s with lows dropping to around 70. All three days there is a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms (~50% chance).

The reason we are seeing rather consistent conditions over the second half of next week is due to a 500mb (18,000ft) jet streak being positioned to our west and Bermuda high to our east. This will result in moist and unstable southerly flow which will lead to a low forming in Texas and possible showers and thunderstorms over our area.
This is model output from the Euro showing 500mb heights and wind valid Tuesday morning. On the map there is a 500mb low centered along the Red River between Oklahoma and Texas. There is also a high pressure system centered over the Mid-Atlantic region (WxBell).


"Summertime" Conditions

Interestingly next week will stay very consistent, as you can see from the forecast. This signals the start of "summertime" conditions in the Memphis area. Summertime conditions are usually characterized by warm and muggy conditions with a chance of showers and storms mainly during the hottest part of the day. These summertime conditions might struggle to maintain their grip though at first, as the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) thinks we could be headed towards a bit cooler temperatures as we head into early June. CPC is predicting slightly below normal temperatures and slightly above normal precipitation from May 29th to June 4th.

The CPC is predicting that temperatures could be slightly below normal for the week of May 29th to June 4th.
The CPC is predicting that precipitation could be slightly above normal for the week of May 29th to June 4th.

Max Magness
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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

Friday, May 15, 2020

Rain chances and early summer humidity return, but for how long?

Over the last week we saw below normal temperatures. We also saw mainly sunshine, but Tuesday was a pretty chilly and dreary day. Over the next week we will see shower and thunderstorm chances increase this weekend, but then reduce after Sunday with a passing cold front. Monday through Friday looks great with relatively mild temperatures and little chance of rain.

Tonight, Saturday and Sunday

After we top out in the lower 80s with scattered showers and thunderstorms today, the overnight hours will see a decrease in shower and thunderstorm potential. Overnight temperatures will only drop to the upper 60s, with an abundance of clouds, and a very small chance of an isolated shower.

Saturday will be similar to what we saw today because there will be scattered showers and thunderstorms with temperatures topping out in the mid 80s. Saturday night and heading into Sunday will be similar to Friday night, as temperatures will probably drop to the upper 60s, with a chance of showers. Muggy conditions will also make it feel quite a bit more uncomfortable than we have been used to lately.

Sunday we are expecting to see an approaching cold front. This means we will be in the warm sector of the low pressure system leading to temperatures around 80. This cold front will ultimately bring showers and thunderstorms After it passes it will bring cooler temperatures and a less humid "feel". Sunday night temperatures will drop to the lower 60s with the passing of the cold front.

This is a map of the expected surface analysis for early Sunday morning. A low pressure system bringing a cold front will most likely be approaching our area (via Weather predictions Center [WPC]). 

Monday and Tuesday


After the cold front passes on Sunday night, it will bring a nice and pleasant Monday. We are expecting a decrease in clouds towards more sun, low humidity, and temperatures in the lower 70s. Heading into Tuesday, overnight temperatures will drop to the mid 50s making for a rather chilly night for this time of year.

On Tuesday we will be in store for another pleasant and mild day with partly cloudy skies, with temperatures again topping out in the lower 70s. Heading into Wednesday during the overnight hours we will again drop to the mid 50s making for a rather chilly night.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 

Wednesday we will have a little cloud cover, making for a mostly sunny day. Temperatures on Wednesday will also top out in the mid 70s for another mild and pleasant day. Heading into Thursday morning temps will be closer to normal as they will drop to around 60. Thursday will top out near 80 under partly cloudy skies.  Thursday night into Friday temperatures will drop into the lower 60s. Friday will be a little warmer as we are expected to top out in the lower 80s under mostly sunny skies.

The reason we will see rather mild and pleasant conditions next week, is because after the cold front passes Sunday, a high pressure system will move over the area bringing plenty of sunshine and low rain chances. A high pressure system almost always brings benign weather conditions.

Week Two

Looking at the predictions put out by the Climate Predictions Center (CPC), temperatures could return to above normal with slightly below normal precipitation from May 22nd to May 28th.

The CPC has a 40-60% of above normal temperatures from May 22nd to May 28th. 

The CPC has a 30-40% of below normal precipitation from May 22nd to May 28th.


Max Magness
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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Complete MWN Forecast: MemphisWeather.net 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

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

So long cool temperatures, hello early summer!

Rest of Today

A weak high pressure remains over the southeast as light rain continues across areas along and north of the Mississippi/Tennessee state line this afternoon. Rain chances will decrease into late afternoon/early evening today but clouds hang on keeping our high temperatures near 60. Cool days will be behind us as a warm front moves up from the south tonight. This will shift our winds to the southeast and keep our temperatures fairly stable with overnight lows staying in the mid 50s. A few scattered showers are possible overnight and into early Wednesday as the warm front pushes north.  

6:00 am Surface Analysis from the Weather Prediction Center for the continental United States. This shows a weak high pressure situated over east-central TN and a forming warm front in the Gulf of Mexico. This warm front will move north overnight bring much more seasonable temperatures across the southeast. (NOAA/WPC)

Wednesday and Thursday 

Weak high pressure ridging will build over the southeast bringing drying conditions for Wednesday and Thursday. A few isolated showers early Wednesday are possible but much of the day will remain dry. Mostly cloudy conditions will give way to partly sunny skies by Wednesday afternoon with much more seasonable highs in the upper 70s. Overnight isolated showers are possible as southerly flow increases bringing moisture into the upper levels. Overall a nice night in store for Wednesday with mostly cloudy skies and lows in the mid 60s.

Thursday is much of the same with partly sunny skies and afternoon highs in the lower 80s - much more typical of mid-May! Winds will become more gusty throughout the day on Thursday out of the south between 10-15 mph with higher gusts. Continued warm air and moisture advection from the Gulf of Mexico will cause humidity levels to rise and allow for rain chances to increase heading into Thursday night. An isolated shower is possible before midnight but mainly to the west of the metro in eastern Arkansas.

European Model from Wednesday morning through Thursday at midnight. Most of Wednesday and Thursday will be dry.  (PivotalWeather)

Friday and Saturday

Isolated showers are possible Friday morning but scattered showers and thunderstorms will be present across the area by early afternoon. Everyone will likely see a shower on Friday but thankfully this will not be an all-day wash-out event. Afternoon highs will vary slightly depending on how much rain an area sees, but most of us will be in the lower 80s Friday afternoon. Overnight rain chances will slack off a bit but with a continued southerly wind, isolated showers and thunderstorms can not be ruled out. Into Saturday more of the same pattern will persist with a partly cloudy start to the day but scattered thunderstorms by the afternoon. Once again highs will be in the low to mid 80s across the region depending on how much sunshine are area gets.

European Model showing scattered convection across the southeast from Thursday at midnight to Saturday at midnight. Most of the rain will move through the area during the afternoon hours on Friday and Saturday. (PivotalWeather)

Friday and Saturday bring us a much more seasonable pattern with warm and muggy afternoons. We have been lucky so far with humidity and temperatures levels staying fairly cool, but a persistent south wind will help to end that trend and welcome early summer weather! 


Sunday through Tuesday

Keeping with the early summer pattern, Sunday will start off with temperatures in the upper 60s but bring another rain chance for the metro as a weak low pressure system approaches the southeast U.S. Conditions will be very similar to Saturday with partly cloudy skies transitioning into scattered thunderstorms and showers by the afternoon and highs warming into the lower 80s. The low pressure system will stall out in northern Louisiana late Sunday keeping rain chances around for early next week. Monday will be a mix of sun and clouds with scattered thunderstorms across the metro area for most of the day. Afternoon highs will be continue to be in the lower 80s and overnight lows will fall into the mid 60s. More of the same for Tuesday with partly sunny skies and scattered showers with highs in the mid 80s by the afternoon.

European Model for 6:00 am Sunday through midnight on Tuesday. A low pressure system will stall over northern LA/ southern AR and will bring scattered showers across the metro Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. (PivotalWeather)
Allison Paige
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: MemphisWeather.net 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

Saturday, May 9, 2020

April 2020 Climate Data for Memphis, TN

April Climate Recap

April turned the corner from the warm winter and early spring as temperatures averaged below normal for the first time in a while. High temperatures were the primary contributor, averaging more than three degrees below normal. Only two days in April reached 80 degrees, compared to three in March. Breaking from the very wet streak of the first quarter of the year, April rainfall came in right at average with nearly one half of the total rainfall for the month occurring on the 12th when some reports of severe weather were also received.

Severe weather occurrences were on the evening of the 8th in Fayette County with some wind damage, the evening of the 12th across the metro as trees and power lines were felled by strong wind, and on the night of the 28th-29th across the southern sections of the metro, including northwest MS. Strong wind was again the primary severe weather phenomena.

Average temperature anomaly (departure from average) for the month of April 2020 (Data: PRISM. Graphic: WxBell)

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN


Temperature
Average temperature: 60.3 degrees (2.6 degrees below average)
Average high temperature: 69.7 degrees (3.3 degrees below average)
Average low temperature: 50.9 degrees (2.0 degrees below average)
Warmest temperature: 82 degrees (8th)
Coolest temperature: 34 degrees (15th)
Heating Degrees Days: 158 (21 above average)
Cooling Degree Days: 23 (52 below average)
Records set or tied: None
Comments: None

Precipitation
Monthly total: 5.57" (0.07" above average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 11 (1.4 days above average)
Wettest 24-hour period: 2.60" (12th)
Snowfall: None
Records set or tied: None
Comments: One day recorded more than an inch of rain, with almost half of the monthly total falling on the 12th.

Miscellaneous
Peak wind: West/50 mph (13th)
Average wind: 8.3 mph
Average relative humidity: 69%
Average sky cover: 50%

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions / MemphisWeather.net, Bartlett, TN


Temperature
Average temperature: 59.4 degrees
Average high temperature: 70.9 degrees
Average low temperature: 49.0 degrees
Warmest temperature: 85.1 degrees (8th)
Coolest temperature: 31.5 degrees (15th)
Comments: None

Precipitation
Monthly total: 5.68" (automated rain gauge), 5.79" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 13
Wettest date: 2.69" (12th) (via automated gauge)
Snowfall: None
Comments: None

Miscellaneous
Peak wind: West/34 mph (25th)
Average relative humidity: 74%
Average barometric pressure: 29.94 in. Hg
Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 2.32 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 59%
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.77 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 53%

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

Climate Outlook - May 2020

The April climate outlook for the United States from the Climate Prediction Center is shown below. Above average temperatures are forecast for the western U.S. into the Southern Plains with highest chances of hot temperatures over the Desert Southwest into west TX. Below average temperatures are expected in the Great Lakes region and interior New England. Odds favor near average temperatures for Memphis. Memphis averages 71.7 degrees for the month.



Wetter than normal weather is expected across the Lower Mississippi River Valley into  the Missouri Valley and parts of the southern Plains. Dry weather is forecast across the Great Lakes and portions of the Intermountain West. For Memphis, odds favor slightly above average rainfall, at a 37% chance, versus a 30% chance of below normal precipitation. Memphis historically averages 5.25 inches in May.

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

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Upper level pattern favors fall-like temperatures as we head deeper in to May

Today and Wednesday

Thanks to a slow-moving cold front, we had a cloudy start to the day with a few isolated showers this morning. Thankfully as the cold front finally sags south and out of our region, clouds will begin to clear and leave us with partly sunny skies by late afternoon. Highs will warm up into the mid-70s today but behind the cold front, winds will shift to out of the north-northwest up to 15 mph. We will continue to stay dry overnight with lows falling into the low 50s.

Weather Prediction Center's surface analysis from 7:00am this morning showing a sluggish cold front moving through the metro area. (WPC)
[Editor's Note: Allison is about to go all weather-nerdy on you. Know that long-wave and short-wave troughs are basically fronts at the upper levels of the atmosphere. A long-wave trough is like the dominant Auntee and the short-waves are her ne'er-do-well little nephews. The Auntee is best represented on a weather map by a valley in the pressure pattern that encompasses a large region. Misbehaving nephew short-waves run circles around the Auntee and serve to reinforce her general exasperation.]



Cool and windy conditions continue as a long-wave upper level trough fully situates over the eastern United States Wednesday. A quick-moving short-wave trough will move through the Ohio Valley strengthening the long-wave trough, pulling a much cooler air mass into the southeast. Thankfully, the short-wave will not bring any shower activity to the region on Wednesday. Overall, Hump Day looks very pleasant! We will have a mix of sun and clouds throughout the day. Afternoon highs will be well below the nearly 80-degree average high temperature for this time of year with temperatures topping out in the upper 60s!

Tuesday morning NAM3 model pressure values at about 18,000', valid from noon on Tuesday through Thursday evening. This shows a short-wave trough moving through the Ohio Valley on Wednesday that strengthens the long-wave trough over the eastern U.S. as well as a second shortwave trough forming Thursday. (PivotalWeather.com)

Thursday - Friday

By Thursday, a weak high pressure system will build over the region as the upstream ridge in the western United States moves eastward. This will allow for much of Thursday to be dry with mostly sunny skies and afternoon highs reaching into the low 70s. This will be short-lived as another short-wave trough and associated cold front at the surface moves through the southeast Thursday evening into Friday afternoon. Winds will become more southerly Thursday afternoon allowing for clouds to build back quickly throughout the evening. Showers and a few thunderstorms return to the metro area by Thursday night, continuing for much of the night and into Friday morning with lows falling into the mid 50s. Given the lack of unstable air and fairly cool temperatures, severe weather is not expected.

Tuesday morning GFS model precipitation and surface pressure valid for Wednesday at midnight through Friday at 7:00pm. This shows another short-wave trough and associated cold front moving through, bringing showers and much cooler air to the southeast. (PivotalWeather.com)

By Friday afternoon, rain chances will diminish as winds become more northerly and possibly quite gusty. Friday will be on the chilly side, with highs only reaching up into the mid-60s. When it is all said and done, rain totals for this event will likely be between a quarter and three-quarters of an inch.

Tuesday morning GFS model showing the total accumulated rainfall through midnight Friday. (PivotalWeather.com)

Friday night, northerly winds will continue at 10-15 mph pulling in a much cooler air mass to the southeast U.S. This will keep temperatures unseasonably cool with Saturday morning lows falling into the low 40s, threatening the current record low of 44 set nearly a century ago! The average low temperature for this time of year is 59; that's just shy of what Friday's high temperatures will be!

Tuesday morning GFS model surface temperatures valid for midnight Wednesday through Saturday morning. This show the progression of temperatures and the well below average lows for Friday night into Saturday morning. (PivotalWeather.com)

Saturday - Tuesday

A much calmer pattern will be present Saturday through Monday. Saturday will be nearly a perfect day with tons of sunshine and blue sky! Cool temperatures stick around with afternoon highs only warming into the mid-60s and overnight lows falling into the mid-40s once again. Sunday will be a bit warmer with high temperatures reaching back into the low 70s and lows falling near 50. Thankfully sunshine sticks around for Sunday and Monday with a few clouds building back across the region into Monday afternoon. Cool highs continue to start off the work week with highs near 70 (though "cool" is really "ideal" given we're heading into mid May!). Tuesday will bring another isolated chance for a few showers as mostly cloudy skies return to region! 



Allison Paige
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: MemphisWeather.net 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