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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