Thursday, September 10, 2020

Will these hot and dry conditions ever end? Where is fall?

[ Editor's note: Many of you have (rightly) called us out for our outlooks from about a week ago signaling a significant cool down this week that will not occur. We followed the vast majority of the guidance we had access to, including the various mid-range computer models from various agencies and the NWS Climate Prediction Center. All showed a part of the cold blast that affected the Rocky Mountains and parts of the plains seeping into the Mid-South by this time. However, that scenario changed over the weekend and our forecasts reflected that. Subtropical high pressure over the southeast U.S. held firm and kept the cooler air at bay. 

I know it was widely anticipated and you are disappointed after a long summer when the first shot of cold air doesn't materialize. Me too. Forecasting an anomalous (even record-setting for some areas) cold air event this early in the season getting this far south was probably a roll of the dice, but the guidance was fairly unanimous. Our time will come, but early September is a TAD early for that sort of cool wave! Fall has not started - do not lose hope when the game has barely begun! Now on to the week ahead... courtesy of Max: ]

Over the last week conditions have been pretty benign. There hasn't been any rain officially recorded since September 3rd. Besides no precipitation the skies have been full of sun. Due to the overabundance of sun our temperatures have varied in between the mid 80s and lower 90s over the last week. Even though there's been slightly above normal temperatures over the last week it hasn't felt too terrible. This is due to lower dew points, so it's more of a "dry heat" then the tropical heat we're used to in mid-summer. This is not unusual for late summer/early fall.

Friday and this weekend

After we top out a little over 90 on Thursday, overnight lows going into Friday will drop to the lower 70s. Friday during the day it looks like it'll be a little more humid as we top out near 90. Rain is not expected on Friday, but we are expecting partly cloudy skies (so maybe that'll help). As we head into Saturday overnight lows will only drop to the mid 70s. Saturday temperatures will top out near 90 again, under partly sunny skies. Thankfully there is a slight chance of an afternoon/evening shower on Saturday. Overnight lows Saturday into Sunday will drop to the low 70s. Sunday we will will top out in the upper 80s under partly sunny skies. Again there will be a chance of showers and thunderstorms, so hopefully we get some much needed rain. We aren't in a drought right now, but if the heat and dry conditions keep up we could head into a drought in the next few weeks. 

This is the most current drought monitor for TN showing no drought conditions in the MWN coverage area of southwest TN.

This is the most current drought monitor for MS showing no drought for the MWN coverage area of northwest MS.

This upcoming week

The theme for this upcoming week is consistent temperatures, with chances of rain everyday. After we drop into the lower 70s heading into Monday, we will top out in the mid 80s. There is a slight chance of showers and fingers crossed. Heading into Tuesday overnight lows drop to near 70. Tuesday afternoon we should again only top out in the mid 80s. There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon and evening. Heading into Wednesday, morning lows will drop to near 70 again. Wednesday and Thursday will be one in the same with temperatures topping out in the mid 80s. Both Wednesday and Thursday have a chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms. This would bring some much needed rain to the area, so fingers crossed we all see some. 

Whats with all the pretty sunsets and sunrises lately?

So over the last few weeks there have been many fires across the United States. The most devastating of fires have been occurring in the states of Oregon, Washington, and California. Some of the smoke has made it's way towards Memphis, and has been sitting over us for the last few days. When there are more particles in the air (in this case more smoke), this results in scattering. The scattering (mainly red scattering) presents with usually bright red (can be other colors though) sunsets and sunrises.

This is model output from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR). The model output shows the near surface smoke that is present in the atmosphere. The highest concentrations are along the west coast of the United States where active fires are nearby. The blue you see over Memphis is all it takes for us to get some nice sunsets and sunrises though! 

Max Magness
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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