Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Another snow chance for the Memphis metro on Wednesday

It's hard to believe that less than 48 hours after severe thunderstorms rumbled through the Memphis metro, bringing large hail and strong wind, we'll likely see snowflakes falling in the metro! Between those events, today turned out to be nearly ideal with highs near 60 and plenty of sunshine. In fact, it was perfect weather for the first flight of our newest piece of equipment - MWN Drone 1! Here's a time-lapse of tonight's sunset from DeSoto County with pilot Richard Hoseney at the helm. Look for much more footage from the drone in the future!

A cold front moved through the area this afternoon with little effect other than escorting a cooler airmass into the region overnight. By morning, we'll be in the upper 30s as an upper level trough moves by to our north. That trough will bring a quick-hitting round of precipitation during the daytime hours. With very cold air aloft associated with that trough, precipitation will initially fall from the clouds as snow. The lowest 2,000 feet of the atmosphere will determine whether it melts before reaching the ground.
As precipitation starts around 9am or so, we could see a mix of rain and snow, and possibly even a few ice pellets, while the air moistens up. Precipitation will last for maybe 4-6 hours with temperatures favoring more snow than rain north of the metro, and more rain south of the metro. The transition takes place over our area where we could see a mix of rain and snow through the morning and into early afternoon. Because temperatures near the ground will remain above freezing throughout the day (mid 30s to near 40) and the ground itself is warm after a couple of very warm days, I expect little impact to travel. Exposed objects and bare ground might get a dusting if we get a quick burst of snow during the event, otherwise most melts on contact. I expect there might be some pretty pics of the snow falling around the area though!

Tuesday evening's HRRR model showing what radar could look like from 6am to 3pm Wednesday. (WeatherBell)

The best chances for minor accumulation would be in Tipton County and points north, and even that no more than a dusting. Precipitation should end pretty rapidly from west to east by 2-3pm, so both morning and evening rush hours should be in decent shape. But it will definitely be a cold day after lower 70s Monday and 60 degrees today!

So all in all, it appears we could get another "pretty to look at," but not much substance, type of event (I won't make a lame joke about the Bachelorette here... OK maybe one). 

Temperatures warm back into the 50s to end the week and into the weekend with rain chances likely again on Saturday. Stay up to date with the latest info via our social media feeds and mobile app, linked below.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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