Sunday, June 27, 2021

Typical summer pattern to start the week, cooler and wetter to finish it out

We have settled into a pretty typical summer pattern here in the Mid-South, with high temperatures in the low 90s, lows in the 70s, and high humidity. The good news is that a pattern shift late in the week looks to bring us some relief from the heat in the form of higher rain chances, as well as front which shows early signs of bringing in a bit drier air by the 4th of July holiday! 

Early week - hot with low rain chances

We start out the week hot and sunny, with Sunday looking to be in the low 90s under mostly sunny skies. Heat indexes will be in the mid to upper 90s in the afternoon, hot but not quite as bad as we’ve seen in previous days. As we start the work week, daily afternoon shower and storm chances will return. Coverage will be very isolated as we start out the week, with Monday looking to be pretty dry for most of us, although a few of us could get a rouge shower or storm in the afternoon. 

It’s basically rinse and repeat for Tuesday, with isolated showers and storms once again. However, humidity will remain uncomfortable with a south wind continuing to pump moisture into the area from the Gulf. A few more of us could get in on some showers or storms on Tuesday afternoon and evening. Highs remain pretty hot in the low 90s, but most of us will stay dry for the early part of the week. By Wednesday, more tropical moisture will be in place across the area, and coverage of showers and storms will be a bit more widespread in the afternoon. 

Late week - wetter and cooler

As we get into the latter part of the week, a few factors come into play that will influence a marked increase in precipitation chances. The first is the tropics. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has highlighted an area in the western Atlantic for potential development. This system is becoming more organized and models are forecasting a tropical depression or weak tropical storm making landfall along the GA/SC coast early in the week. Due to the flow around a large area of high pressure over the Mid-Atlantic, the moisture from this tropical feature will invade most of the southeast, and may get as far west as the Memphis area, increasing rain chances later in the week. The NHC currently has a 50% chance of this system developing into a tropical depression or storm. 

A tropical system in the western Atlantic has a 50% chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm before making landfall in the SC/GA area on Tuesday. (NHC)

The second factor coming into play will be a cold front, yes a cold front in early July! Not too common this time of year but I’m sure it will be very much appreciated if it does indeed bring drier air and below average temperatures. Keep in mind, we are in the peak of summer, so “below average” temperatures would likely mean highs in the low to mid 80s instead of the 90s. 

But before we get to that, we have to get through greatly increased rain chances beginning Thursday. As the front moves towards the southeast U.S., tropical moisture aided in part by the Atlantic system will interact with the front and increase our rainfall chances. Most likely scenario appears to be up to 2" of rain across the area through Saturday, though some areas with multiple rounds of storms could easily eclipse that. As dry as it is north of the state line, I think some decent rainfall will be appreciated!

The most recent European model ensemble indicates rain amounts of 1-2" through Saturday, though it could be higher in localized areas that get multiple storms. (WeatherBell)

Early 4th of July outlook

However, all that rain may make you a bit nervous for 4th of July plans! It's still a week out, but early signs indicate we could luck out and dry out (and cool down!) just in time for the holiday. Fingers crossed that the weather will be nice! Highs to end the week look to be about 10 degrees cooler than they will be to start it - in the low 80s due to increased cloud cover and moisture. Finally as we get to 4th of July, the front should have cleared some of the high dewpoints and rainfall, leaving us feeling fairly comfortable! As of right now, it’s looking like great weather to watch some fireworks. As always, stay safe in the heat, and if thunder roars, go indoors! 

The overnight run of the European model is fairly aggressive with a late week front and brings dewpoints in the 50s into our area for July 4th. Not sure it'll be that dry, but there are signs of drier and cooler air for the holiday! (WeatherBell)

Christian Bridges
MWN Social Media Intern

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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Sunday, June 20, 2021

A little of everything in this week's forecast!

Two weeks ago it was flooding rains over southeast AR and north MS. This past week, it dried up completely and the first 90 degree day of the year was followed by several more. To end the week, Tropical Storm (briefly) Claudette moved by to our south and is now moving through the Carolinas on a path back into the western Atlantic, leaving humidity in its wake, but no rain locally. This week, we'll get a little of everything!

Forecast Track of Claudette over the coming days. (NHC)

Monday - Stormy

The first official day of summer brings more humid weather with temperatures barely making it down to the mid 70s by morning. As a cold front approaches, that atmospheric moisture will combine with colder air aloft to cause instability to rise, setting the stage for numerous thunderstorms, particularly in the mid to late-afternoon hours. Given the unstable air, but a lack of strong wind aloft, a few storms could be strong to marginally severe ahead of the front. The main risk is some strong wind from thunderstorm downdrafts, as well as very heavy rain. The front moves through before sunset with lingering showers into the early overnight. Rainfall totals will be welcome, but not necessarily excessive - 1-2" seems likely.

A Marginal Risk (level 1 of 5) of severe weather is forecast for Monday. A couple of storms could produce strong wind gusts. (NOAA/SPC)

A Slight Risk (2 of 4) of excessive rainfall or flash flooding is forecast for Monday. Rainfall totals of 1-2" are likely from mid-day Monday through midnight. (NOAA/WPC)

Tuesday-Wednesday - Cooler with low humidity

Monday's front is actually quite potent for this time of year and ushers in unseasonably dry and cooler air for Tuesday and Wednesday. Lows drop to near 60 each morning and may dip into the upper 50s Wednesday morning in rural areas around the metro. Mostly sunny skies and temperatures near 80 will greet you Tuesday afternoon - quite a nice reprieve for this time of year! It'll be a little warmer Wednesday afternoon with highs in the mid 80s but still comfortable humidity levels and abundant sunshine. Our gold star day of the week is Tuesday with Wednesday a closer second!

Forecast dewpoints for midday Tuesday are in the mid 50s in the metro - very comfortable for mid-June! (NWS)

Thursday-Friday - Muggies return

As wind shifts back to the south and hot high pressure aloft builds in, humidity rises and so do the temperatures. Slightly warmer Thursday morning lows in the upper 60s lead to highs back near 90 in the afternoon. Even muggier air is in place by Friday morning when lows are in the mid 70s and highs just above 90. Both days will be sticky enough that a few daytime showers or thunderstorms are possible, especially to our north on Friday.


Outdoor plans for next weekend could be in jeopardy as another front dives south into the region. With humid and warm air in place, showers and thunderstorms seem a good bet with more instances of heavy rain possible. Timing is uncertain this far out, but plan for lows in the 70s, highs in the 80s, and decent chances of rain each day.

Next weekend's forecast rainfall from the European ensemble is near 2" for the Memphis area. (WxBell)

Week 2 "Too Far Out"-look

The temperature and precipitation outlooks for the following week (leading towards July 4 weekend) appear favorable if you aren't a fan of excessive heat or rain. Odds favor below normal temperatures, which typically average in the low 90s and low 70s for highs and lows respectively, and perhaps slightly above average rain for the week, as depicted below.

The outlook for June 28-July 4 shows below average temperatures for much of the eastern U.S. (NOAA/CPC)

The outlook for June 28-July 4 shows slightly above average temperatures for the eastern U.S. (NOAA/CPC)

For the latest forecast anytime, check out the MWN Forecast in our mobile apps, or click here.

I hope all of the dads out there had a great Sunday!

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

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Relief from falling water - from the sky and our brows!

Last weekend on this blog, we correctly forecast a wet pattern for this past week, though we didn't expect to see 10-15" of rain across sections of southeast AR into northern MS! Meanwhile, those of us north of I-40 (or so) enjoyed tolerable rain amounts most days that helped green up our Bermuda lawns! 

Departure from average rainfall amounts for this past week show nearly a foot of rain above average across north MS and southeast AR. In west TN, near average in the metro but below average just to our north. (WxBell) 

We also correctly identified our first 90-degree temperature of the year occurring in the past couple of days. However, one thing we missed on last weekend was this statement regarding this (current) weekend's weather: "...a push of drier air into the region that will bring relief from high dewpoints and a breath of fresh air from the north." Oops! While the temperature and scattered thunderstorm prediction we also made was correct, the front that has passed through has done nothing for the humidity (yet)!

The week ahead - sunshine and low humidity

About that "(yet)" mentioned above... perhaps the week-ahead models were just off a couple days. Starting tomorrow, we will finally feel the effects of drier air that is pushing south behind this weekend's cold front. Dewpoints, which are a direct measure of the amount of moisture in the air, will fall from the mid 70s to near 80 in some spots this weekend (oppressive!), to the 60s Monday and then maybe the 50s by mid-week (very pleasant!).

The Muggy Meter for Tuesday afternoon shows dewpoints 10-15 degrees cooler than this weekend!

In addition, a dry pattern sets up as high pressure at the surface builds in from the north and aloft from the west, while a trough of low pressure settles into the eastern U.S. This pattern results in slightly cooler temperatures (mainly 80s during the days and 60s at night), lower humidity, and abundant sunshine. I believe the farmers and others flooded out to our south this past week will gladly take that forecast!

The mid-level pressure pattern and departures from normal for this week from the European ensemble shows a massive ridge of high pressure over the western U.S. extending east to the Mississippi Valley, while a trough of low pressure sits over the eastern seaboard. (WxBell)

The surface weather pattern on Wednesday morning, according to the European ensemble, shows high pressure over the Great Lakes extending well south with drier and cooler than average flow around it. (WxBell)

Next weekend - tropics get the attention

By next weekend, eyes will be turning south as a tropical disturbance could be moving towards the western or central Gulf coast. While it's still early, indications are that an area of showers and storms will remain fairly disorganized well south in the Bay of Campeche, off the Mexican coast south of the TX coastline, into mid-week. After that, it could start to move north and perhaps organize a bit. It's entirely too early to make any predictions, but the western to central Gulf coast (TX, LA, MS, AL) could see a fair amount of rain from this system next weekend into early the following week and it's conceivable that a tropical storm could bring gusty wind to the coast in that timeframe as well. 

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is keeping a close eye on a disturbance in the Bay Of Campeche. It currently poses no threat to the U.S., but by mid-week could start moving north bringing rain to the western Gulf coast. (NOAA/NHC)

For now, it looks to have little to no impact on the Mid-South for the next 7 days, though another frontal system is more likely to bring precipitation chances back to the Mid-South next weekend with humidity increasing as well. Stay tuned!

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

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Pesky upper low brings a wet & muggy pattern this week

The average first occurrence of 90 degrees in Memphis is May 24. This afternoon as I type this, on June 6, the temperature is 76 under cloudy skies with scattered showers over the region. We hit 89 twice near the end of May and really have not threatened it so far in June. And as you'll see from the forecast below, it's not likely to happen this work week either. Three cheers for less A/C (if you can tolerate the humidity that has arrived in its place)!

Atmospheric Overview

A large upper level low pressure system over the Southern Plains the past few days will lift slowly northeast into Missouri on Monday, then into the Ohio Valley mid-week as it weakens. A trough will extend south from the low into the Mid-South early this week before shifting east as high pressure aloft builds into the area from the southwest behind the weakened and departing low. 

This pattern has pushed summer heat well to our north - into the Northern Plains and east into the Northeast U.S. where highs are reaching the 90s to near 100 degrees in spots! Meanwhile, scattered to widespread showers and embedded heating-of-the-day thunderstorms cover the south-central portion of the country with rain chances having spread east into the southeaster U.S. this weekend. As the upper low shifts east, so do the higher rain chances, before diminishing later this week as high pressure overhead starts to regain control. Let's walk through the week day-by-day...

The upper level pressure pattern from the European model ensemble through Friday evening shows an upper level low weakening and lifting northeast this week, replaced by higher pressure. The blue colors indicate anomalously low pressure, while the orange anomalously high. (WeatherBell) 


Rain has been relatively hit and miss this weekend and I expect that trend to continue into Monday with scattered showers and thunderstorms during the warmer part of the day and lingering showers into the evening. You may or may not get wet - it's impossible to predict where and when the rain falls. However, we can be sure that southerly wind keeps the dewpoints elevated at or above 70, which is high enough to ruin your hair-do and considered very muggy. After a morning low near 70, afternoon highs reach the low 80s.


With the weakening upper low passing by to our north and the trough passing through our area, rain chances are a bit higher (in the 60-70% range) and may include more of the overnight hours as well, though any thunderstorms that occur are more likely to be in the afternoon/evening hours when peak heating occurs. Humidity remains gross as southerly wind continues to fetch Gulf moisture and throw it over the region. Lows remain at or above 70 (which honestly isn't that low) and highs top out in the low to mid 80s. 


As the low starts to move away to our east, high pressure aloft takes its place. However, lingering humidity and a bit more heating thanks to some sunshine breaking through means scattered shower and thunderstorm chances continue, though at lower probabilities (50% Thursday and about 30% Friday, as of now). Precipitation totals through Friday morning could reach the 2-3" range after multiple days of elevated rain chances, though the scattered nature on at least a couple of days could mean wide variances from place to place.

Forecast rainfall through Friday morning from the NWS Weather Prediction Center. 2-3" will be common across the Mid-South. (PivotalWx)

High temps will likely reach near average values in the upper 80s by Friday. With dewpoints remaining uncomfortably high, you should make sure your deodorant supply is in good shape to start the week. 

Next weekend

Early signs point to a bit of relief Saturday in the form of a cool front. If models are correct (that may be a 50/50 proposition six days out, but there is at least some agreement amongst them), then we'll see one more day of scattered thunderstorms. But we'd also receive a push of drier air into the region that will bring relief from high dewpoints and a breath of fresh air from the north, leading to a dry Sunday. 

One thing to consider though is that it won't necessarily be cooler behind the front. In fact, high pressure aloft looks like it might continue to build, so there's a decent chance that by next Sunday afternoon we will be looking the first 90-degree temperature of the year squarely in the eyes. And by mid-June, it's not only almost 3 weeks behind, but also perfectly normal to see 90 every day for a couple of months. Summer is on the horizon!

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

Saturday, June 5, 2021

May 2021 Climate Report for Memphis, TN

May Climate Recap

May continued the cooler and drier pattern compared to normal that began in April. Temperatures averaged about two and one-half degrees below normal with no 90 degree readings for the month, though the high temperature did reach 89 a couple of times at the end of the month. (The average first date of 90 degrees is May 24.) There were 12 days with daily average temperatures above average, most of those in the latter third of the month, but none well above average. On the other hand, the high temperature on the 29th of 61 degrees tied the record for coolest on that date. 

Precipitation ended below average (76% of normal), even though the number of rain days and number of one-inch-plus rain days for the month was very nearly average.  In fact, 83% of the total May rainfall fell in the first 11 days of the month. Following a very quiet severe weather month in April, severe weather in May was also almost non-existent with only one day in which severe weather reports were received. On the late afternoon of the 9th, a broken line of strong to severe storms affected the metro with a few wind damage reports in Tunica and Tate County and a brief tornado touchdown in Tipton County near Drummonds that caused EF-1 (95 mph) damage along a roughly five-mile path. Fortunately there were no injuries or casualties.

Radar imagery as the Tipton County tornado moved just east of Drummonds, TN on May 9.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 69.5 degrees (2.6 degrees below average) 
Average high temperature: 78.6 degrees (3.1 degrees below average) 
Average low temperature: 60.4 degrees (2.0 degrees below average) 
Warmest temperature: 89 degrees (24th, 25th, 27th) 
Coolest temperature: 49 degrees (7th) 
Heating Degrees Days: 30 (9 above average)
Cooling Degree Days: 175 (65 below average) 
Records set or tied: May 29 - daily record low maximum (61 degrees)
Comments: There were no days with high temperatures above 90, nor any days with low temperatures below freezing. The average first 90 degree day is May 24.

Monthly total: 4.01" (1.26" below average) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 10 (0.6 days below average) 
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.53" (2nd-3rd) 
Snowfall: 0.0"
Records set or tied: None
Comments: Two days recorded precipitation of more than an inch, right at average for May.

Peak wind: North/38 mph (6th) and Southwest/38 mph (9th) 
Average wind: 8.7 mph 
Average relative humidity: 64% 
Average sky cover: 62% 

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 68.0 degrees 
Average high temperature: 79.2 degrees 
Average low temperature: 57.6 degrees 
Warmest temperature: 92.0 degrees (27th) 
Coolest temperature: 44.6 degrees (14th) 
Comments: None 

Monthly total: 3.62" (automated rain gauge), 4.04"(manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 11
Wettest date: 1.16" (4th) (via automated gauge) 
Snowfall: 0.0"
Comments: None

Peak wind: South/27 mph (9th)
Average relative humidity: 74% 
Average barometric pressure: 30.04 in. Hg
Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 1.96 degrees 
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 73% 
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.11 degrees 
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 68% 

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

Climate Outlook - June 2021

The June climate outlook for the United States from the Climate Prediction Center is shown below. Above average temperatures are forecast for much of the northern and western U.S. Below average temperatures are forecast in the Southern Plains to Lower Mississippi Valley. Odds favor near average temperatures for Memphis (34%) versus a 33% chance of above or below normal temperatures. The average temperature for June is 79.9 degrees.

Precipitation is expected to be above normal for the Southern Plains and southeast U.S., stretching into the Mid-Atlantic, with highest odds in eastern TX into LA. Below average precipitation is forecast for the northwestern U.S. For Memphis, odds favor above average precipitation (51%) versus only 16% chance of below average precipitation. Rainfall historically averages 3.99 inches.

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

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Cool and wet for the first week of June, and Atlantic hurricane season begins!

Summer weather has held off for about as long as possible across the Mid-South. May temperatures finished off below average, coming on the heels of a cooler than average April. Overall, it was quite a nice spring across the Memphis area and for most of the Southeast! Rainfall was also a bit below normal, due to frequent cold fronts pushing Gulf moisture out of the area. We still have yet to hit 90 degrees this year, and are now almost a week behind the average first 90° reading of the year! 

Temperature departure from average for the month of May. Much of the country experienced cooler than typical weather. (WeatherBell)

Forecast overview - wet and cool

Now as we enter the month of June, another pattern shift will bring tropical moisture back into the region and set the stage for daily chances of showers and thunderstorms. Persistent lower pressure in the upper atmosphere over the central and eastern U.S., along with increased cloud cover from daily rain and storms will keep temperatures below average over the next week. We should finally be back in the 80s by Thursday, but temperatures will only slowly climb to the mid 80s as we enter this weekend and next week. Not an above average day in sight! 

We were a bit below average for rainfall in the month of May, but that trend looks to quickly be reversed as we enter the month of June. The Mid-South will be positioned between a ridge of high pressure to our east over the Atlantic and another large ridge over the western U.S., which is bringing very hot temperatures all the way into the Pacific Northwest. This pattern allows moisture to be pumped off the Gulf. When combined with a trough of low pressure over the area and repeated disturbances moving through the trough, we'll see daily chances of scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms. 

The upcoming pattern (as depicted by this upper level forecast chart for Wednesday night) features a trough of low pressure in the middle of the country and ridges of high pressure to the east and west. This pattern is very favorable for showers and storms, as well as cooler than normal temperatures. (WeatherBell)

Rain chances and amounts

Tonight and Wednesday look to have an almost guaranteed chance of rain across the area as a disturbance moves through the Mid-South. Rain chances diminish a bit Thursday through Saturday, but there will still be a chance for widely scattered to scattered afternoon showers and storms. By the latter half of the weekend and into the beginning of next week, another disturbance is poised to move through the area, once again bringing more widespread coverage of showers and thunderstorms. 

Over the next week, models are showing most of us picking up a healthy dose of rain - around 1.5 to 2.5 inches by next Tuesday. However, it is important to note that this time of year, storms can be fairly random, and it can rain 2 inches on one side of town but be completely dry on the other. Forecasting exactly where and who will get a storm is nearly impossible with pop-up storms, but just know there will be at least  a chance nearly every day. Severe weather doesn’t look to be a threat, but any storm could have lightning, torrential rain, and gusty wind. Just because it isn’t warned doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful, especially if lightning is present.

The European model forecast of rainfall over the Mid-South through next Tuesday morning. Due to the random nature of storms, a wide range of rainfall accumulation is likely across the area. (WeatherBell)

Atlantic hurricane season begins

Something else of note as we enter the month of June - today is the first day of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season! While we may be a few hundred miles away from the coast, tropical cyclones can still have a significant impact in Memphis, with flooding rains and the potential for spin-up tornadoes. Nothing is on the radar in the Atlantic at the moment, but just something to keep in the back of your mind, especially if you are planning on a beach vacation later in the summer.  NOAA's prediction for this year is a 60% chance of above normal activity with 13-20 named storms. (We've already had Tropical Storm Ana - another early-bird that formed in May - that affected Bermuda!)

NOAA's prediction for the 2021 hurricane season.

Overall, as long as you don’t mind some rain and humidity, the pattern is not looking bad for us. We have really lucked out on missing any big-time heat so far this season, and that trend looks to continue for at least the next week. However we know our luck can’t last forever, and 90 degree days are probably lurking just around the corner. Stay tuned, and enjoy this first week of meteorological summer! 

Christian Bridges
MWN Social Media 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