Friday, August 13, 2021

Summer heat abates as rain chances return, the tropics come to life, and transition on #TeamMWN

The first week of August seemed a bit surreal with below average temperatures and drier than average humidity. Mother Nature made up for that this past week as the blast furnace was cranked up, highs reached the mid 90s each day, lows barely dropped below 80, and rain-free weather continued. As we hit mid-month, we are looking at yet another pattern, one with slightly cooler but not abnormal temperatures and daily rain chances. 

Recent dry spell

The rain is welcome after a 16-day spell with no recorded rainfall at Memphis International. As of Thursday, portions of Shelby and Tipton Counties officially moved into D0 "abnormally dry" status on the National Drought Monitor (if you have been watering daily, you would not be surprised to hear that!). In fact, the 12 dry days to start the month has only been matched three times on record, the last in 1989. That all ended today as storms deluged portions of the city with 2-3"+ and the airport officially recorded just over an inch of rain.

The Drought Monitor for the Mid-South on Thursday shows abnormally dry conditions across east AR into the Delta and western sections of  the metro due to a lack of recent rainfall. (UNL)

The forecast

Looking towards the weekend, a cold front will seep into the area, providing potential for daily showers and thunderstorms, though not high chances, and additional cloud cover. That will serve to keep temperatures down a bit - near 90 Saturday and mid to upper 80s Sunday. The front will stall over the area, resulting in light north wind for a couple of days, but it won't move far enough south to drop the humidity much. Fortunately, midsummer dewpoints in the low 70s won't be paired with mid 90s temps!

The European model's forecast of mid-level (18,000') pressure values (black lines) and anomaly (colors) for the next week depicts below average pressure (blues) to start the week, which results in slightly cooler temperatures, then building pressure as the week goes on, thus a period of warming. If you look close you can spot a couple of tropical systems, one in the Gulf of Mexico (Fred) and one in the eastern Pacific (blue circles of small areas of low pressure). (WeatherBell)

Heading into next week, we'll see high pressure begin to build aloft a bit, slowly causing temperatures to return to the low 90s.With dewpoints remaining in the 70s, it'll be quite muggy, but there will also be daily thunderstorm chances continuing right through the week, most likely in the afternoons. Another front looks to make a run at us late next weekend. We'll see how far it gets! For the complete MWN forecast, updated daily, search out our app or visit on the web.

Tropical Update

The Atlantic and Gulf tropics are starting to pick up as well, though no direct impacts are expected in the Mid-South at this point. Tropical Depression Fred is likely to skirt the west coast of Florida this weekend and make landfall in the panhandle as a moderate tropical storm early Monday before turning north and east away from our area. Tropical Depression 7 will become Grace as it races west on nearly the same track Fred took across the Caribbean. It's too early to know for sure where it is headed after about the middle of next week. Forecast tracks on both storms from the National Hurricane Center are below.

#TeamMWN Update

Finally, we end with a farewell. #TeamMWN intern Ajay Kanteti joined our little junket in January, graduated in May from Mississippi State with his Bachelor's Degree in Meteorology and now is heading to the University of Wisconsin to pursue a Master's Degree. Below are Ajay's parting words:

I have greatly appreciated the chance to serve the Memphis metro area & gotten to know some great people in my time working at MemphisWeather.Net! I hope that my future career might give me an opportunity to return to the Memphis area & serve the people of the Memphis metro again. Meanwhile, you are being left in very capable hands with my co-interns and of course Erik!

I am so appreciative of Ajay's willingness to share his knowledge of weather with our Memphis-based audience and for his dedication to the team the past eight months, not to mention staying on through the summer to help me in the transition! We wish him all the best as he pursues another degree and ultimately a career using his passion for weather to serve. All the best, Ajay!

While Ajay moves on, I am happy to announce that #TeamMWN is actually growing! Joining the team of interns for this coming year are sophomore Dylan Hudler and seniors Natalie Naquin and Sami Deffenbaugh! All are meteorology majors at Mississippi State and are looking forward to honing their skills in the weather and communication on our MWN social media channels! Welcome aboard and #HailState!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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