Monday, October 25, 2021

Chilly weather incoming, just in time for Halloween!

If you’re a fan of chilly nights, cool and rainy days, and leaves changing color, this week is the perfect forecast for you! Sustained cooler weather looks to FINALLY be here for the fall season! The weather is looking very nice for Tuesday, with a cold front and low pressure system bringing cloudy and rainy weather for Wednesday through Friday. Halloween weekend is looking wonderful, right around the average for the time of year, with chilly nights and cool, sunny, and crisp afternoons. At this time it’s looking great for trick-or treaters! 

A pattern shift coming

The overall weather pattern over the U.S. has essentially been locked in place for some time. I’m sure you’ve noticed the almost “endless summer” feel of September and much of October, despite some recent small stretches of relief from high humidity. There has been a persistent high pressure ridge over the Mid-South and eastern U.S., with a persistent low pressure trough over the western U.S. Recently, this pattern has brought a barrage of much-needed rainfall, and even some mountain snow, to the drought and wildfire stricken west coast, but unfortunately for us that has meant that fall weather has been delayed with well above average temperatures. Now, as we finish out the month of October, that pattern is finally flipping, with a high pressure ridge developing over the western U.S., and a low pressure trough developing over the eastern U.S. This means that cooler air looks to finally be here to stay for us in Memphis. 

The upper level pattern over the U.S. Thursday morning, as shown by the GFS model. You can easily see the large dip in the jet stream over the eastern U.S., which will bring us below average temperatures. This is a complete reversal of the pattern over the last 6 weeks or so. (WeatherBell)

Tuesday-Wednesday - sun gives way to rain

The cold front that gave us a gorgeous Monday afternoon will allow our temperatures to fall into the 40s by Tuesday morning. We’ll wake up to cool and refreshing weather, and it should stay that way all day! We likely won’t even hit 70 degrees on Tuesday afternoon, with temps in the upper 60s, lots of sunshine, and dry air in place. However, by Wednesday rain and the possibility of a few storms looks to enter the picture once again. The good news is that the cold front moving in Wednesday will not have any warm air or severe weather ingredients to work with, since this front will come on the heels of Monday’s front. The atmosphere simply will not have enough time to ‘reset’ for another round of severe weather in the Mid-South. Rain chances will increase slowly Wednesday as the front approaches, starting with a few showers, increasing to a steadier rain with a few storms possible by the evening. The rain could be heavy at times Wednesday night, as the storm system will have an injection of tropical moisture from the remnants of Eastern Pacific hurricane Rick. Highs will be right around 70 degrees, with a low in the mid 50s. 

Rainfall totals through the end of the week show widespread one inch totals are likely with heavier amounts to our west where more thunderstorms are likely. Some of this rain is indirectly contributed by a hurricane that makes landfall about 1500 miles away in the Eastern Pacific! (WeatherBell) 

End of the week - cool, damp, and breezy

The steadier rain moves out Wednesday night, but the large area of low pressure will linger over the Mid-South for a couple more days, keeping our weather cool, breezy, and unsettled. Thursday, expect a cool day with cloudy skies, off and on showers, and wind gusts that could approach 30 mph! Highs will only be in the mid 60s. We’ll drop down to near 50 for Friday night, and then Friday looks to be the coolest day of the next 7. We won’t budge much from our starting temperature of 50, and we should stay in the 50s all day! It will feel quite chilly out there with the cloud cover, lingering light rain showers or drizzle and breezy wind continuing. Keep this is mind if you are planning to head out to Friday Night Lights! 

Halloween weekend and beyond - FALL!

Luckily, the low pressure slowly lumbers out of the southern U.S. just in time for the holiday weekend. Saturday, clouds will be decreasing throughout the day, and we should end the day mostly sunny. Highs will remain cool in the low 60s. The clouds clearing out will allow our lows to drop much further, so Saturday night we should easily get into the 40s. 

A look at the temperature anomaly (departure from normal) for oct 28-Nov 4, as forecast by the European model. Below average weather persists into next week! (WeatherBell)

Halloween is looking picture-perfect. No tricks with this forecast! It should be a stellar day, with highs in the upper 60s, with temperatures falling into the low 60s and 50s for trick-or-treat time. We love to see it! 

The nice weather rolls on right into next week, and thankfully at this time it doesn’t look like well above average temperatures will be returning any time soon. 

The temperature outlook from the NWS Climate Prediction Center for the first week of November indicates below normal temperatures will likely hang on for the eastern U.S. as the trough dominates at the upper levels. (NWS/CPC)

Christian Bridges
MWN Intern

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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Chilly nights, nice warm afternoons - fall is finally here!

If you’ve been tired of the summerlike heat, I’m sure you really enjoyed this past weekend! The good news is that nice weather looks to be sticking around all through the week ahead. The longer, chilly nights, and shorter, cooler days will also help to accelerate the changing colors of the foliage. Peak fall colors are not far away now! 

Nice and cool to start off the week

The gorgeous weather of the weekend looks to continue right on into the new work week. We’ll have a chilly start Monday morning in the low to mid 40s, with some upper 30s possible once again in rural areas. In fact, a Frost Advisory is in effect for much of west TN except counties bordering the Mississippi River. So Fayette County could see temperatures into the upper 30s with patchy frost.

A Frost Advisory (blue) is in effect for Fayette County in the metro tonight.

We’ll warm up nicely in the afternoon into the low 70s under mostly sunny skies. A deck of clouds looks like it will slide just south of the immediate metro tomorrow afternoon, and for the south side of town and our MS counties we could see a bit more in the way of afternoon cloud cover. Otherwise, expect a mainly sunny day. Any clouds should quickly clear off for Monday night, letting our temperatures fall into the mid to upper 40s. 

Slightly warmer/more humid with a chance of showers mid-week

Tuesday begins a warming trend that looks to continue through Thursday. Tuesday we top out in the mid 70s under mostly sunny skies, although we could see a few high level clouds throughout the day. Wednesday looks to be the warmest and also the most humid day of the forecast, with a high approaching 80 degrees in the afternoon and a south breeze bringing in modified Gulf moisture once again. Don’t worry fall-lovers! The return of the humidity will be very brief and it won't be quite as high as it was last week. Another trough (dip in the jet stream that tends to bring cooler temperatures) will help to cool us back down and dry us out. 

Dewpoints on Thursday morning as predicted by the European model. A sharp drop in dewpoints is expected behind a cold front which will push through early Thursday. (WeatherBell)

As we head into Wednesday night, an approaching cold front will increase chances of showers. Any showers should be fairly light in nature and won’t last long. These will taper off by early Thursday morning with rain amounts looking fairly minimal, up to a tenth of an inch possible. 

The GFS model rainfall amounts for Wednesday night ahead of a cold front. Since the front arrives early Thursday morning, it will have very little warm air to work with to pop up heavy downpours. Rain amounts look very light. (WeatherBell)

After showers end, winds will shift out of the northwest once again and will usher back in much more comfortable dewpoints and temperatures. An upper level trough over the east central US will help to keep the nice weather around through the weekend.

An upper level trough over the central and eastern U.S. as shown by the Euro model on Saturday. This keeps us nice and cool for next weekend! (WeatherBell)

Beautiful fall weather returns to end the week

Thursday looks very nice and dry once again, with skies clearing throughout the day and a high in the mid 70s. Lows take a tumble back into the low 50s or upper 40s for Thursday night. Friday and Saturday’s forecasts look nearly identical, with highs in the low 70s and lots of sunshine and dry air. Lows will be in the upper 40s to right around 50 degrees. A warming trend looks to begin again by Sunday, with highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low to mid 50s. Get out and enjoy the nice week of weather! Very few entire weeks during the year have a forecast this pleasant!

(Too-)Early Halloween outlook

As of right now, it’s looking like Halloween will feature above average temperatures. However, the average high on Halloween is only 69 degrees, so above average shouldn’t be too bad! We’ll be able to fine-tune the Halloween forecast as we get a bit closer.

The temperature outlook for Halloween week with odds favoring a warmer than normal week. (NWS/CPC)

Christian Bridges
MWN Intern

Farewell to an MWN intern

[Editor's Note]
At the end of this week, we will bid adieu to #TeamMWN intern Margo Altshuler, who started with MWN just over a year ago. Margo has been a dedicated addition to the team and has used the opportunity to learn and grow, besides serving you all well on our Facebook and Twitter channels. I am sad to see her depart, but she's working hard to start lining up post-graduate opportunities and finish off her senior year in Broadcast Meteorology at Mississippi State strong! Thank you Margo for allowing me the pleasure to know you and help you on your journey! #HailState /EP

Here are a few remarks from her:

Dear MWN readers, I would like to take a moment and thank you all for allowing me to give the Memphis metro the weather for now 13 months. These past 13 months have gone by so quick its hard to remember what it was like when I first began. I would like to thank my co-workers for helping me when I needed a hand and for just being some of my now closest friends. I would like to especially thank Erik for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be one of his interns. He has helped me grow so much and helped increase my knowledge in meteorology. He is an amazing mentor and very charismatic for the city of Memphis, and I would not have wanted anyone else as a boss. Thank you MWN for everything! /MA

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Sunday, October 10, 2021

September 2021 Climate Report for Memphis, TN

September Climate Recap

A hot August partially translated into September with high temperatures routinely in the upper 80s to near 90 degrees. However, with low humidity values, morning lows were generally in the 60s, resulting in below average temperatures for the first third of the month. The middle of the month saw slightly above average temperatures before a cool stretch in the third week of the month. Warm weather returned to end the month. Overall, high temperatures ended slightly below average and low temperatures were slightly above average. Typically September has about ten days that reach 90 degrees, but there were only four days that reached 90 this year.

Dry conditions in August also continued into September with less than one tenth of an inch officially recorded through the 17th. The second half of the month was closer to normal, though the entire month, with just over two inches of rain, ended an inch below average. There was no severe weather during the month and no warnings were issued.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 75.9 degrees (0.1 degrees below average) 
Average high temperature: 85.5 degrees (0.5 degrees below average) 
Average low temperature: 66.2 degrees (0.3 degrees above average) 
Warmest temperature: 91 degrees (13th) 
Coolest temperature: 52 degrees (23rd) 
Heating Degrees Days: 0 (7 below average)
Cooling Degree Days: 334 (1 below average) 
Records set or tied: None
Comments: There were only four days with high temperatures above 90 degrees, which is 6.2 below average for September.

Monthly total: 2.03" (1.00" below average) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 9 (1.9 days above average) 
Wettest 24-hour period: 0.74" (21st) 
Snowfall: 0.0"
Records set or tied: None
Comments: Three days recorded precipitation of more than an one-half inch, while September averages 1.8 days.

Peak wind: North/30 mph (22nd) 
Average wind: 6.3 mph 
Average relative humidity: 69% 
Average sky cover: 40% 

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 72.8 degrees 
Average high temperature: 85.1 degrees 
Average low temperature: 63.1 degrees 
Warmest temperature: 90.6 degrees (4th) 
Coolest temperature: 49.4 degrees (23rd) 
Comments: None 

Monthly total: 2.10" (automated rain gauge), 2.20"(manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 11
Wettest date: 0.96" (14th) (via automated gauge) 
Snowfall: 0.0"
Comments: None

Peak wind: Northeast/19 mph (22nd)
Average relative humidity: 80% 
Average barometric pressure: 29.98 in. Hg
Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 1.72 degrees 
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 76% 
MWN average dewpoint error: 1.61 degrees 
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 79% 

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

Climate Outlook - October 2021

The October climate outlook for the United States from the Climate Prediction Center is shown below. Above average temperatures are forecast for virtually all of the United States from the Rocky Mountains east to the Atlantic, with the highest probability centered on the Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes. Slightly below average temperatures are forecast in the coastal Pacific Northwest. Odds favor above average temperatures for Memphis with a 47% chance of above average temperatures versus a 20% chance of below average conditions. The average temperature for October is 64.6 degrees, nearly twelve degrees below the September average.

Precipitation is expected to be above normal for the Plains into the Mississippi Valley. Additional above average precipitation is forecast for the Pacific Northwest. Below average precipitation is forecast for New England. For Memphis, odds favor above average precipitation (39%) versus a 28% chance of below average precipitation. Rainfall historically averages 3.98 inches in October.

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

A roller-coaster week as "real fall" approaches

As it turns out, the "fall weather" we had the week before last was simply a tease. Late summer returned in the past week and I for one have had enough. I think many of you agree. This week appears to be the real transition with airmasses fighting over the airspace in the southern U.S., and a major fall front finally, it appears, winning out by week's end. Let's dig into the details.

Early this week

Temperatures have been very warm this weekend and humidity has slowly crept up as well. Mid to upper 80s high temperatures are a good 10 degrees above normal. However, there are signs of a battle ensuing off to our west. Check out the severe weather outlook for today into tonight:

A major (for early fall) severe weather risk exists across the Southern Plains tonight (NWS/SPC)

A level 4 (Moderate) severe weather risk anywhere this time of year can only mean one thing: battle of the airmasses! A significant trough with chillier weather out west is approaching a hot and humid airmass over the southern Plains, resulting in what will likely be many severe thunderstorms and probably tornadoes in OK. 

The front that is pushing through that area will arrive in the Mid-South Monday. Fortunately, most of the strong upper level energy will pull well to our north, but we still expect scattered showers and a few thunderstorms tomorrow. Currently the Storm Prediction Center has us under a level 1 (Marginal) severe weather risk, but I think that is a stretch. 

The severe weather outlook for the Mid-South Monday places the area in a level 1 (Marginal) risk. (NWS/SPC)

It will be a gusty day with with south wind blowing over 30 mph at times so conceivably a thunderstorm could result in gusts higher than that, as wind energy will be present. However the other ingredients are meh. It won't rain all day, but could just about anytime between 8am-3pm. Overall rainfall amounts should be limited to under one-quarter of an inch, but a few brief downpours are entirely possible. Look for highs in the lower 80s.

The mid-day Sunday HRRR model from 7pm Sunday to 7pm Monday projects strong storms to diminish over AR overnight tonight, then move through the Memphis metro Monday, mostly as showers with a few thunderstorms embedded. (WeatherBell)


The front will just barely move to our east before washing out, so we'll see the dewpoints fall from the upper 60s to upper 50s Monday night, which will allow for a bit of a cooler wake-up call Tuesday with lows in the low 60s. However, with partly cloudy skies and not much cooler air behind the front, look for highs Tuesday again in the mid 80s. By Tuesday night, southerly flow will start to reestablish itself, which means a warmer night (near 70 for the low Wednesday morning) and more humidity again.


We'll be back in a warm, semi-humid airmass for mid-week with highs in the mid 80s, lows near 70, and some gusty south wind. Overall, the weather is just setting us up to appreciate the approaching fall front even more! A few showers will be possible by Thursday afternoon as it inches closer. We'll see how that might affect the Memphis vs. Navy football game at the Liberty Bowl Thursday evening.


Friday looks like the next best chance of rain showers and possibly some thunderstorms, as a major system approaches. We'll want to keep a close eye on this day as models still don't have the specifics pinned down, but with a major pattern change incoming, we can't rule out a few strong storms. That front arrives late Friday or Friday night, so Friday Night Lights could be wet. 

The forecast surface map Friday morning shows a front stretching from Canada to south Texas just to our west, poised to move through late in the day. Rainfall is likely ahead of it and much cooler temperatures will be found behind it. (Adapted from NWS/WPC)

Next weekend

Fall arrives! 

Right now it looks like rain is gone by Saturday morning and we're setting up for a gorgeous weekend! Sunny skies, breezy north wind pushing all of the humid air back down to the Gulf beaches, and cool fall temperatures. The forecast for now calls for upper 50s Saturday morning and 70 degrees Saturday afternoon - or much of the day in the 60s - followed by lows Sunday morning near 50 in the city (that means some 40s are possible outside the city) and highs near 70 once again Sunday afternoon. This airmass also appears to have some staying power, as we're looking at low 70s for highs into the following week.

Hang on Mid-South, fall is coming!

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, October 2, 2021

Fall weather returns as a warm and humid airmass moves out

Fall arrived a couple of weeks ago with the type of weather we all hope for in autumn, but this past week, that was replaced by much warmer temperatures and above-normal humidity for the end of September. That gave way to a wetter pattern the past few days, but a cold front tomorrow promises to usher in a new airmass as we head into the first week of October. Let's look ahead to what we expect in the coming week. 

Rest of this weekend

A cold front will arrive Sunday evening, but the rains of the past couple of days will start to relent a bit before then. Fortunately heavy rain has been spotty and localized and no flooding concerns have popped up. As we head into Saturday night, the day's rain (the result of an upper level wave of energy) has moved out and we're left with just a few light rain showers and humid conditions. Later tonight, a pre-frontal trough of low pressure will move in ahead of the cold front. Additional showers, some of which could be heavy, and an isolated thunderstorm will accompany that front in the wee hours of Sunday morning as temperatures hang near 70 degrees. However, by the time many of us are up and around Sunday morning, that round of precip should be just about gone. 

The HRRR model from late Saturday afternoon shows the only decent chance of precipitation through Sunday morning arriving between about 4-7am tonight. (WxBell) 

The rest of Sunday will be fairly tranquil with very little precipitation expected and maybe even some sunshine peeking through the clouds Sunday afternoon. An isolated shower is possible, but don't change any outdoor plans. Temperatures will likely rise into the lower 80s with semi-uncomfortable air in place due to dewpoints in the upper 60s. The front arrives Sunday evening with little fanfare other than a subtle wind shift. Dry weather is expected overnight as temperatures fall into the mid 60s.


Monday should turn out to be a very pleasant day. In the wake of the front, dewpoints fall to near 60 degrees with partly cloudy skies, light north wind, and highs near 80. 

By Tuesday, an upper level low pressure center drifts into the Mid-South. In fact, we call it a "cut-off low" due to the pressure center detaching from the prevailing flow aloft and basically losing much of its forward motion.

(A GIF for all you band nerds out there...🎵)

That low will result in more cloud cover and additional shower chances as long as it sticks around. Thus, mainly daytime rain shower chances will be a part of the forecast Tuesday and Wednesday. The clouds will keep afternoon temperatures at bay with highs in the mid to upper 70s, while morning lows drop as low as 60 degrees. 

The European model shows a cut-off low at the mid-levels of the atmosphere develop and move slowly across the region this week. It's effects will be most noticeable Tuesday and Wednesday before it weakens and lifts back north. (WxBell)

End of the week into next weekend

Fortunately, the cut-off low doesn't linger too long and by Thursday we'll see improving conditions from a sky and rain perspective. Looks for clear nights, partly cloudy days, and highs near 80. Cool mornings will feel great as temps dip to near 60. As high pressure ridging aloft takes over leading into next weekend, temperatures will warm just a bit with highs in the low 80s but abundant sunshine and low humidity. Next weekend looks to have near ideal fall weather! 

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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