Sunday, March 3, 2024

A spring-like week ahead with some unsettled weather

It's only the beginning of March and we already have a rainy week ahead of us!

The end of February brought along a well-pronounced taste of spring, and that will persist into the upcoming work week. Mild to warm temperatures and chances of rain will mostly be the memo for this week as low-pressure systems and fronts advance over the coming days. While severe threats will overall be limited for most of us, we're still likely to see a few t'storms this week. 

A somewhat unstable Monday night and Tuesday

After this past warming weekend, we'll be greeted with an active beginning to the work week. Increasing cloud cover with the presence of an unstable airmass on Monday might lead to a few daytime showers with warm highs in the mid to upper 70s. Instability, or what storms use as fuel, looks to increase in the overnight hours on Monday ahead of a cold front, though the environment will be fairly limited in severe weather ingredients in the metro compared to Arkansas, as seen in the NWS graphic below. 

Per the NWS, the low severe threat for Monday night will be mostly confined to areas west of the river, but the metro could still see sub-severe t'storms.

The limited severe threats will be hail and strong winds for those in AR. For most of us in the metro, we likely will not be seeing those threats on Monday night. Early Tuesday may be a little different, as the distribution of warmer temperatures and moisture could be conducive to some hail during the morning hours. Note that, at this time, hail remains only a small possibility for early Tuesday -- we'll have more info on the threat environment closer to then. For now, expect showers and t'storms on Monday night to persist into at least the morning hours on Tuesday as the cold front passes. 

Slight rain chances for the midweek

With the passing cold front on Tuesday, temps will slightly drop into the 60s during the midweek on Wednesday and Thursday. Partly sunny skies with a few light showers appear to be the case for Wednesday and Thursday, as moisture levels will be just high enough to support the development of a few showers on both days.
This weather map valid at 6am on Thursday depicts the chance for a few showers that morning (NWS/WPC). 

A few showers will likely be during the afternoon hours on Wednesday, while Thursday's showers will mainly be in the morning, though timing will likely be adjusted as the week progresses. Unfortunately, rain chances will not be dropping even after the early-week system; during the mid-week, a mid-level disturbance will be building across the central U.S. and advance towards our area between Thursday and Friday, which will lead to an unsettled, possibly stormy end to the week. 

Similar to early in the week, the end of the week could be stormy

The mid-level disturbance will likely destabilize the environment enough on Friday to produce showers and a few t'storms, though it seems weak wind profiles and a lack of severe weather ingredients will lower the potency of any storms that form on Friday. Most storm activity should be confined to areas south of us, but we'll likely see showers and a few storms at the very least. 

Another weather map (valid at 6am Friday) shows increased rain chances for Friday (NWS/WPC). 

Besides that, temperatures will steadily decrease at the end of the week, with forecasted highs in the mid-60s for Friday and lower 60s for Saturday. Another cold front passes through on Saturday, too, leading to a few early showers and cooler temperatures arriving. 

Per the European model, a cold front passes through late afternoon on Saturday (temp. change gif valid from 1pm to 6pm on Saturday). Temps will be quickly dropping after the front passes (WeatherBell).

Beyond this upcoming week, next week likely will see some more rainy activity for much of the U.S. based on long-range outlooks (shown below). Outlooks also show a seasonably average week for temperatures in the metro, with varying probabilities elsewhere. You may need an umbrella if you have spring break plans around the country!

The precipitation probability outlook shows a likelihood for above-normal rain amounts across much of the U.S. next week, while the temperature outlook shows near average temps for the southeast. (NWS/CPC) 

Lei Naidoo   
MWN Intern

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