Yet another fall cold front is poised to barrel through the Mid-South this afternoon. Once again, like Thursday, it will be a dry front and will bring only some clouds late today and this evening, as well as gusty north wind and quickly falling temperatures. The high today should rise to near 80 before the front drops us back into the 60s or upper 50s late this evening. Lows tomorrow morning will be in the 40s.
On Sunday and Monday, the much cooler air behind this front will make it's presence known with highs only in the 60s. Monday morning will be chilly at the bus stop with some outlying areas potentially seeing patchy frost and temps in the upper 30s! A warm-up begins Tuesday as mid-level atmospheric temperatures quickly rise, allowing surface temperatures to also rise fairly quickly. We'll be back in the 80s by Thursday of next week. No rain is in the immediate forecast. For more details, check out the MWN Forecast from MemphisWeather.net.
Drought - current and forecast
Drought conditions have worsened across the metro area, as well as eastern Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta, over the past several weeks. The U.S. Drought Monitor places much of the metro in a D1 ("moderate drought") condition, while eastern AR and the Delta are experiencing D2 ("severe drought") conditions, brought on by weeks of dry conditions and recent low humidity that aids in evaporating any available moisture from the ground very quickly.
The recent drought and dry atmosphere have also prompted a elevated fire risk across the area, especially those regions in a D2 drought. Fire Weather Watches and even a couple of Red Flag Warnings (indicating optimal conditions for forest fires to be ignited and spread quickly) were issued this week by the National Weather Service. Traveling along the interstates this week, more burn areas in the medians were noticed, indicating the dry conditions that have resulted in grass fires from carelessly discarded cigarettes or other reasons. As long as the Mid-South stays very dry, there will be an elevated risk for grass, brush, and forest fires, especially with the lower humidities typical of autumn.
Unfortunately, there still is no rain in the forecast for the foreseeable future and the seasonal drought assessment (click for map) indicates persistence of the drought conditions throughout the fall. Please remain aware of these conditions and exercise caution with open flame outdoors.