Rain chances increase Saturday night ahead of the front being shoved across the eastern U.S. by a massive dome of cold air straight from the north pole. Rain will be likely Sunday morning with temps in the 40s, however as soon as the front passes through (between 8-11am), cold air pours into the region and we'll reach the freezing mark by noon, if not a bit quicker. When that happens, rain will change to snow. The amount of moisture left behind the 32-degree line determine the amount of snow we get. This is not a case of whether it will get cold enough, because it WILL be cold enough!
Current estimates from various computer models range from a heavy dusting (0.5-0.75") up to a couple of inches. Our current forecast is for a good inch in the metro, more to the north and less to the south. It is conceivable that some spots in the metro could see up to 2", however we believe that to be on the high side. Rain should change to snow by noon with the heaviest prior to 3pm, then flurries possible into the early evening.
|European model forecast of precipitation between 6am-noon Sunday and the freezing line at noon (dark blue). MWN believes the cold air might get here an hour or so quicker than this shows. Rain vs. snow is NOT depicted in this image.|
|European model forecast of temperatures at noon Sunday. Notice how quickly temps transition from 40s to 20s!|
This will begin a period of below freezing temps that will last until Wednesday, or as much as 72 hours, including periods of extreme cold (for the South). Low temperatures in the city will be near 10 Monday and Tuesday mornings, Monday's high will only be in the middle teens, and wind chills Monday morning will drop below zero! Areas outside the city proper can subtract at least a couple of degrees from those morning low temps. It's been 4 years since we've had lows that cold and maybe as far back as February 1996 since we've seen highs in the teens.
|European model graphic of forecast temps and precip through next week. Click for larger image.|
|Cold weather preparedness from NOAA. Click for a larger view.|
Follow MWN on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps, featuring StormWatch+ severe weather alerts!