Abnormally dry weather over the past month has resulted in very dry vegetation and soil. A strong upper-level ridge that was in place over the weekend combined with the dry conditions to create record heat, with the mercury reaching the century mark for the first time in over two years on Sunday and tying the record high for the date. (The last time Memphis hit 100 - actually 101 - was July 30, 2012). Another record was tied Monday morning as the low only dropped to 79. Thankfully the ridge receded a bit and temperatures have responded, only reaching the mid 90s Monday and lower 90s today. With wind out of the east to southeast during the middle of this week, dewpoints will also fall just a bit. Though highs will remain in the mid 90s through the end of the week, heat indices won't top 100 thanks to slightly lower afternoon humidity.
However, to our south, tropical moisture is sitting over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, off the Louisiana and Texas coastline. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring this area and a short-lived tropical depression is possible. However, even if it doesn't, as high pressure moves east, southerly flow will push that tropical moisture north, putting the lower Mississippi Valley and Mid-South in its path.
We'll notice this pattern shift by Friday and especially into the holiday weekend as dewpoints (humidity) rise, cloud cover increases, and showers and thunderstorms enter the forecast. In fact, this weekend may bring the best chances of widespread rain to the area in over a month. For now, severe weather is not a big concern, though heavy rainfall will be possible in areas that receive multiple storms.
|Forecast rainfall amounts from Friday evening through Sunday by the National Weather Service. A welcome 0.5"-1" of rain is possible and more could be expected in areas that receive multiple storms. Click for larger image.|
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!