The forecast from the Storm Prediction Center and local NWS offices, and relayed through media partners and private enterprises like MWN, was overall very good. See the mid-day SPC risk area below with preliminary storm reports below. The Enhanced Risk area in particular matched up well with where severe weather actually occurred, while the Moderate Risk and "Particularly Dangerous Situation" Tornado Watch correctly captured the north Mississippi beast.
The warnings issued by the local NWS office also were spot on and correctly highlighted the threats that were imminent or ongoing, including the use of the rare "Tornado Emergency" Warning for Holly Springs, well before the tornado devastated southern portions of the town. The cumulative warning map below shows just how widespread the threat was. Fortunately, most of the metro outside of Holly Springs, was spared nature's wrath, despite some reports of up to quarter size hail in Bartlett and strong wind gusts as the storms moved through. We were fortunate indeed!
|NWS Severe Thunderstorm (yellow) and Tornado (red) warnings issued on December 23, 2015.|
Despite a very pleasant spring (err, winter) day today, clouds and rain move back in tonight as yesterday's front turns back north as a warm front and puts us right back in the warm sector for the weekend. As it slowly meanders through the area tonight and tomorrow, rain chances return and thunderstorm chances also appear high, starting after midnight tonight and continuing off and on through Christmas Day. Unless Santa arrives before midnight tonight, he's going to need rain gear and a lightning rod on his sleigh! Rudolph's nose might come in handy tonight.
The chance of severe weather with tonight's storms is low, but not zero. SPC has a Marginal Risk (category 1 of 5) over the metro, mainly for a few strong wind gusts or some hail. However, along the front, there is a fair amount of "atmospheric spin," which COULD result in a weak tornado. However, this threat is nowhere close to yesterday's. We think you should go to sleep tonight dreaming of a White Christmas and just have the weather radio or StormWatch+ in your MemphisWeather.net app on, just in case. We don't think you'll need it.
|The SPC severe weather outlook for tonight shows a low-end risk of severe weather, mainly after midnight.|
|The SPC severe weather outlook for Christmas Day also shows a low-end risk of severe weather, mainly morning and afternoon|
|Total precipitation forecast by the NWS through Tuesday morning. The Mid-South is in an area that could receive up to 5" of rain while even higher totals are expected to our north and west, where flooding is nearly certain.|
|GFS model forecast temps for the next two weeks. Use for trend purposes only (numbers are not exactly right). Winter is coming!|
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