At least a couple of accidents are blamed on visibility that dropped below 1/2 mile in that region. Here in the immediate metro, the dust is not a serious issue, but looking through the haze to the west might mean a nice sunset to an 80-degree day!On Hwy 412 in between Walnut Ridge and Portia. No visibility. @ryanvaughan pic.twitter.com/GDtZAuMq8R— Tiffany Pickett (@tpick7) April 10, 2016
Turning our attention to the week ahead, most of the action will be early in the week (Monday in fact) followed by another cool spell, then gradual warming with temperatures well above average to end the week. After Monday, rain chances are slim to none the rest of the week, except perhaps on Thursday when showers or a thunderstorm could affect mainly north MS.
On Monday, we will start the day with mild temperatures as lows remain in the 60s overnight due to increasing moisture and clouds and continued (but not quite as strong - gusting 25-30 mph) south wind. Chances of showers increase during the morning as temperatures climb towards 70° and south wind remains gusty. By afternoon, thunderstorms will develop to our west and begin moving into the metro ahead of a developing area of low pressure in the southern Plains. A few factors will combine to create an atmosphere capable of strong storms and heavy rain over the metro.
The nearly two days of strong southerly wind that precedes the system will result in dewpoints (a measure of humidity in the air) that reach the lower to mid 60s (plenty to feed any storms - see graphic below). The combination of available moisture and surface temperatures that reach the lower 70s will create instability in the atmosphere as a cold front approaches from the north. The instability, measured by an index called CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy - or energy available to create convection/storms), will likely rise to near 1000 by late afternoon, especially along and south of I-40. The highest CAPE values, where instability is strongest, will be across southern AR (see second graphic below).
Because of the high instability values, strong wind fields, an approaching low pressure system over southwest AR into the ArkLaTex region, an Enhanced Risk (category 3/5) of severe weather is present in that region. However, a Slight Risk (category 2/5) is present eastward up to the southwest corner of the metro, while a Marginal Risk (category 1/5) covers the metro (see graphic below). In other words, the highest probability of severe weather is well to our south and west (see second graphic below), but a few strong to borderline severe storms are possible in our area. The main risks will be large hail and damaging wind from late afternoon through the evening. The tornado threat is very low.
|The probability of severe weather within 25 miles of a point on Monday is shown in this graphic from SPC. The metro is within a 5% risk area, which is relatively low, though not far from the 15% area. This could change on Monday.|
Besides severe weather, the atmosphere will have plenty of available moisture to work with as the system arrives, so heavy rain is also a good possibility (which will also end the blowing dust and, temporarily, the pollen, problem). Forecast rainfall amounts vary fairly widely between models due to placement of storms, but widespread 1.5-2" readings are expected from afternoon into the evening with some areas well above 2" if storms train over any particular area. In addition, rain will continue once the front passes tomorrow evening, so some heavy rain will be possible through perhaps midnight.
Following Monday night's rain ending, we appear headed for a mostly dry, but cooler, spell as we head into mid-week. Highs will be back down in the 60s with lows in the 40s. A disturbance passing by to the south will bring clouds and perhaps a few showers or a thunderstorm Thursday, mainly over north Mississippi, before we begin a warming trend that takes us into next weekend. I don't think we'll need the clothing layers next weekend that we started this weekend with! the GFS model forecast highs and lows for the next 10 days are shown below and are provided for planning and guidance only. Average highs/lows for this time of year are in the lower 70s and lower 50s, respectfully.
|GFS Ensemble forecast temps for the next 10 days, courtesy WxBell. Temps are not exact and are to be used for trend analysis.|
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