Secondary severe weather seasonA strong storm system moved through the metro late Friday afternoon during rush hour. Though we were expecting thunderstorms and perhaps a few strong wind gusts of 40 mph or so, one cluster of cells in particular picked up steam as it entered Memphis proper and moved northeast into the Bartlett, Lakeland, and Arlington areas of Shelby County. The storm hit with a vengeance at MWN in Bartlett at 5:18pm with estimated wind gusts of 60 mph, wind-driven hail around the size of nickels, and torrential rainfall. Shortly thereafter, a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for northeast Shelby County and points northeast of there. Trees were snapped and well over 25,000 MLGW customers lost power, some for as long as 15 hours. In addition, there was a large home that burned in Bartlett, possibly the result of a lightning strike (though not confirmed as of this writing).
@NWSMemphis Tree down in Bartlett, near Freeman Park on Bartlett Blvd. Insurance agent actually suspects lightning. pic.twitter.com/apMGztmxVf— MemphisWeather.net (@memphisweather1) November 19, 2016
@memphisweather1 @WX_BrittneyB @Local24Chelsea @sdentonwx hail in the Rockyford Park/Bartlett area @RobinWoolery pic.twitter.com/HxcvuJYXxY— Robert Nashwick (@robnashman) November 18, 2016
This storm system should serve as a reminder that November to early December is secondary severe weather season in the Mid-South due to strong weather systems sporting large temperature gradients moving through. Severe weather this time of year is NOT rare! (Ask the folks of Germantown about their Thanksgiving weekend tornado of 1994.) Even in a drought, a large change in airmasses is still a trigger that can produce severe weather with the right storm ingredients in place. This storm system didn't care about our severe drought. We're fortunate it wasn't worse.
Thanksgiving week forecastWith the arrival of last Friday's cold front, we shifted to an atmospheric pattern more conducive to repetitive wether systems moving through the region than very warm and dry conditions under high pressure anchored over the southeast U.S. The high has broken down and the jet stream has shifted south, meaning that systems moving along the jet will be more likely to move through the middle of the country than the far norther reaches along the Canadian border. This, in turn, means more rain chances and also cooler temperatures.
The next cold front to affect the region will approach on Tuesday night, tapping into a stream of Gulf moisture and bringing high rain chances. The front will be fairly slow moving and thus rain chances will be more prolonged than Friday's system. In fact, rain chances begin late Tuesday evening and continue well into the day Wednesday. The period of heaviest rain will be after midnight through dawn Wednesday with scattered showers continuing Wednesday, as the cold front doesn't move through until mid-day Wednesday.
|NWS forecast precipitation totals for the next weather system arriving Tuesday night. A good steady rain should produce about 3/4" of rain. (WxBell)|
|Forecast rainfal amounts Tuesday night through Wednesday shows where inclement weather could affect travel the day before Thanksgiving. (NWS)|
Heading into Friday, another weak low pressure system moves by well to our north, but it appears to not have a moisture feed this far south. Plan on another seasonal day for Black Friday with the mercury in the 40s for early morning shoppers and in the 50s for the kickoff of Memphis vs. Houston at 11am at the Liberty Bowl. The high tops out near 60° once again. (Go Tigers!)
|Friday morning's surface map, according to the American GFS model shows a dry cold front moving through the Mid-South followed by high pressure that moves into the region by Saturday from the Southern Plains. (WxBell)|
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!
|MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador||Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder|