Speaking of more of the same... we've been on a roller coaster of ups and downs in the weather the past few weeks and the trend continues into the first week of the new year, beginning with a warm and stormy Monday, then another blast of Arctic air by mid/late week. Today's blog focuses on Monday and ends with a few comments on the cold that is coming.
A seasonal, but moisture-laden airmass is in place across the Mid-South today as a warm front sits across the central Gulf Coast states, well to our south. Meanwhile, well to the west, low pressure is moving into west TX and will shift across TX overnight to near Dallas by Monday morning, then zip east-northeast to a position very near Memphis by 6pm Monday. As the low moves toward the Mid-South, it will pull that warm front that is south of us northward, extending east from the low.
|Low pressure just west of Dallas, TX early Monday morning will move along the warm front during the day as that front lifts slowly north into the area. (NOAA/WPC)|
|By 6pm Monday, the low will be very near Memphis with the warm front in far northern MS. The track of the low will determine the severe weather threat level for the Memphis area. (NOAA/WPC)|
As far as severe weather is concerned, there is a risk of some storms being strong to potentially severe in the metro. The current Storm Prediction Center outlook for Monday indicates a Slight Risk (category 2 of 5) of severe weather roughly south of I-40 and a Marginal (category 1 of 5) north of the interstate. This outlook will be updated again multiple times tomorrow and could change slightly. The highest risk (Enhanced, category 3) is currently well south of the Memphis metro.
|The highest chance of severe weather is well south of the Memphis metro, but a slight risk extends north to near the I-40 corridor in the Memphis area. A closer view is provided below. (NOAA/SPC)|
The main threats with any severe storm will be damaging straight-line wind of more than 60 mph. We could also see some hail and an isolated tornado is not out of the question, but is a low risk. In addition, fueled by dewpoints rising to near 60 degrees, storms will be capable of producing very heavy rain (over 1"/hour rates) that could lead to minor flash flooding, especially if they move over the same areas repeatedly. The graphic below summarizes the timing and threats as of late Sunday afternoon.
Review the safety tips below in case severe weather occurs. As always, we highly recommend you put the MemphisWeather.net app on your smartphone and add StormWatch+ to the app to receive alerts for any severe weather watches or warnings as soon as they are issued. Links are provided below for more information or to download the app.
Looking ahead, Tuesday will be the last "pre-Arctic front" day this week as temperatures rebound into the lower 60s with just slight rain chances. By Tuesday night, that front moves through, switches wind to the north and causes temperatures to fall. The core of the cold air likely doesn't arrive until Thursday or Friday as the Arctic high builds in, but we'll be seeing temperatures that are in the 20s and 30s both days.
|The NAM model forecasts temperatures near freezing at 6pm Wednesday as Arctic high pressure begins building into the region from the north. (PivotalWx)|
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|MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador||Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder|