Dodged the bullet?

It appears that the Memphis metro area has dodged a major bullet that appeared to be headed right for us last night as the mysterious freezing precipitation pulled a Houdini act. Other than a couple of brief evening freezing rain showers that left no more than a 0.01″ in their wake, the immediate region remained dry overnight! Given that, most schools ARE in session today. (That will teach you kids to postpone the homework because “surely schools will be closed tomorrow”!)

Our friends just to the north are not nearly as lucky however, as a major ice storm has hit northeastern Arkansas, southern Missouri, and western Kentucky. Significant accumulations of sleet and freezing rain have fallen (up to an inch in many locations) and it will be a while before they climb back above freezing as the stationary front to the south of MEM takes until Wednesday to lift back that far north.

So what to expect for the city of Memphis and it’s suburbs? As I had forecast yesterday, and am still sticking to, chances for precipitation today reside at about 30% and any precipitation that falls will be very light. The temp should rise above freezing at around noon, so it’s going to be a cold day and the wind blowing at 15mph won’t help. For tonight, things are still a little tricky. It appears the precip chance is slightly higher, but the temps are going to be an issue. They should hold steady in the mid 30s, and that is what I currently call for. However, there is some indication that they could drop back to 32, or perhaps not rise higher than 33-34 during the day, which would mean some areas, particularly outside the city proper, have another shot at seeing light freezing rain. Will hold off on that until we see how today progresses. I should have a better idea on this afternoon’s forecast update around 3:00. Things definitely get better on Wednesday with highs well into the 40s – and 60s are expected late in the week before the next big cold front!

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