End of the growing season; pleasant weather won’t last long!

Our recent bout of cold weather has ended and high pressure positioned just to our east is allowing warmer air from the south to blanket the region this week. We will enjoy afternoon temperatures in the 70s through Friday with a few clouds but no rain. Overnight lows are also moderating, from the sub-freezing mark over the weekend back into the 40s and some lower 50s by tomorrow morning. More details can be found in the MWN Forecast.

The very cold morning lows over the weekend officially brought an end to the growing season – a term more familiar to those in agriculture than the general public. It is still a useful way to gauge the length of the “warm” season though. The growing season is defined as the period between the last spring freeze and the first fall freeze. This year, the last 32-degree reading in the spring (at Memphis International) was March 5 and we hit 32 for the first time this fall on Saturday morning, November 6 (a few days earlier than average). Thus, the growing season was 245 days long, or 13 days longer than the climatological average. If you are a farmer, that is good news, though I am pretty sure the flooding in April/May, late summer drought, and extreme heat of the summer probably did more to harm the crops than a little longer growing season might have helped!

Looking ahead, the overall weather pattern changes again this weekend and we say good-bye to the 70s for a while. A fairly strong cold front will move through on Saturday, dropping highs by 15 degrees or so and ushering in a decent chance of rain Saturday. After Saturday, the computer models diverge and the solution is not as clear, but what is known is that there will be more clouds and possibly rain chances heading into next week and temperatures will be much cooler for the week before Thanksgiving. The NWS is expecting the same thing – take a look at the 8-14 day temperature outlook below! It appears temps across much of the continental U.S. will be well below normal and there is a 60%+ chance that temperatures in the Mid-South will average below normal for the week of Nov. 16-22. Enjoy the warmer weather this week while you have it!

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook
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