Update on severe weather potential early Thursday morning

If you’ve been following along with us the past couple of days, you know that there is a high likelihood of t’storms tonight and that a few of them could be severe.  This serves as the last blog update on what to expect tonight into Thursday.  All other updates will be handled on our social media feeds, listed below.

Yesterday we highlighted the potential risks and timing of the storms. Much of that information is still valid so I refer you to it for the atmospheric details. In this post, we re-iterate and refine the answer to the question “what’s going to happen and when?”

Below is the map produced by the Storm Prediction Center highlighting in yellow the areas they think are at the greatest risk of severe storms. Memphis is in the Slight Risk zone. Storms will begin to break out in western AR this evening, then form into a squall line as they move rapidly east. Refining the slight risk area, we expect the greater danger of severe weather to be in the western half of the risk zone, with lessening threats in eastern AR, west TN, and north MS.  The primary threat locally will be strong to damaging wind gusts of up to 50-60 mph in the squall line and immediately behind it.  The line of storms is expected to be pushing into the metro after 4am and will likely be clear of the Memphis area by 7am at the latest. A few showers are possible ahead of the line, mainly after midnight, and thunderstorms are possible after about 3am, though we do not expect a lot of thunder and lightning before the line arrives.

The area of greatest concern is in the western half of the Slight Risk area tonight, though damaging wind is possible anywhere in the yellow area.

Outside of the line, wind will generally be strong with south wind gusting to 30-35 mph overnight and as high as 40-50 mph from the west during the morning hours behind the front. Any rain behind the front will linger only a couple of hours and sunshine is expected by mid-morning.  The sun won’t help temperatures though, as they will fall from the lower 50s when the line moves through to the lower to mid 40s by afternoon. Combined with a gusty wind, wind chills will fall below freezing – a far cry from the upper 60s this afternoon!

The cold front will be just east of Memphis at 6am. Strong gusting wind will be an issue both ahead of and behind the front and any storms will be just ahead of and along the front.

As always, stay with MemphisWeather.net on the web, mobile web, and social media for the latest info concerning the potential severe weather.  Our mobile apps featuring StormWatch+ will alert you (if you want them to) to any watches or warnings that are issued for your location and can even wake you up at night for any severe storms that you are in the path of.  You can find all our links below.

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