A very unusual pattern for Memphis in May – cold and wet!

It’s not unusual to see a rainy first weekend in May for Beale Street Music Fest as many who have been will attest to.  However, the pattern we are in for this weekend is very rare.  That pattern features a strong upper-level low pressure system moving directly over the Mid-South that will bring a chance of record-breaking COLD air as Canadian high pressure trails it.  This type of pattern is one that, were it to happen a month ago, would bring us an April snowfall.  Instead, the snowfall stays just to our west – believe it or not, places as far south as northwest AR are expecting May snowfall accumulation!

The short animation above shows the upper-level low as it moves over the region this weekend (video begins Friday morning and steps forward in 3 hour intervals through Monday mid-day).  The map below shows Winter Weather Advisories stretching south into the Ozarks, while Freeze Warnings stretch to the Rio Grande area of Texas bordering Mexico!

So what can we expect here? Rain – and a lot of it in the next 24 hours – as well as temperatures that are MUCH too cold for May. With the low moving directly overhead, an unsettled cold pattern will mean the chance of showers until Sunday, though after midnight Friday night, the chances drop a great deal. We expect to see scattered showers, especially during the afternoon hours Saturday and Sunday.

As far as temps, tomorrow’s high will occur tonight at midnight and fall from there. We expect to see mid to upper 50s at rush hour in the morning, falling to near 50 by the afternoon rush hour. If it weren’t for the overnight “warmth,” the record low maximum temperature for tomorrow of 56 could have been in jeopardy of falling. The daytime high will likely be around that number. The record low Saturday morning is 40 and that is what we are projecting for an actual low. (In case you’re wondering, the coldest temperature ever recorded in May in Memphis is 38 – we’ll get close!)  Saturday’s high of 57 will be a few degrees above the coolest maximum temperature for the day (53), then Sunday morning’s low of 45  will also come within a couple degrees of the record of 43.  A quick warm-up takes place next week as the low departs and highs top out near 80 again by mid-week!

So if you’re heading to BSMF this weekend (or the Grizzlies game tomorrow night), prepare for cold weather and plan on mud, if not rain, especially Friday night!  You can keep a close eye on all local weather info by taking our MWN app with you! Links are below.  The app contains our always-current MWN Forecast, which you can also find here.

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