Thunderstorm chances increase heading into the weekend

Thursday, 5/30/13, 7:30am – UPDATED SPC GRAPHICS


More summer-like weather has visited the Mid-South over the past several days as temperatures have climbed well into the 80s daily, though humidity has still managed to stay in check. The humidity portion of the equation will change though as we head into the end of the holiday-shortened work week and the first weekend in June.

If you’ve been paying any attention to the weather to our west, you know that severe thunderstorms and some tornadoes have been affecting the Plains the past couple of days.  Similar to a week ago when Moore, OK was hit (though not as severe), the storm system producing the severe storms is a slow mover and will finally begin to have an effect on Mid-South weather as we head into the weekend.

Storms over the Plains spawned multiple watches and warnings, as well as many severe weather reports Thursday afternoon.

Signs that the high pressure ridge over us is weakening was evident by late afternoon radar, as a few showers and t’storms managed to pop up around the area. We’re expecting more of this on Thursday as a shortwave (upper-level energy) moves over the area.  Combined with moist Gulf air and very warm temperatures, scattered showers and t’storms are in the forecast tomorrow [Thursday], most of which will die out during the evening.  Tomorrow’s high will be in the mid 80s.

We’ll then turn our eyes towards the northwest, as a mesoscale convective system (MCS), or large organized cluster of storms, is expected to move toward the region early Friday morning. Though it will likely weaken as it moves closer, isolated severe weather reports will be possible to our north and we’ll see small rain chances locally early Friday.  That MCS will likely leave a boundary somewhere over the area, which could be the focus for a few thunderstorms during peak heating on Friday.  Friday’s high will be in the upper 80s.

SPC indicates a Slight Risk of  severe storms just to our northwest on Friday

Friday night will possibly see another MCS develop and affect nearly the same areas.  We could see a little better chance of showers or a t’storm with that one early Saturday as it too weakens as it reaches the Mid-South.  However, with a cold front drawing closer by Saturday, more t’storms are likely to break out during the afternoon hours as highs reach the upper 80s.  Again, most of this activity will be to our northwest during the daylight hours, but will move into the metro Saturday evening and overnight. There is a possibility of damaging wind or hail with these storms Saturday night into early Sunday here in the metro.  The Storm Prediction Center has the area highlighted for possible severe weather in their Day 4 Day 3 outlook.

SPC indicates a 30% chance of severe weather for northeast AR and far west TN on Saturday afternoon and night.

Rain chances continue into early Sunday as the front slowly moves southeast of the area.  Behind the front, temperatures will still be in the 80s to start next week, but not quite as warm as ahead of the front, and humidity should also dip a fair amount.  This will allow overnight lows to drop back into the 60s versus the 70+ readings we are in the middle of now.  Click here for the official MWN Forecast.

Continue to monitor our social media channels and this blog for updates on potential severe weather concerns the next few days.

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