Showers tonight, possible light snow Sunday night, and a cool Liberty Bowl

We hope everyone had a great Christmas week, got to spend time with friends and family, and got everything they wanted from Santa! Besides cold conditions, not a bad weather week overall. We were pleased to be able to spend all of Christmas Day with family without once looking at a computer model or posting on social media.  Thanks for allowing us a rare day off! Another holiday-interrupted week is ahead, but weekend weather will make for an interesting transition into New Year’s week.

Clouds have already infiltrated Mid-South skies ahead of a developing low pressure area in the western Gulf of Mexico. This low will lift through the southeast U.S. tonight into Sunday wrapping precipitation around the backside of it and into mainly eastern parts of the Mid-South.  The Memphis metro figured to be on the back side of the precipitation shield overnight, with heavy rain well to our southeast and nearly dry conditions just across the river in AR. The best chances of light rain will be overnight tonight with up to 0.10″ possible by Sunday morning. Temperatures will be sufficiently warm to keep the precip all rain.

GFS forecast precipitation amounts through Sunday evening. About 0.10″ is possible in the metro, though flooding will be a concern over parts of the southeast with totals near 3″.

Sunday we will be between the departing low to the east and an Arctic cold front approaching from the northwest, leading to a partly sunny day with seasonal temperatures and an increasing wind from the northwest by afternoon. In the wake of the cold front, a little left over moisture in the atmosphere could be squeezed out by very cold air, bringing a *small chance* of precipitation that could transition from light rain in the evening to flurries or light snow overnight Sunday night.

Models are split on whether we see anything measurable, but sprinkles or flurries are certainly possible. To be honest, this is not the type of pattern we usually see much in the way of precipitation from, especially anything accumulating, but it’s worth mentioning.  A couple of model solutions (none are the official forecast!) are shown below. The NAM model has been the most aggressive, bringing a dusting of snow by Monday morning,  The GFS has consistently been dry, and the European has tended to side with the GFS, while the Canadians (snow-lovers that they are) lean towards the NAM.  IF we see anything, it won’t be much (the Panic Meter sits with disinterest at a 1 out of 10), but the threat of it should keep schools closed for another week. 🙂

Sat morning NAM model forecast of total snowfall through Monday. The NAM is the most aggressive with snow and produces a little more than a dusting across the metro Sunday night.

Last night’s Canadian model forecasts about 0.10″ of snow by Monday morning.

The European model hints at some light snow to our south, but thinks the metro gets nothing more than flurries. Of the 51 “members” of the ensemble system that make up the European, 8 give Memphis a dusting of snow. The rest are dry.  The GFS model is not represented in the model solutions above. It has consistently been dry. 

Monday will be just plain cold in the wake of the front. Lows in the mid 20s in the morning will have trouble getting any higher than the mid 30s (wind chills in the 20s) even with some afternoon sun, setting the stage for a very cold start to New Year’s Eve day.  For those attending the Liberty Bowl Tuesday afternoon, dress warmly!  As the Bulldogs show Rice how football is played in the southeast (#HailState), temps will only top out in the mid 40s.  A cold but dry night is expected as 2014 is rung in Tuesday night.

Models disagree widely on the first few days of 2014, but that’s a topic for another blog!  For the complete, and official, MWN Forecast, download the MWN mobile apps linked below or click here for the forecast on our mobile-ready website.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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