Deep tropical moisture brings wet weather pattern this weekend

Surface Analysis Chart valid Thursday at 1 PM from the Weather Prediction Center

Above is today’s surface analysis from the Weather Prediction Center. It’s not a surprise that there’s plenty of warm temperatures across the southern U.S., but the past couple of days we have been enjoying a bit lower humidity at the surface courtesy of easterly wind. This is beginning to change as our wind shifts toward the south and moisture rich air streams in from the Gulf of Mexico. The approaching low pressure system from the west will strengthen that southerly flow. By tomorrow afternoon, humidity will return to higher levels (along with a slight chance of t’storms).

Precipitable water values and low level wind early Saturday afternoon

The lowest levels of the atmosphere will not be the only portion seeing an increase in moisture. The map above shows precipitable water values, or basically how much precipitation would occur if all the mass of water vapor in the atmosphere was brought to the surface as rain. This indicates very deep moisture through western Tennessee with precipitable water values of over 2.0 inches. The wind barbs show southerly winds in the lower levels of the atmosphere bringing a plume of moisture northward from the Gulf of Mexico.

Quantitative Precipitation Forecast through Sunday evening from the Weather Prediction Center 

Above is the NWS Weather Prediction Center’s quantitative precipitation forecast for this weekend. They’re calling for nearly an inch and a half of rain, with higher amounts southwest of the metro. The Weather Prediction Center expects more of the rainfall to be focused on Sunday, while we’re currently forecasting a good chance of showers and thunderstorms on both Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, that means decent chances of rain for both the season opener for the University of Memphis football team on Saturday evening and the opening weekend of the Delta Fair at the Agricenter.

William Churchill, MWN Social Media Intern

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