Weekend Update – Memphis weather style

Lots of activities going on this weekend in the Memphis area, involving tens of thousands locally and, literally, from across the United States.  It’s St. Jude Marathon weekend and Christmas parade season!

Unfortunately, Mother Nature is not going to be too cooperative as we see a round of precipitation move up from the southwest and envelope the area during the day Saturday, lasting into the first half of Sunday. This rain will be caused by moist air rising up into the area ahead of a low pressure system that moves along the Gulf coast.

Here’s what the North American Model (NAM) thinks radar will look like beginning at midnight tonight and ending Sunday morning at 6am:

NAM model forecast radar from midnight tonight through Sunday morning at 6am

Note that the greens are very light rain with the yellows being steadier, but not particularly heavy, rain. We’re not talking about a deluge and no thunder will occur either. However it does look like we could start to see sprinkles early Saturday morning with basically increasing rain chances as we go through the day Saturday. With any luck, most of the marathoners will be done before rain gets very steady and it will be just a nuisance.

Here are a few key times pulled from the loop above. Note that these are not exactly what will be happening, but give us an idea of what to expect.




And here’s our #StJudeRun Memphis Marathon forecast:

As you can see, it’s also going to be a chilly day with most of it spent in the 40s. Once rain gets going a little more steadily in the afternoon, it’ll drop back down into the 40s after peaking near 50. Fortunately, wind is not much of an issue, though there could be a bit more (maybe 10 mph) in the evening. For late afternoon/early evening parades, the news is not good unfortunately. Steady light rain could possibly be moderate at times. Rain chances by late afternoon are above 50%. By Sunday when the rain moves out, rainfall totals will likely be in the 1/2″-1″ range.

Next week

The pattern remains active the first half of next week. Another stronger, wetter system moves across the Mid-South Monday. Low pressure will move very close to Memphis Monday evening and a few thunderstorms are possible. Currently severe weather is not expected.

Finally, after dry hours Tuesday and the first half of Wednesday, another front moves through Wednesday night. This is the “Big Kahuna” Arctic front you’ve probably been hearing about. More showers and a few thunderstorms will be possible with this front before temperatures nose dive heading into the end of next week. We’ll have more details on both of these systems in the coming days, but be prepared for the likelihood of temperatures remaining in the THIRTIES (really!) most of the day Thursday and maybe Friday too! We’ll all see a hard freeze Thursday and Friday nights.

Finally a note of caution

Crap apps and nationwide weather outlets that use computer model forecasts may (already be) showing you snowflakes next Thursday. YES, it could be cold enough. However, we have no good indications that precipitation will be lingering by the time it gets cold enough to snow. We’ll of course let you know if that changes. In the meantime…

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

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