Severe weather expected in the Lower MS Valley and a look into the week ahead

In the past 10 days, four weather systems have brought the threat of severe weather to Memphis and produced severe weather nearby. After a beautiful spring weekend, the high overcast clouds are an indicator that more storms are in the region and, indeed, the Lower Mississippi Valley region is once again under the gun for a major severe weather outbreak. Fortunately this time, Memphis is on the far edge of the severe weather potential, but that doesn’t mean well stay dry. To the contrary, a wet night is in store and tomorrow promises another chance of showers and thunderstorms as well. Let’s get into the details.

Sunday night

A potent weather system will sweep through the Lower Mississippi Valley the rest of today into tonight as low pressure moves north out of east Texas into northeast Oklahoma, pushing a cold front slowly east. Multiple rounds of strong to severe storms will affect areas to our south as upper level impulses drive the storms. The first round of severe storms is sweeping across Louisiana with additional rain and storms lifting northeast across Arkansas. Rain will move over the Memphis area early this evening as storms stay mainly to our south.

Current radar loop of the Lower Mississippi River Valley (NOAA)

After the evening slug of rain, additional showers will be likely until another round of heavier rain and some thunderstorms move through the Mid-South during the post-midnight hours, again on the northern end of a much stronger line of storms that passes by to our south. There is a low confidence/risk of strong wind and flash flooding with any thunderstorms during the evening and early morning hours. The metro is in a Marginal Risk (category 1 of 5) severe weather risk.

A severe weather outbreak of high wind and tornadoes, as well as some hail, can be found across the Lower Mississippi Valley through tonight. Probabilities of tornadoes, wind, and hail are the chance for that type of severe weather within 25 miles. Memphis is on the far northern edge of the severe weather risk area. (SPC)

A closer view of the Memphis area and our Marginal severe weather risk. A much higher chance of severe storms is not too far to our south. (SPC)

HRRR model simulated radar through 8am Monday shows the evening round of rain then additional storms overnight with the strongest storms south of Memphis. (WxBell)


The overnight rain and storms should exit the Memphis area around the start of the Monday morning rush hour, but overnight rainfall will make for wet streets and some ponding of water is possible. Keep that in mind as you head to work and school. By late morning, the cold front will advance into the Mid-South. Some unstable air will likely accompany the front with a few scattered showers and thunderstorms possible during the lunch hour and early afternoon hours. Once again, we are in a Marginal Risk (category 1 of 5) for severe storms on Monday as a few wind or hail storms are possible, though not likely. In addition, Monday will be a windy day with southwest breezes gusting to 30 mph.

The severe weather outlook for Monday shows a Marginal Risk over Memphis while a much higher threat of severe storms exists across the Deep South. (SPC)


Monday night and Tuesday will be back to pleasant spring weather as wind returns quickly to the south, resulting in lows in the 50s and highs back near 80 under partly cloudy skies.

Wednesday through the end of the week

Another cold front moves through during the first half of the day Wednesday. It appears that most of the precipitation with this front will pass by to our south as well as form to our east as the front enters an atmosphere with more unstable air. A severe weather risk exists to our east. For the metro, just a slight chance of showers or a thunderstorm is expected.

Behind the front, a much cooler and drier airmass moves over the region to dominate the weather pattern the rest of the week into the weekend. Highs drop back down into the 60s Thursday and Friday with lows in the 40s before warming again heading into next weekend.

Be sure you have the mobile app on your smartphone for the latest on tonight and tomorrow’s storms. Though severe weather watches and warnings are not anticipated, it IS spring time, so activating StormWatch+ for severe weather alerts (anticipated or not) is also a good idea. Links to everything you need are shown below.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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