Leaving Arctic cold in the rear-view mirror – warmer days ahead!

Winter weather is now behind us for a while it appears! I can hear your collective sigh of relief  (especially you parents with kids at home most, or all, week!).

Warmer temperatures are ahead, starting with this weekend’s 60s. Though it won’t be quite that warm all week, I think we’ll take a good deal of 50s with morning lows near or above freezing. Southerly flow this weekend has done a number on the lingering ice, as have temperatures that have been above freezing since Friday mid-morning.

Interesting fact: in the approximately one-week period leading up to when we went above freezing on Friday, only 17 of the previous 173 hours were above freezing! Most of those hours were this past Monday when we had a one-day reprieve from the freezer on MLK Day. In addition, the period from Christmas Day through January 19 was the coldest such period in a century in Memphis!

Listing of the top 10 coldest average temperatures for the period Dec 25-Jan 19. This year was the coldest in 100 years!

Looking ahead, another potent cold front arrives overnight tonight. The good news with this one though is that the airmass trailing the front is of Pacific origin, not Arctic origin. That means a bit of a cool down, but no bitterly cold temperatures! The front itself will be running into a greatly-modified airmass from the one we had this past week – warmer, moister, and with a bit of instability. That means we will also have a chance of thunderstorms.

While I don’t expect much in the way of severe weather, a few thunderstorms could have some gusty wind, as wind will be blowing strong at all levels of the atmosphere, including down here near the ground. Areas west of the Mississippi River are in the Marginal (category 1/5) severe weather risk for an expected line of rain and embedded thunderstorms that moves through between midnight and 6am Monday. Rainfall totals will likely be under a half inch for most, as the line will be fairly progressive.

A Marginal Risk (1/5) of severe weather exists west of the Mississippi River tonight as a few storms are possible that could contain strong wind gusts. Areas from Little Rock west have a higher risk of severe storms this evening. (SPC)

The National Weather Service forecast rainfall through Monday afternoon. The metro will likely average about a half-inch of rain with tonight’s front. (NWS / WxBell)

By mid-morning Monday, the rain will be gone and some sun will be appearing, though a strong southwest wind is also likely throughout the day. Tie down the garbage cans and anything else lightweight that you don’t want to lose before retiring for the night tonight! High temperatures will recover nicely on Monday with a fair amount of sunshine and the cooler air trailing the front by a ways. Look for highs again in the lower half of the 60s.

For the rest of the week, the cooler air arrives Tuesday with morning lows in the mid 30s and wind chills back into the 20s, recovering back to near 50 in the afternoon. Wednesday will be similar, then a slow warming trend commences again heading towards next weekend, when the next wet weather system arrives. Overall, a good deal of sunshine will be found across the Mid-South though this week! Enjoy the above average temperatures and don’t forget you can keep up with the latest information on Memphis weather with the MWN mobile app!

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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