Easter Week forecast looks a lot like spring

Now that we are past the spring equinox and formally into the spring season, the threat of freezing/frost conditions are quickly declining and the promise of warmer days and spring rain and storms is increasing.

Monday-Tuesday

Looking ahead to Easter Week, a cold front that moved through Saturday evening will return north as a warm front early Monday morning. Scattered showers and a thunderstorm or two are expected during the early morning hours, quite possibly affecting rush hour Monday morning. Currently, there is no severe weather risk outlined by the Storm Prediction Center for our area, but a Marginal Risk is forecast to our southwest. If there is anything other than thunder and lightning, there will be a very low threat for hail.

Animation of the HRRR model forecast radar tonight through noon  Monday. Showers are possible overnight with a round of heavier rain and potentially some thunderstorms from rush hour through mid-morning Monday. (WxBell)

Once the morning round ends, probably by 9-10am, we’ll be in the warm sector of a low pressure in the Plains, as that front stalls out well to our north and high pressure builds in over the southeast. This will set the stage for warmer, but mainly cloudy conditions for the rest of Monday through the day Tuesday. Southerly wind gusts Monday night and Tuesday could be in excess of 30 mph as warm, muggy Gulf air pushes temperatures well into the 60s on Monday afternoon and into the lower 70s Tuesday.

Tuesday Night-Thursday

By Tuesday night, the front to our west drops into the region and rain chances increase significantly as southwesterly upper level wind parallels the front and it stalls out over the Mid-South. With the front overhead upper level impulses will bring rounds of rainfall and likely a few thunderstorms as well, especially Wednesday.

The surface map for Wednesday morning shows a cold front directly over our area with low pressure in west TX and a large high to our east slowing up the movement of the system. The pattern forebodes a rainy mid-week period. (NOAA/WPC)

The upper level pattern at about 18,000′ (500 mb) for Wednesday morning features steady southwesterly flow with moisture coming off the Pacific and an upper level low in the desert southwest. With the front oriented parallel to the upper level flow, it will be slow to move until the upper low shifts east and kicks the system out. (NOAA/WPC)

Severe storms are not expected, with the biggest hazard being copious rainfall early Wednesday through early Thursday. Rainfall totals will likely exceed 2″ in the metro and could easily approach 3-4″, especially in north MS. The Weather Prediction Center currently believes 4″ is within the realm of possibility. Fortunately, our rainfall amounts over the past 3 weeks have been only about an inch, so the ground is capable of absorbing a fair amount of rain and the rivers are also well down from their early March crests. We’ll be watching for the potential for Flash Flood Watches nonetheless.

Total rainfall through Friday morning as forecast by NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center. The metro is in line for up to 4″ this week.

Easter Weekend

Heading into the Easter weekend, it appear the skies will part and sunshine will make an appearance with seasonal temperatures in the 60s and cool mornings. If we can get through a soggy mid-week, we should be looking at a pleasant spring weekend to come!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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