Easter weekend and #MLK50 events – what to expect weather-wise

The wet pattern of the week has shifted east, the sun is coming out, and cooler early spring temperatures are back… for a minute. Here’s what to expect as we head into the Easter weekend and next week when all eyes turn to Memphis as the life of Martin Luther King Jr. is honored.

Saturday

Friday’s reprieve from recent rains (after which, believe it or not, we still aren’t quite up to “average” for a normal month of March) continues into Saturday. As high pressure shifts east, southerly wind returns and becomes gusty in the afternoon. A chilly morning in the lower 40s quickly warms under bright sun and that south wind to the lower 60s by lunchtime. Morning egg hunts will be in great shape, but pack a jacket for the little tykes. By afternoon, as we approach 70°, high clouds start to roll in – the first sign of another weather shift due in early Sunday.

Easter Sunday

I wish I could say it will be a carbon copy of Saturday, but alas, we’ll be under the influence of a much different, and cooler, airmass. Showers fall behind a front that arrives in the pre-dawn hours so sunrise worship services should likely be ready to move indoors with temperatures around 50°. Rain tapers off during the morning, but low pressure looks poised to travel along the front Sunday afternoon and evening, which likely brings another round of showers. The cool airmass will be noticeable with highs that may not climb much from morning lows thanks to clouds, precipitation, and a northeast breeze. In fact, some models are indicating we could actually fall into the 40s during the afternoon as rain falls. Yuck!

Plan on a rain jacket or warm sweater over those pretty Easter dresses Sunday. Rain and very cool air are expected thanks to that cold front straddled over the area! (NWS)

Monday

The cooler airmass on Sunday will realize quickly that it was unwanted, thus its stay will be brief.

Sunday’s cold front turns right back around as a warm front and lifts north from whence it came, bringing a chance of morning showers, but then improving conditions by afternoon. After a low in the 40s, we’ll be back near 70° by late afternoon with the sun exerting its influence and busting up the morning clouds. Overall, not a bad day at all.

Tuesday

A breezy day as low pressure approaches from the west, but high pressure maintains its grip to our east. South wind will mean warmer conditions with highs in the mid 70s after a mild start to the day. Scattered showers and thunderstorms could start to break out by afternoon though as that low and its sidekick, the cold front, approach. I’d be surprised if the day were completely dry.

The American GFS model valid overnight Tuesday night shows a widespread rain associated with the passage of a cold front (blue line) that pushes quickly to the east. Rain should be gone by Wednesday morning, (WxBell)

Models are in generally good agreement that that system moves through the Mid-South Tuesday night. It will be a wet one with showers and thunderstorms likely overnight. For now, the severe risk remains low, but it’ll be worth monitoring as we get closer.

Wednesday

The actual anniversary of MLK’s death will see quickly improving conditions as Tuesday night’s system exits stage-east, post haste. High pressure moves back in with mostly sunny skies for much of the day as network and cable news cameras roll. It will once again be cooler, but the sun will help. We might see 60° by afternoon, but then again we might not. Hopefully, despite the event being remembered, the city will be cast in a positive light. At least we know we’ll get a good pollen washing Tuesday night.

Thursday-Friday

Spring generally means a couple of frontal systems a week with rapidly-fluctuating temperatures. The end of next week begins the next warm-up, but also the arrival of yet another frontal system by late in the work week.

As always, you can stay up to date on the latest in Memphis and Mid-South weather by following our social media accounts and downloading the MemphisWeather.net app. Links are provided below.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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