Hope you enjoyed spring! Summer conditions are upon us…

Following the third coolest April on record (which ended up just a touch warmer than March overall), it seems that the calendar flip to May also caused the thermometer to jump quite a bit. And we’re still climbing! The highest temperature in the month of April was only 80° and we just reached that point just once. With the exception of this past Friday and Saturday, we’ve been into the 80s each day this month.

A string of consecutive days with highs in the mid 80s started on Sunday and doesn’t look to end for at least a week as the numbers continue to slowly climb towards 90°. Projecting the forecast temperatures out over the next week and comparing to historical data, the first half of May could end up being close to the top 5 warmest starts to May on record! Say goodbye to those low utility bills from April!

A weak front will push a little closer to the region from the north over the next 48 hours, resulting in small rain and thunderstorm chances, mainly to our north. There will be enough sunshine between the clouds to keep the mid 80s temperatures around though as southerly wind continues. Don’t be completely surprised though if a stray shower or thunderstorm occurs, mainly on Wednesday.

Later in the week, high pressure builds back over the region and pushes the storm track well to our north again. This pattern is somewhat similar to summer in the Mid-South, with the exception being humidity levels, which won’t be quite to those mid-summer levels just yet. Thank goodness! Starting Friday, mostly sunny skies are expected through the weekend with highs reaching 90° and lows rising into the upper 60s to near 70°. This will likely be just our SECOND completely dry weekend of 2018 after the beautiful one we had two weekends ago to end the month of April.

Mid-level pressure pattern (500 mb, or 18,000′) on Saturday evening with the primary storm track to our north (where the wind is stronger in the blues/pinks) and a ridge of higher pressure to the south. (PivotalWx)

By early next week, storm chances increase as the high weakens a bit, allowing the storm track to dip back south again. Increased cloudiness will likely put the lid on temps just a bit, bit we could be exchanging it for increased humidity. Thus, it’ll still feel very warm out, only it will be more because of the humidity in the air. Hang on! Summer’s getting a bit of a jump start!

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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