Wet and stormy Thursday, followed by a beautiful start to the weekend

[ Editor’s Note: This is the first MWN Blog post written by new intern Christian Bridges, with only light editing by yours truly. Hope you enjoy this informative read! ]

Hope everyone has been enjoying the wonderful spring weather we have been experiencing across the Mid-South the past few days! While the weather is warm, clouds and breezy south wind have been the story for most of today. Dewpoints are near 70 degrees, really helping to add to the warm, humid summertime feel to the air. Breezy south winds will continue pumping warm air and moisture into the Mid-South, setting the stage for widespread rain and scattered thunderstorms tomorrow. 

Slow-moving cold front = wet Thursday

A cold front to our northwest has been the focus for very heavy rain and severe weather across Arkansas and Missouri, and as it slowly sinks south tonight and into tomorrow our rain and storm chances will really ramp up. The southerly winds and high amount of moisture in the air will also keep us mild overnight, with a low around 70°.
The cold front will slowly approach the region tonight but most precipitation will remain close to the front and to our northwest overnight. Tomorrow, showers and a few thunderstorms could start by morning rush hour and continue through the morning. The front will finally move through in the afternoon, bringing a slightly better chance of scattered thunderstorms.

The HRRR model depiction of forecast radar echoes from 10pm Wednesday through 1am Friday. (WeatherBell)

The Storm Prediction Center has us in a Marginal Risk (level 1/5) of severe weather Thursday, and a few strong storms in the area does not seem like a bad bet. While this won’t be a major severe event by any means, tomorrow is a good day to keep an eye on the skies (and our social media feeds) just in case a Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued. The main threats with any strong or severe storm will be strong winds and isolated large hail. 

The Storm Prediction Center severe weather outlook for Thursday has the area in a Marginal Risk (level 1/5) for a few strong storms capable mainly of gusty wind. (via Pivotal Weather)
As storms move through the metro during the afternoon hours, some places could pick up some notable rainfall totals, especially if heavy storms repeatedly move over the same area. The Weather Prediction Center has placed us under a level 2/4 (Slight) risk for excessive rainfall tomorrow, and low lying areas and underpasses could see minor flooding during heavier storms. Models show a consistent 1.0-1.5” of rain with this event.

The Weather Prediction Center Excessive Rainfall Outlook for Thursday has the metro in a Slight Risk (level 2/4) for potential flash flooding. (via Pivotal Weather)

The National Blend of Models (NBM) total precipitation through Friday at 1am indicates over an inch of rain will fall across the metro. (WeatherBell)

Spring sunshine to start the weekend

Our reward for putting up with heavy rain and storms comes on Friday, with an absolutely gorgeous day in store. The cold front will sweep out the Gulf moisture, leaving Friday feeling cooler, sunny, and fresh. Expect a high of 74 with breezy NE winds around 10-15 mph. Friday night looks a bit cool, with a low in the low 50s and continued mostly clear conditions. Saturday is the pick of the weekend, with highs in the upper 70s and partly cloudy skies. Rain is once again in the forecast for Sunday, so if you want to do something outdoors it would be best to plan it for Friday or Saturday!

Looking ahead

A persistent trough over the center of the country will keep the pattern unsettled as we go into next week. An upper level low pressure system lingering over the Southwestern US over the next few days will finally push east into Monday, bringing shower and storm chances Sunday through Tuesday. Temperatures look to be seasonable, in the upper 70s and low 80s each day. Depending on how far north the warm front gets and if all of the right ingredients come together, severe weather could also be possible next week. Timing and threats will begin to shape up over the next few days, so stay tuned for that. 

The European model depiction of the upper level pattern through early next week shows an upper level low (blues) moving into the Mid-South, then being absorbed by a larger trough that moves into the area late in the weekend. Overall, an unsettled pattern results with the exception of Friday and Saturday. (WeatherBell)
Christian Bridges
MWN Social Media Intern

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