With apologies to all the mommas, more severe weather could be on the way

It’s been a fairly active spring weather pattern this year in the Mid-South and the trend continues this weekend. The last few days have been beautiful, interrupted only by a strong, but brief round of storms on Thursday afternoon. Today we transition into the warm sector of the next weather system. A warm front moves through during the day, having brought a round of showers this morning. By afternoon, a bit of sunshine is possible with increasing southerly wind and warmer temperatures that top out in the upper 70s.

Mother’s Day severe weather

By Saturday night, the warm sector is fully established over the area with gusty south wind and temperatures that remain in the 60s all night long. An isolated shower is possible. This pattern continues into Sunday morning with a few more showers possible, particularly northwest of the Bluff City. Strong wind in the low and mid levels of the atmosphere, coupled with increasingly unstable air by early afternoon as temperatures rise through the 70s, sets the stage for late afternoon to evening thunderstorms – with our apologies to all the mothers out there! As the front approaches from northern AR, thunderstorms become likely ahead of it and across our region. 
The HRRR extended model showing simulated radar from 10am Sunday through midnight. Note the increase in coverage and strength of echoes during the afternoon and evening hours. A few storms in the late afternoon/evening could be severe. (WeatherBell)

The ingredients mentioned above will allow some storms to become severe, mainly from mid-afternoon through early evening. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) currently has the entire Mid-South included in a Slight Risk (level 2/5) for severe weather. The primary hazards will be damaging wind gusts, as well as large hail due to cold air aloft. Though the wind shear profiles are not ideal for tornadoes, the fact that the wind will be quite strong means we can’t rule out the potential for a couple tornadoes somewhere across the region.
The SPC outlook for Sunday shows a Slight Risk (level 2) of severe weather (upper left), a 5% probability of a tornado within 25 miles (upper right), and a 15% risk of large hail and damaging wind (lower left and right, respectively). (PivotalWeather)
The cold front will pass through by early evening, bringing the threat of severe weather, and most storms, to an end. Showers will be possible into the late evening behind the front.

Early next week

With the front well to our south and surface high pressure building in from the north, Monday appears to be dry with sunshine, especially in west TN and east AR, but cooler temperatures again – back in the mid to upper 60s for highs. Overall a great start to the week!
Models are having some difficulty with the upper level pattern for the Tuesday-Wednesday timeframe. Despite high pressure at the surface, a large trough of low pressure aloft over the eastern U.S. puts our area in northwest flow. A passing disturbance aloft could bring a few clouds and perhaps a few showers during this period though I believe we’ll have many more dry hours than wet ones, and a decent amount of sunshine. The trough aloft means below normal temperatures – highs in the 60s and lows near 50 or so.

Mid/late week – Memphis in May

The pattern begins to trend a bit warmer, but still cooler than average, for the latter half of the week with high pressure moving to the east of us. That should mean dry weather for the majority of the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest – a welcome sight after having not had the contest last year! We expect highs in the 70s and morning lows in the 50s. 
Erik Proseus

MWN Meteorologist

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