Relief from falling water – from the sky and our brows!

Last weekend on this blog, we correctly forecast a wet pattern for this past week, though we didn’t expect to see 10-15″ of rain across sections of southeast AR into northern MS! Meanwhile, those of us north of I-40 (or so) enjoyed tolerable rain amounts most days that helped green up our Bermuda lawns! 
Departure from average rainfall amounts for this past week show nearly a foot of rain above average across north MS and southeast AR. In west TN, near average in the metro but below average just to our north. (WxBell) 

We also correctly identified our first 90-degree temperature of the year occurring in the past couple of days. However, one thing we missed on last weekend was this statement regarding this (current) weekend’s weather: “…a push of drier air into the region that will bring relief from high dewpoints and a breath of fresh air from the north.” Oops! While the temperature and scattered thunderstorm prediction we also made was correct, the front that has passed through has done nothing for the humidity (yet)!

The week ahead – sunshine and low humidity

About that “(yet)” mentioned above… perhaps the week-ahead models were just off a couple days. Starting tomorrow, we will finally feel the effects of drier air that is pushing south behind this weekend’s cold front. Dewpoints, which are a direct measure of the amount of moisture in the air, will fall from the mid 70s to near 80 in some spots this weekend (oppressive!), to the 60s Monday and then maybe the 50s by mid-week (very pleasant!).
The Muggy Meter for Tuesday afternoon shows dewpoints 10-15 degrees cooler than this weekend!
In addition, a dry pattern sets up as high pressure at the surface builds in from the north and aloft from the west, while a trough of low pressure settles into the eastern U.S. This pattern results in slightly cooler temperatures (mainly 80s during the days and 60s at night), lower humidity, and abundant sunshine. I believe the farmers and others flooded out to our south this past week will gladly take that forecast!
The mid-level pressure pattern and departures from normal for this week from the European ensemble shows a massive ridge of high pressure over the western U.S. extending east to the Mississippi Valley, while a trough of low pressure sits over the eastern seaboard. (WxBell)

The surface weather pattern on Wednesday morning, according to the European ensemble, shows high pressure over the Great Lakes extending well south with drier and cooler than average flow around it. (WxBell)

Next weekend – tropics get the attention

By next weekend, eyes will be turning south as a tropical disturbance could be moving towards the western or central Gulf coast. While it’s still early, indications are that an area of showers and storms will remain fairly disorganized well south in the Bay of Campeche, off the Mexican coast south of the TX coastline, into mid-week. After that, it could start to move north and perhaps organize a bit. It’s entirely too early to make any predictions, but the western to central Gulf coast (TX, LA, MS, AL) could see a fair amount of rain from this system next weekend into early the following week and it’s conceivable that a tropical storm could bring gusty wind to the coast in that timeframe as well. 
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is keeping a close eye on a disturbance in the Bay Of Campeche. It currently poses no threat to the U.S., but by mid-week could start moving north bringing rain to the western Gulf coast. (NOAA/NHC)

For now, it looks to have little to no impact on the Mid-South for the next 7 days, though another frontal system is more likely to bring precipitation chances back to the Mid-South next weekend with humidity increasing as well. Stay tuned!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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