Scattered strong storms possible this evening, then #RealFall arrives Monday!

We interrupt two weeks of dry weather (and another one coming up next week) to bring you this special announcement: storms are in the forecast this evening! If you don’t get rain tonight, it’s quite possible that it’ll be close to a month between rain systems for you, as the forecast is completely dry again starting tomorrow and lasting for at least a week. 
Let’s focus on tonight though. After a very pleasant day yesterday in the wake of a fall front on Thursday, a warm front is moving back north today and bringing the temperatures back up into the lower 90s and dewpoints into the mid 60s – a temporary reprieve from fall. That heat, along with some stronger wind aloft and another approaching cold front late tonight, are setting the stage for scattered storms to form in northern AR late this afternoon or early evening, then get pushed southeast into west TN and north MS after dark.
The HRRR model simulated radar forecast from 6pm this evening through 4am Sunday. While not exactly what will happen, it gives us some clues as to timing and general areas that could see storms. (WeatherBell)

A few of these storms could be strong, with isolated large hail and high wind gusts the primary threats. The Storm Prediction Center highlights the Mid-South in a Marginal (level 1) risk of severe weather, which means the storms should not produce widespread damage, nor extreme wind, hail or tornadoes. However, in the ~9pm-1am timeframe, a few could get frisky and cause minor wind damage (maybe some of your outdoor fall decor and election or school signs could fail). In addition, some hail is also possible in the stronger storms. If you don’t want it damaged and have a garage, you might drive it in, but we’re not expecting anything crazy like you see on those YouTube videos where falling iceballs create huge splashes in the backyard pool!

Following tonight’s round of scattered storms (which may produce nothing at your house, we’re not quite that good yet), a few more overnight showers are possible, then a cold front arrives Sunday morning. It’ll sweep out the lingering clouds and turn those southerly winds today back to the north, from whence dry air will move in. It’ll still be quite warm tomorrow with highs maybe around 90 again, but the drier air and north breeze in the afternoon will feel decent. The cooler air behind the front will be more noticeable by Monday morning as temperatures drop to near 60. Then, #RealFall builds in for the coming week. High pressure will take over with pleasant temperatures all week long and no rain in the forecast. 
That pattern should also help keep any remnants from Hurricane Ian, should it move into the southeast U.S., to our east. For now, we expect nothing from Ian. If you have friends or relatives in Florida though, time to make sure they are paying close attention! While we don’t know exactly where it will go yet, it will be strong, with impacts from hurricane-force wind, very heavy rain, and coastal storm surge likely by mid-week somewhere in Florida. 

The 10am Saturday forecast track for Ian from the National Hurricane Center.
So hopefully we get some beneficial rain tonight, no storm damage, then can turn our attention to Actual Fall next week – and not a minute to soon!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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