Sunny days bookend a mild and stormy mid-week

We’ve got two wet systems to monitor this week – one wetter and stormier than the other – as well as a fair amount of wind to deal with. Keep all that in mind as you pick out clothes for mild temps, at least until Friday when the chill returns!

Monday

Valentine’s week starts similar to the way Sunday ended, though a bit warmer, with sunny skies. The difference is that the wind is from the south, which means slightly warmer temperatures as morning lows remain above freezing in the upper 30s and highs reach the mid 60s. It should be an overall pleasant #FakeSpring day with blue sky until high clouds start arriving late in the afternoon.

Tuesday

The late day clouds Monday portend the first system of the week, the less robust of the two but one that sets the stage for the next. A front will bring showers during the day, mostly in the afternoon, but dropping less than 1/4 of an inch. It will be another mild day with highs in the mid 60s following morning lows in the 40s. The big story will be the wind though, and it will be the fiercest of the week outside of thunderstorms. Southerly gusts will reach 40 mph at times with steady wind in the 20-30 mph range in the afternoon. Definitely a #SkirtAlert kind of day! If you have Valentine’s Day dinner reservations, most rain will be gone, but it will remain breezy.
The high-resolution NAM model shows what radar may look like between 8am-8pm Tuesday. Precip amounts should remain light, mainly in the afternoon. (WeatherBell)

Wednesday

Behind Tuesday’s system, there will be no cold and dry air. In fact, leftover moisture and continued southerly wind will be the setup needed for the potential for severe weather on Wednesday night. Leading up to that, a mainly cloudy and dry day is expected during daylight hours. Temperatures will soar into the mid 70s, which will provide some instability to the atmosphere as a much more potent upper level system and cold front move across the southern U.S. towards the region Wednesday night. 
The weather map for Wednesday morning shows a lull in the action over the Mid-South with a storm system taking shape over the southwest U.S. that will move into the area Wednesday night. (NWS)

Behind a northward-moving warm front, showers will break out by evening with scattered thunderstorms expected as well. A strong and sheared wind field will be in place overnight with lingering unstable air, providing the ingredients for scattered to numerous thunderstorms. Some of these could be strong to severe. The biggest unknown, as is usual in the cool season, is the magnitude of unstable air, which will ultimately determine the strength of the storms and the associated hazards. At this point, all severe hazards are a concern – heavy rain and lightning, damaging wind gusts, hail, and a few tornadoes. We’ll be able to better define these threats as we get closer in time, especially Wednesday when the amount of instability is better known and how well the atmospheric ingredients line up. For now, plan ahead of the potential for severe weather warnings and a possible need to react accordingly overnight Wednesday.
A severe weather outlook equivalent to a level 2 Slight Risk has been issued for Wednesday night by the Storm Prediction Center. All modes of severe weather are possible at this point. (SPC)

Thursday

A few lingering warm-weather showers will still be around Thursday morning ahead of the cold front that arrives in the afternoon but storms should be east of us. Temperatures start the day around 60 and rise a few degrees in the morning before the front arrives. Gusty northwest wind will help usher in cooler and drier air, bringing an end to spring like conditions as temps fall towards the upper 20s by Friday morning as the sky clears Thursday night .

Friday-Sunday

A chilly and breezy day is expected to end the week, with sunshine doing little to take the chill out of the air. Highs remain in the lower half of the 40s in the afternoon after morning wind chills approach the teens. A moderating trend is expected next week in the temperature department after another cold morning on Saturday. High clouds move through the sky over the weekend as highs reach 50 on Saturday and even warmer Sunday.

Erik Proseus

MWN Meteorologist

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