Beautiful spring weather may be interrupted by severe weather on Saturday

A cloudy and cool Easter weekend gave way into a pleasant early week for the Memphis Metro. As the weekend approaches, we prepare for our next round of rain and the possibility of severe weather that could disrupt some Saturday evening plans.


A low pressure system is currently sitting over southern Mississippi, this will bring clouds and some passing showers in the afternoon to evening hours. Due to the positioning of the low pressure to our south, rain will be moving to the west, rather than its usual eastward motion, as it rotates counter-clockwise around the low. Despite the clouds and rain, temperatures reached the mid 70s for highs and will drop into the upper 50s overnight.
Visible satellite from Thursday afternoon shows the center of the low-pressure over southern Mississippi with western moving clouds over Memphis. (College of DuPage)


Clouds will begin to be more broken throughout the day on Friday as the low pressure to the south begins to weaken and moves off to the northeast. Temperatures will be warmer ahead of the next system with highs in the mid 70s and lows in the lower 60s.


The Storm Prediction Center has placed the Memphis Metro in a Slight Risk (level 2 of 5) for severe storms on Saturday.
A level 2 out of 5 severe weather risk has been issued for Saturday. (SPC)

Highs temperatures nearing 80 and dewpoints climbing into the mid 60s will provide the fuel for this system, and a cold front moving across the great plains towards the east coast be the spark for these storms to start to form. Some prefrontal showers are possible in the morning. Due to the time difference between these storms and a line expected to move through, they will not have much of a limiting impact on the later storms. 
Isolated storms are possible in western Arkansas when they are first forming in the afternoon, but they quickly become linear over central Arkansas by late afternoon. As the storms approach the metro, they will lose daytime heating and some intensity. Once the line nears the river around midnight it should begin to break up, meaning that our Arkansas counties have a slightly higher chance of seeing some severe storms, but strong to severe storms are possible across the whole metro. The primary threats with this system will be strong winds, large hail, and locally heavy rainfall.
The high-resolution NAM model shows what the radar could look like from 5am Saturday to 1am Sunday. The line should begin to break up as it nears the river. (WeatherBell)


The front will be followed by clear skies and highs in the mid 60s. Skies will remain clear as temperatures build back into the 80s early next week before the next chance of rain near the end of next week

Carter Bentley
MWN Intern

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