Bitter cold and another chance for winter weather Friday

Bitter cold and another chance for winter weather Friday

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It was an icy start to the week and more winter weather is possible as the week comes to a close.

In between the two events will be another shot of arctic air that moves into the Mid-South late Wednesday, plunging temperatures into the lower teens to single digits by Wednesday night. I expect the overnight low in Memphis to fall to near ten degrees.

Thursday promises to be a cold day with highs only in the mid twenties. Fortunately, we'll enjoy a full day of sunshine through the day. Thursday night a low pressure system will move out of Texas and track through the southeast tapping into abundant Gulf moisture along the way. This system will take much the same path as the system this past Sunday night and Monday.

At this time, this system seems more likely to produce accumulating snowfall Friday over much of the Mid-South and then gradually transition to rain by Saturday.  Once again, air at the surface will be below freezing as the Gulf moisture spreads north into our area. The difference with this system will be the mid and upper-level temperatures which also look to be below freezing. That was not the case Sunday night as warm moist air aloft was overriding cold air at the surface.

This time the temperature profile seems to support snow as the precipitation begins early Friday. Snow will likely continue through the first half of the day, but as the mid-levels warm to above freezing the precipitation aloft will transition to liquid and then fall through a layer of below freezing air near the surface. Depending on the depth of the cold layer near the surface we could see snow transition to freezing rain or sleet. There will be an abundance of moisture to precipitation is likely to continue into the evening hour and well into Saturday.

Right now the determining factor in the type of precipitation we get Friday afternoon and night will be temperatures. The European forecast model (my favorite in this situation) indicates temperatures rising Friday night into the lower fifties and continuing to rise into the mid and upper-fifties Saturday. This scenario would support all rain.

On the other hand, the GFS or American forecast model, indicates surface temperatures holding below freezing all day Friday and only in the low to mid-thirties Friday night and not climbing above freezing until early Saturday morning.  This scenario would support freezing rain and sleet for much of Friday afternoon and into the overnight hours. This would not be a good situation for us.

It's still early and this could all change.  However, we need to once again prepare for the possibility of wintry weather in the Mid-South once again. I'm not sure about you, but I'm really ready for some warmer weather. I do know that there are a lot of kids and adults who want some snow and it looks like this is our best chance for it so far this season.  But, I don't think we'll have time to run out and play in it because it will all be gone once the rain begins.

In the meantime, I encourage you to continue to monitor this situation over the coming days and stay tuned to WMC Action News 5 on the air and on the web.  You can also follow me on Twitter @RonChilders and on Facebook at Ron Childers5 for more updates and forecast info.

On a final note, spring begins in 31 days ... not that I'm counting.

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