Welcome to our brand new MS News Now, First Alert Weather Blog! The is the first of what will be many posts by myself and other members of the team... Our purpose here is to not only provide an additional platform for you to receive basic weather information, but to also go more in depth for those interested in the nuts and bolts behind the forecast. Hopefully, you'll learn something about weather and meteorology through our discussions!
Let's jump right in!... The first order of business is to discuss the upcoming storm system that will impact much of the Southeast U.S. over the weekend. A strong upper level disturbance is moving onto West Coast this afternoon and will track in our direction over the next couple days. In advance of the system, mild, moist air will continue blowing in from the south, allowing our warming trend to continue; in fact, temepratures surge in the 70s by Saturday afternoon!
Most of Saturday will be rain free, then rain and storms become widespread after sunset. In terms of the severe threat, the large scale set-up is very favorbale for a significant severe weather event due to strong upper level dynamics and lots of wind shear (changing of wind speed and direction with height). This is one of the forecast models we use, the GFS Model, showing the strong upper level disturbance just west of Mississippi early Sunday morning:
Concerning as this looks on the larger scale, there are some key limiting factors that should prevent a major severe weather event. Surface based instabilty will be marginal at best, prevening the air from rising at a rate needed to produce strong storms with updrafts. Also, the system is dipping so far south that it will pull in too much warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, causing the air aloft to become saturated. Of course, for air to rise we need drier and progressively colder air with height, not warm and saturated.
Bottom line, the main threat for severe weather should remain along the Gulf Coast leaving most of Mississippi with a heavy rain; but due to the strong dynamics discussed above, we'll still need to mention the possibility for a few severe storms with the potential for damaging wind as far north as Interstate 20. We all know the unexpected can (and does) happen, so be prepared just in case. Otherwise, most spots will pick up between 1 and 3 inches of rain, on average.
The rain ends Sunday morning, then partial clearing and warm; highs reach the upper 70s and I wouldn't be shocked if we hit 80 degrees! Cooler air arrives for next week, knocking us back down to below normal levels for Thanksgiving... Gotta love Mississippi weather!
I've had a blast sharing our first blog discussion with you and look forward to many more. In the mean time, be sure to join us tonight on WLBT and Fox 40! See you there!