Memorial Day Weekend Starts and Ends Nice, Stormy in Between

wxornotBG 5/26/17: Sunny & beautiful today; severe storms possible through Memorial Day weekend.

Posted by Landon Hampton on Friday, 26 May 2017

Forecast Discussion

It’s a holiday weekend but, as we know, Mother Nature doesn’t take holidays. The weekend will start and end quite nicely but it’s the in between where things get complicated.

Every weather enthusiast is Michael Cera this weekend. (Giphy)

Let’s start off with today, which will actually be pretty good.

We’ve finally gotten that pesky low pressure out of the way from midweek and that’s setting us up for a terrific Friday. On the other side of the low, the temperatures are nice, the humidity is low (for now) and our skies are dry and will likely remain that way for today.

Temperatures today will be appropriately summer-like. (Pivotal Weather)

Humidity will be on the increase throughout the day, however. Ahead of our next storm system, dew points (or the best direct measurement of low-level moisture content) will be on the rise.

We go from low-50s (fantastic) to the low-to-mid-60s (sticky) by this afternoon. (Pivotal Weather)

Other than a touch of muggy out there, today’s going to be a-okay.

At night is where the uncertainty begins. Models are hinting at a slight chance of an overnight shower or storm as the leftovers of a storm complex moves through the region.

Hi-res NAM sim radar valid tomorrow at 4am. (Pivotal Weather)

This isn’t set in stone, but it is a possibility, just keep an eye on it throughout the day.

Today: Mostly sunny skies with a slight increase in humidity later in the day. High around 85º. Clouds on the increase at night, with a low only falling to around 70º.

  • Wake up: ☀️ 63°
  • Lunch hour: 🌤 81°
  • Bus stop: 🌤 84°
  • Evening time: ⛅️ 74°

The forecast becomes significantly tougher as we head into the day on Saturday.

We’ll have a warm front associated with another low parked off to our north and behind it, southerly winds will help usher in even more humid air for tomorrow afternoon, with dew points crossing the oppressive 70º mark.

NAM showing dew point values over 70º for tomorrow afternoon. (Pivotal Weather)

With the heating of the day, a few storms may pop up but otherwise, expect warmth and humidity with haze dominating the sky.

This becomes an issue heading into tomorrow night. Models have been indicating the potential for a complex of severe thunderstorms, called a “mesoscale convective system” (or “MCS”),  to form out to our west tomorrow night. Since even at night, we will have more than sufficient winds aloft and bullish instability values, this MCS would stay strong enough to impact us late on Saturday night and into Sunday.

NAM simulated radar showing 2 distinct waves of storms. One just north of here around 1am with another forming and impacting us directly around 7am. (Pivotal Weather)

In a setup like this, damaging winds around 60 MPH to sometimes up to 80 MPH or higher with these are possible as well as a lesser threat of some large hail. Since we’ve been so wet lately, that could put us at a high risk of falling trees and that won’t be helped by the flood threat with this system, especially if we can get multiple rounds of thunderstorms to dump more heavy rain over already saturated ground.

Remember, this is a complicated setup and isn’t set in stone with each complex of storms depending on the other before we can know exactly what’s going to happen and we may not lock on a final idea until late in the day on Saturday. Such is life with MCSs.

Early outlook for tomorrow has us under a slight risk of severe weather. (Storm Prediction Center)

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny skies with haze and a slight chance of an afternoon storm. High around 85º once again. We don’t fall much at night, with lows only around 70º and a risk for strong thunderstorms.

  • Wake up: 🌤 71°
  • Lunch hour: 🌤 80°
  • Afternoon plans: 🌤 85°
  • Evening time: ⛅️/⛈ 73°

Sunday only looks as stormy as Saturday night lets it be.

*Me after this weekend’s forecast* (Giphy/Gifftrax/Best Brains)

This system’s trailing cold front will push through the area during the day on Sunday and that means more possibly stormy weather. The problem with Sunday is that it depends on what’s left over after the storms overnight. If we stay cloudy and rainy, the atmosphere won’t have any time to destabilize and we’ll see showers with maybe a rumble of thunder.

On the other hand, if we get the clouds out of the area early and we’re able to get some sunshine to warm us up, more storms will be possible along the front, and some of those could be strong. This is the solution I’m leaning towards at the moment, but of course, we’ll keep an eye on it.

For what it’s worth, Monday looks fantastic. We dry out and drop the humidity, utterly tremendous. We just have to get through this weekend first.

Sunday: Rain and clouds early with skies clearing later in the morning. More scattered thunderstorms possible in the afternoon. High around 80º. Clouds finally begin to clear Sunday night and we’ll fall to around 62º.

  • Wake up: ⛈ 68°
  • Lunch hour: 🌤 77°
  • Afternoon plans: ⛅️/⛈ 79°
  • Evening time: ⛅️/⛈ 71°

Today’s Key Points

  • Today looks fine: mostly sunny and warm, with slightly increasing humidity.
  • Humidity skyrockets for Saturday, muggy with a couple of storms possible.
  • Greater risk for thunderstorms, which could be severe, Saturday night into Sunday.
  • More storms possible on Sunday as the cold front finally moves through.

That just about does it for me! Thanks for checking into WxOrNotBG this morning, and be sure to follow @wxornotBG and @WKUweather on Twitter and like Landon Hampton on Facebook for the latest Bowling Green Weather information. Have a terrific Friday!