Brief cool down later this week
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Today and tonight we have a chance of showers and a few thunderstorms as a trough of low pressure several miles above the surface races from Texas toward the Southeastern United States.
While a few thunderstorms could be strong, the threat of severe storms is higher in north Mississippi and north Alabama.
On Wednesday the trough will pass to our east, but we still will have a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms as we remain in a mild, moist southwest flow at the surface ahead of a slowly approaching cool front.
Any rain that we do get over the next couple of days will be relatively light. The National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center (www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov), located in College Park, Maryland, issues forecasts of precipitation amounts.
The WPC anticipates less than one-third of an inch of total rain for south Mississippi today and Wednesday.
Both today and Wednesday will be warmer than average for early February with highs in the 70s.
Wednesday night the surface cool front gets a big shove from the upper levels as the jet stream finally surges southward over the eastern one-third of the United States.
After the surface front passes our area, a cool and dry high-pressure system will dominate our weather Thursday and Friday with highs in the 60s.
The cool weather won’t last long as the surface high pressure moves to our east by Friday night putting us on its western edge.
Because the circulation around high-pressure systems in the Northern Hemisphere is clockwise,
that means that on the western side of the system our winds will be shifting back to a southerly direction for the weekend.
Southerly winds mean a return of milder, more humid air from the Gulf of Mexico.
High temperatures over the weekend will likely be 10 to 15 degrees warmer than average, climbing into the 70s for Saturday and Sunday.
Low temperatures are forecast to be 15 to 20 degrees above average, only dropping to near 60 Saturday night and Sunday night.
The more humid air will also mean an increased chance of overnight and early morning fog over the weekend.
We have been in a relatively dry pattern for over two weeks. The last rainfall in Pearl River County in excess of one-quarter of an inch was back on January 21st.
That rain was caused by the same system that caused the devastating tornado in Hattiesburg and severe weather across the Southeastern United States.
Looking ahead to the middle of next week, the computer weather models are showing a wetter and potentially stormy pattern developing for our area.
All of the models predict that a large low-pressure system in the upper atmosphere will develop over the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Several disturbances are likely to spin out of the low toward the Gulf South as the larger system slowly heads eastward.
However, the same models continue to predict relatively mild temperatures for us, with no freezes in south Mississippi for at least the next ten days.