12/19 – The Chief’s “Wet Pattern…Then BITTER COLD” Monday Morning Forecast

Today a surface high pressure will shift eastward as a disturbance pushes into the region. A second disturbance will follow quickly behind into Tuesday. This energy brings the chance for rain showers, including the possibility of heavy rainfall for some local areas. Moisture flow will surge up into the 1.25-1.40 range today ahead of the rainfall. This could help a few showers beginning this afternoon with locally heavy rain a possibility. There are two areas more likely to see these heavy showers, one swath is associated with the warm sector and is confined to a narrow area along the immediate Mississippi coast. The other area is up in central Mississippi. Instability is pretty limited to a very small amount that is elevated. So, a few rumbles of thunder aren’t out of the question, but definitely not expected to be any organized thunderstorm activity.

  1. An Arctic air mass will arrive to the area on Thursday night which will provide the coldest temperatures of the season thus far into the holiday weekend. Hard freeze and wind chill
    1. headlines will likely be needed for Friday and Saturday to raise awareness of protecting people, pets, and pipes.
  1. A slight chance of showers will be possible ahead of the front on Thursday, and a few snowflakes cannot be ruled out at this range across some areas on Friday as the arctic airmass arrives. However, no accumulations of frozen precipitation are expected.

A near-record strong surface high will begin this process as it exits the Rockies forcing a strong cold front to form and surge southward on Thursday. At the same time, a surface low is expected to rapidly deepen over the Ohio Valley in the exit region of the trough and this will serve to assist in the cold fronts progression southeastward across the central Gulf Coast on Thursday night and into Friday morning. Wind and/or wind chill headlines will likely be needed during this period given winds 20 to 30 mph and wind chills will be in the single digits to teens for much of the area. Given the fact that temperatures will be at or below freezing for an extended period from Friday morning through Saturday morning, there will be a heightened risk to people, pets, and pipes and proper precautions will likely be needed.

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