Memorial Day Weekend is fast upon us, marking the unofficial start to summer. We’re sure you have plans, so we’ll help you out with the weather forecast by letting you know which days will be dry and when you have the chance for rain and thunderstorms.
On Saturday, we’re going to be keeping a close eye along the Gulf Coast, specifically from Louisiana down through Florida. These locations are at risk for a landfalling tropical or subtropical cyclone, although the exact path, strength, and impacts are still a bit uncertain. Showers and thunderstorms will be the story across the southeast up through the Tennessee Valley. It’s these areas where the precipitation will be the most widespread due to a deep plume of tropical moisture bringing above normal moisture levels into the southeast.
Farther north, hit or miss showers and storms will be possible across the Mid-Atlantic due to the combination of heat, instability, and tropical moisture. There will also be a clipper-like storm system that will sweep through the Great Lakes region and northern New England, so that will bring showers and storms to the area, especially in the afternoon and overnight.
Other than a few spotty thunderstorms in the Plains, it will be hot and dry. High temperatures will be well above average. Some locations, including the northern and central Rocky Mountains as well as the Northern Plains may experience highs up to 25 degrees above average.
It will also be nice across portions of the Northeast, including the I-95 corridor. High temperatures 10-20 degrees above normal paired with sunshine will make for a great start to the weekend.
Back toward the Western US, scattered showers and some thunder will be possible in the valleys of the northwest. Those clouds and showers will keep temperatures 5-20 degrees below average.
The potential tropical or subtropical cyclone will remain the story across the Gulf Coast and Southeast. Some of the model guidance suggests this entity stalls out near the coast or farther inland. This may lead to flooding, especially in the Lower-Mississippi Valley through Florida and Georgia. Therefore, additional rain and thunderstorms can be expected on Sunday across the central Gulf Coast states, Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys, and the southeast. This rain will keep temperatures well below average, generally running deficits of 5 to 10 degrees compared to average.
Moisture will be a bit more limited to the north with hit or miss showers or thunderstorms across the Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, and northeast. In most areas, the day itself will be dry. There’s the chance for a brief round or two of rain. Otherwise, it will be mild with a blend of sun and clouds. High temperatures will be 5 to 15 degrees above average, making it feel like summer.
Across the central US, it’s going to be baking with temperatures generally 10 to 25 degrees above the typical high temperature for this time of the year. Unfortunately, it will feel a bit moist out there with dew points in the 60s and 70s for many. Whenever dew points surpass 55F, that means that the humidity becomes noticeable. Once those levels exceed 65F, then it feels downright sticky outside.
In the northwest, there will be a few occasional showers with cloudy conditions across the interior. This will keep temperatures several degrees below average. For the remainder of the Western US, conditions will be much more conducive to be outside. Temperatures will be right around average with sunshine, although clouds may dominate along the Pacific Northwest coast.
On Memorial Day, we’ll still be tracking this tropical disturbance. We don’t know what kind of entity this system will be at this time. It can still be a tropical cyclone along the Gulf Coast, it can be a weak post-tropical cyclone meandering just inland, or this system can get attached to the upper-level pattern and move along from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast. With all of that said, additional showers and thunderstorms are forecast across the lower and Mid-Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee River Valleys as well as most of the southeast and Mid-Atlantic. The best chance for heavy rain or at least a steady rain will be near the central Gulf Coast — across coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
In the Northeast, there will be the chance for a few showers and thunderstorms, although the activity is not expected to be as widespread. Otherwise, there will be partly sunny skies and cooler than average conditions across New England while the inner northeast is on the warm side of the setup.
The Great Lakes region will be mostly dry, although a few spotty thunderstorms cannot be ruled out. The main story will be the beautiful summer-like conditions. Sunshine will be paired with high temperatures of 10 to 20 degrees above normal.
It’s the Midwest and the Plains where it’s going to be downright toasty. High temperatures 10 to 25 degrees above average are expected — again — which translates to widespread maximum temperatures in the 80s and 90s. There will also be an increase in humidity as higher dew points stream in from the Gulf of Mexico. With a cold front emerging from the Rocky Mountains, this will fuel showers and thunderstorms, some of which may be strong to severe, across the western Northern and Central Plains.
The weather across the Western US will be perfect when Monday arrives just in time for the actual holiday. Expect mostly sunny skies paired with temperatures up 10 degrees below average across the interior southwest or temperatures up to 15 degrees above average near the West Coast.
We hope you have a great holiday weekend. We’ll keep you updated this week as the active weather pattern leads to changes in the forecast.