Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rain Chances on the Rise

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

We open with a simple mid-week reminder that this coming weekend marks the start of Daylight Saving Time -- we “spring ahead” at 2:00am Sunday morning, losing an hour in the process.  We’ll send a couple more reminders through the week.

As we expected, a little warmer and a tad more humid for Wednesday afternoon, adding more cloud cover and even generating a handful of spotty afternoon sprinkles rolling through the area.  Winds were running in the double-digits through the day as we drifted in and out of the clouds, letting WAFB community temps climb into the upper 70°s to near 80°.

Our thinking for Thursday is much the same weatherwise, although we anticipate a few more showers during Thursday afternoon.  Many of us will begin the day in the 60°s with a little patchy fog, but we think that even winds in the early morning will be sufficient to minimize the fog coverage.  Look for highs on Thursday around 80° and winds will again be out of the south and SE running in the ‘teens with occasional gusts in the 20s.

The upper-air pattern we described yesterday still holds, with an upper-level low associated with the current western U.S. upper-level trough becoming “cut-off” (separated from the main Polar Jet Stream flow).  That cut-off low will likely meander over the Southern and Central Plains from Friday into Monday; at the same time a surface front approaches the viewing area into the weekend.

Titan9 RPM model projection for Noon on Friday showing a cool front moving into the area, sparking showers and t-storms.
This set-up will make for a run of unsettled weather days.  And ... this set-up also has the potential for a “big bust” in the weather forecasting department.

If the upper low positions itself relatively close to Louisiana -- say over central and east Texas -- it will help promote a “wetter” weather pattern.  However, if the low sets-up shop over western Texas or farther to the north in western Oklahoma or Kansas, then the frontal signature will be much less impressive over the weekend.

For now, we’re playing it cautious and prepping our audience for a Friday-through-Monday that tends to be on the “wet” side of things, keeping rain chances at 50-50 or better for all four days.  That does not mean all-day washouts, but it does suggest that showers and t-storms could be more the rule than the exception through the period.

Hopefully, we’ll get to fine-tune our weekend outlook in the next day or so.

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