Monday, April 9, 2012

Chances of Rain This Week?

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Just like the weekend, Monday proved to be another weather winner. So the question is simple: how long can this great stuff last?

Plan on fair skies overnight with patches of mainly light fog to begin Tuesday -- but the fog shouldn’t be any bother for the morning commute. Sunrise temps will be in the upper 50°s to near 60° for metro BR, with skies becoming partly cloudy as the day wears on.

One very weak front currently draped over our area will essentially fizzle out and dissipate overnight, with a second front currently stretched across Oklahoma and Arkansas slowly sagging southward to the Gulf Coast by Wednesday.

We’re bringing a slight chance of rain into Tuesday’s afternoon forecast as the second front approaches the viewing area from the north -- look for a high on Tuesday in the low to mid 80°s.

Normally such a set-up would be a better rain-maker, but the approaching front will lack the mid- to upper-level support and lift to get the rains going even with the daytime heating. Now we do point out that as of earlier today, the NWS Storm Prediction Center (NWS/SPC) has much of the WAFB viewing area posted under a “Slight Risk” for severe weather on Tuesday, but we suspect that the NWS/SPC experts may remove that threat by tomorrow morning.

The slow-moving front will still be in the vicinity for Wednesday, helping to maintain slight rain chances (20% to 30%) for Wednesday afternoon. And with that front still “hanging around” the Gulf Coast region, we’ll keep a 20% rain chance in the forecast for Thursday as well -- at least for now.

Titan9 RPM model projection for 3 p.m. on Wednesday showing scattered showers and t-storms along a weak cool front.
Friday and Saturday should be good weather days as mid-/upper-level ridging becomes well established across the southeastern quarter of the nation. In the extended, we have a 20% rain chance for Sunday afternoon, with better rain chances for next Monday as a storm system in the Southern Plains makes its approach.

So all-in-all, no “wash outs” ahead this week and a good looking end to the work week and weekend ahead!

Finally, NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) announced today that March 2012 was the warmest on record for the contiguous U.S. ('lower 48'). The graphic below shows 25 states that recorded their record warmest March this year.

States in red recorded their warmest March on record in 2012 (118 years of records).
In total, more than 15,000 record highs and record warm minimums (record warm low temps) were set during the month. NOAA produced the animation below showing the progression of records through the month.

Here in Louisiana, March 2012 goes down as our 3rd warmest on record in 118 years of record keeping. Interestingly, it also goes down as Louisiana's 8th wettest March on record -- something you might not expect given the record warmth. However, remember that we had a few huge rain events in southern parts of the state that probably account for a large part of that. In other words, it didn't rain the entire month, but when it did, it came down in buckets.

You can read more from NOAA at the following link:

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