Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Few Storms Possible Wednesday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

And the 80°s just keep on coming, like a retro radio station!  Today makes 9 of 10 April days with highs of 80° or more ... and 26 of the past 30 days.  Each and every day over the past 30 days has averaged above-normal in terms of daily average temperatures!  Little wonder the A/Cs are working overtime!

Our “warmer-than-normal” trend looks to remain the rule rather than the exception over the coming seven days.  A slow-moving front will sag southward into our viewing area later tonight and hang around the region through much or all of Wednesday before finally drifting farther to the south and out over the Gulf sometime on Thursday. 

Usually at this time of year, a front in the vicinity would mean good rain chances. With this go-around, however, relatively weak mid/upper dynamics, a northwesterly flow aloft and a lack of significant moisture will mean that Wednesday’s front will only generate isolated rains through the day -- we’re going with just a 20% rain chance.

Titan9 RPM model projection showing only isolated showers along a front in south Louisiana as of 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

That said, we’ll have to keep an eye on Titan9 Doppler through the day, as any thunderstorms that do spring up could become strong.  As we’ve seen in the past, t-storms that move from north-to-south frequently have a higher potential for lightning and hail. But for most of us, it looks like the day will be little more than a mix of sun and clouds with highs returning again into the low 80°s.  As we’ve seen the past couple of mornings, patchy fog could develop by Wednesday’s sunrise, but we don’t anticipate areas of fog that will be a problem for the morning commute.

Our Thursday forecast keeps highs in the upper 70°s, if only for one day.  The question for Thursday’s forecast will be “how far south does the front migrate before mid-day?”  If the front stays close to the coast during Thursday, that might be sufficient to spawn a couple of showers; if the front drifts out farther into the northern Gulf, that will keep the day dry.  For forecasting purposes, we’ll split the difference for now and go with “spotty” showers for Thursday.

Friday looks like a “weather winner” and we’re no going with a mainly dry forecast for the weekend: partly cloudy and mild for Saturday and partly cloudy and warm and with spotty afternoon showers for Sunday.

As an early reminder, the spring series of "Live After Five" kicks off this Friday in downtown Baton Rouge. The concerts will return to North Boulevard, but will be in the newly-constructed Town Square. Friday's weather looks just about perfect!

It also looks like a great forecast for the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival -- Friday through Sunday!

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