Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Warm, Muggy Days Ahead

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

As we expected for today: a little breezy, a little warmer, and a tad more humid than the past several days with a steady flow off the Gulf delivering more low-level moisture -- now get used to it!  Yes -- our run of cool spring weather has come to an end, and we’re jumping back into a prolonged run of above-normal daily temperatures.
For the weather-trivia lovers, we continue our unusually warm start to 2012.  We are currently on-track to set a record for the “warmest” first four months of any year (at least since 1930 based on available records from the LSU Climate Center).  True, we just enjoyed an 8-day run of cooler-than-normal weather, but that cool spell ended today.  And since the start of 2012, only roughly 1-in-4 of all of the days through today (April 25th, 115 days) have been “cooler-than-average.”  (An “average” year would be expected to have about half of all days cooler-than-normal and about half the days on the warm-side.)
Our breezy-to-windy weather will continue for another day or two thanks to the pressure gradient resulting from a broad zone of high pressure centered over the Florida Peninsula and an area of low pressure stretching across much of the U.S. Plains.  That set-up will maintain our south-to-southwest winds which means a steady inflow of Gulf moisture.   At the same time, a broad upper-air ridge overhead will help limit cloud development and add to the daily warming.  The combination of dewpoints in the 60°s and an abundance of sunshine will lead to morning starts in the 60°s and highs in the mid 80°s -- “feeling” like May has arrived a week early!
The good news is that we’re taking rain out of the weekend forecast.  In fact, the outlook remains mainly-dry through at least the middle of next week.  Now admittedly, with the Gulf humidity and the daytime heating we can’t promise a totally rain-free 7-day run, but any showers that do develop are likely to be very, very sparse and very short-lived.
So while it will be warm, we should have a couple of enjoyable “get outdoors!” days for the weekend!

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