By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta
A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH remains in effect for the Mississippi counties in our viewing area until 8PM, prompted by a line of storms moving north-to-south through central Mississippi. These storms have produced some severe t-storms, with hail and gusty winds, but the greatest threats are probably frequent lightning and locally heavy rainfall.
That said, and with storms now north and south of the Baton Rouge metro area, keep your eyes to the skies this afternoon and evening, as we anticipate more showers and storms breaking out in the coming hours. Truth is, this past weekend’s evening action -- both Saturday and Sunday -- surprised us in terms of regional coverage, intensity, and the fact that most of the stormy weather came late in the evening, with much of it developing well after sunset.
We could still have storms bubbling after sunset this evening, but the weather should quiet down later in the evening. Our warm, moist air mass will mean another muggy night and early morning start, with sun-up temps running near 70°. And the afternoon will be a full near-summerlike combination of heat, humidity and a return of scattered showers and storms. Look for a Tuesday high in the upper 80°s, with a 30% to 40% chance of rain for your neighborhood.
A late spring cool front will slide through the state late Tuesday into Wednesday, and while the boundary should be out over the coastal waters by Wednesday afternoon, guidance is showing south Louisiana rains extending after the front has passed.
Behind the mid-week front, we’ll get a little relief from the heat. We’re looking for morning starts in the upper 50°s to low 60°s for the rest of the week and into the weekend, and afternoon highs for metro BR will be in the low 80°s into the weekend as well.
(And boy has it been hot! For you weather trivia buffs, it looks like the first 7 days of May 2012 will rank as the 3rd “warmest” first week of May in more than 80 years!)
Towards the end of the week, the extended outlook suggests that a non-tropical low may develop in the western Gulf and track east-northeast towards the Louisiana coast. With the low to our south, that will draw in slightly cooler and drier air from the north and northeast, helping maintain cooler weather through the weekend. But those weekend highs in the low 80°s will come at a price: our weekend forecast calls for rains on Saturday and Sunday as a result of that Gulf low.
And speaking of heat, we’ve posted a little note about the unusually-warm first four months of 2012 on the WAFB Weather website: