Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More & More Heat!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

We’ll keep an eye on the AQI through the afternoon and evening, as DEQ has issued an Ozone Alert for Wednesday -- the second consecutive Ozone Action Day for metro Baton Rouge.  The preliminary data suggest that the metro area missed reaching Code “Orange” on Tuesday … and with luck, the same will be true for Wednesday afternoon.
While storms were fairly isolated today, there were a couple of reports of severe weather. Seven to eight homes received minor damage in Arabi (St. Bernard Parish) from storms this afternoon, including one home having its carport destroyed. Also, a funnel cloud was spotted over the south end of Lake Pontchartrain near Metairie.

But there is no missing the heat!  As hot as it feels, let’s understand that our recent run of 90° days  is not way out of the norm for this time of year!  History shows us that daily norms for mid to late May are in the upper 80°s, so running a couple of degrees above that is certainly not all that far from the norm.  However, the persistence of warmer-than-normal weather -- which has been the rule for 2012 thus far -- is certainly noteworthy.  In addition, recent long-range outlooks are calling for better-than-average chances for continued warmer-than-normal weather in the coming weeks.  Bottom line: here’s hoping that the A/C has been serviced and is working well because you’re certainly going to need it!
Over the coming days, we can’t completely rule out the chance of a stray afternoon shower or two, but the weather headline through the rest of the work week and into the coming Memorial Day weekend should read: “Staying mainly hot and dry!” ... or maybe, more simply: “More of the same!”
Not only do we stay in the 90°s for afternoon highs, but the morning lows will slowly creep up to around 70° by the weekend, a reflection of a continued increase in low-level humidity. 
So it’s hot and mostly dry through Sunday, but we’ll bring a slight chance of rain into the Monday through Wednesday outlook, with roughly a 20% chance of afternoon t-showers each of those three days.  Yet, even with the afternoon rains, we’ll still call for highs in the 90°s all three days.

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