Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rains Returning

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

No question -- Thursday was a beauty! And we all know that -- sadly -- all good things must come to an end, but does it have to be so quickly!

We’ll enjoy another nice evening and a comfortably cool night with BR metro area lows dipping to around 60°, but clouds will be on the steady return by Friday morning. The morning commute stays dry, but isolated to scattered rains will start popping up around the viewing area by the afternoon. Not everyone gets wet during the afternoon and evening, as we set rain chances in the 30% to 40% range for your backyard, but you might be dodging a shower or two if you’re out and about for Friday evening fun.

During this evening’s weathercasts, we’ll show you a large area of rain currently stretched across portions of the Lone Star State. That mess is headed our way and looks to make for a wet Saturday across the WAFB viewing area. The weekend rains will be the product of the combination of surface low pressure over south Texas moving to the western Gulf, an upper-level low adding to the storm energy, and a cool front sagging into the region from the northwest.

Given this set-up, the main question becomes: how long will this mess hang around?

Models continue to differ a bit on the west-to-east speed of this wet mess, but the complex is shaping up to be a relatively slow-mover. That means not only a “wet” Saturday but rains are expected to extend into Mother’s Day as well. We’re going with a 70% rain chance for Saturday and continuing with a 50-50 chance for Sunday. The one hope is that the system moves along quickly enough to allow for a bit of a dry-out during the latter half of Sunday.

And what about rain totals?

Given the system’s relatively slow advance and the availability of Gulf moisture throughout its west-to-east trek, we could be looking at some fairly decent rain accumulations, especially along the coast. Early projections through Sunday from the NWS Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) are suggesting widespread rains of 1” to 2” or more for the northern half of the viewing area, with totals rising above 3” and even 4” closer to the coast.

Titan9 PrecisionCast rainfall projections through Saturday evening. 
In fact, the threat of heavier rains to our west are sufficient enough that as of this afternoon the NWS has posted all of Louisiana -- from south of Alexandria and west of the Atchafalaya Basin -- under a FLASH FLOOD WATCH from Friday morning through Saturday evening!

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