Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Some Relief from the Heat

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

After a scattering of showers and t-storms for Tuesday afternoon and evening, the rains will subside through the overnight.  We’ll keep a slight chance of rain -- about 20% -- in the forecast from midnight until sunrise, with better rain chances returning during the day on Wednesday.
A cool front will work its way through southern Louisiana overnight and push out over the northern Gulf into the morning, but mid-level energy behind that surface front will mean keeping scattered rains in Wednesday’s forecast.  We’re currently setting Wednesday’s rain chances from late morning into the afternoon at about 40% , with cooler and less humid air prevailing by the evening hours.
Many WAFB communities could see morning lows dip into the upper 50°s for Thursday and Friday morning, thanks to the “continental” air mass that takes over late Wednesday.  Thursday should be a beauty, with highs in the low to mid 80°s.  Friday should be just fine for downtown’s Live After Five with mainly fair to partly cloudy skies.  We’ll sneak a very slight chance of rain (less than a 20% chance) into the latter half of Friday -- not really enough to worry about.
Our extended outlook includes a return of scattered showers and t-storms through the weekend.  Guidance is currently projecting a non-tropical low to emerge over the western Gulf near the Mexico/south Texas coast on Friday and begin a trek east-northeast across the Gulf, approaching the Louisiana coast by late Saturday or early Sunday.  Timing for the low’s arrival along the LA coast varies between models, but that system looks like it will make for a pair of wet days - - for now, we’ll go with 50-50 rain chances for both days.  As that Gulf low continues to track east away from Louisiana, our next cool front is projected to approach from the northwest, keeping decent rain chances in the forecast for next Monday and even Tuesday.
Given the run of wet weather we’re forecasting from Saturday into Tuesday, is there any good news?  How about temps running a tad on the “cool” side for this time of year, with morning lows in the low to mid 60°s and highs in the low to mid 80°s.  That may not be great news, but at least it will be a departure from the persistent warmer-than-normal weather we’ve been experiencing over most of 2012 thus far.

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