Thursday, June 14, 2012

Scattered Storms into the Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Scattered showers and t-storms continue around portions of southeast Louisiana this afternoon, but fortunately most of the storms have remained below severe limits today.

Doppler radar estimates are showing some 2” to 3” rain totals for today over portions of Assumption, St. James, St. Charles, Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, with 2” to 3” totals also indicated over sections of Wilkinson County and East Feliciana Parish (mainly from the morning storms). 

Today’s rains will subside into the evening hours and most of us will stay dry through the overnight. However, the atmosphere remains very unstable, so we can’t rule out an isolated shower or storm overnight, especially for the southernmost parishes.

Today’s clouds kept Thursday highs in the 80°s for most of us, and those clouds will likely linger through most or all of the night, keeping temps in the 70°s for most of us.

Today’s rains -- a bit more widespread than Jay had expected -- were the product of the stubborn surface trough/quasi-stationary front that continues to meander over the lower Mississippi Valley plus the influence of the mid-level disturbance that was over the Red River valley yesterday.

That Southern Plains disturbance -- the same system that produced large hail in the Dallas metroplex -- took on a more southeasterly trajectory last night. While it became rather diffuse as it approached the Gulf Coast, it added enough lift and energy to kick-off those somewhat surprising Thursday morning rains and storms. There were even reports of hail in a few locations!

If you remember, on Tuesday we pointed out two disturbances: the Red River/Southern Plains system and the “spinner” over the Gulf Coast region extending from around Mobile Bay eastward into the Florida Panhandle. That Mobile/Pensacola system is also becoming less defined, but its remaining energy appears to be headed west, providing potential lift and support for Friday’s rains. It could even be a factor into Saturday, especially for areas west of the Atchafalaya Basin as it continues moving west.

The weekend outlook is not bad, just not great either. For now, we’ll go with a 30% chance of mainly afternoon showers and storms on Saturday with a 20% rain chance for Sunday afternoon. Highs for both days look to run in the upper 80°s to around 90°.

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