Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Staying Hot, Mainly Dry

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

As we expected, today (Tuesday) was a mainly-dry day across the WAFB viewing area, and that looks to be the story for the next couple of days as well.

Surface high pressure continues to expand westward from the Atlantic (this is linked to the ‘Bermuda High’ that is often mentioned during the summer), while ridging aloft extends from the Central U.S. Plains eastward and southeastward over the lower Mississippi Valley.

If the air weren’t so juicy -- as a result of the flow off the Gulf -- we’d expect the entire area to be completely rain-free given the regional weather set-up. But anytime that you have our humid, Gulf air mass in place coupled with the daytime instability enhanced by solar heating, it doesn’t take much to get at least a spotty shower or two going by the afternoon. That was the case today and will be the situation through the rest of the week.

Our Wednesday forecast calls for a 20% chance, if not less, for rain in your neighborhood and we keep those rain chances at 20% for Thursday. The upper-ridging may weaken just a tad as we get closer to the weekend, so we’ll ease rain chances to about 30% for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The reduced rain chances in the coming days mean that those that don’t get an afternoon shower are likely to see highs reaching into the mid 90°s, just like we saw at Metro Airport today. Yet with the southerly flow persisting through the work week and into the weekend, morning lows will remain in the mid 70°s for metro Baton Rouge.

And in the tropics? Nothing of real significance going on, although the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is keeping an eye on an area in the west-central Atlantic. The NHC is giving this area of disturbed weather about a 4-in-10 chance of becoming a tropical cyclone (a depression) in the next 24 to 48 hours, but the storm cluster is headed NE towards cooler waters. It offers no threat to land, and even if it were to become a tropical low, it is unlikely that it would survive long given the water temperatures and increasing shear it will encounter.

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