Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rainy Days Ahead...

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

As expected, today’s shower-and-storm activity was a little more widespread than what we saw on Wednesday, with a few of the storms over the southern parishes getting a tad on the ‘strong’ side during the mid and late afternoon.  But as we’ve seen each day, most or all of the rains should subside by sunset.
However, our forecast for the coming days remains wet -- we’re going with a 50-50 rain chance for Friday and even better rain chances for Saturday and Sunday.  All of this will be triggered by a southbound cool front that will slowly sag through the lower Mississippi Valley from Saturday into early Monday.

Based on what we see right now, it looks like the front will push south of the Baton Rouge area and make it as far south as the coastal waters by mid-day Monday.  But then it stalls and hugs the coast through the rest of the work week.
We’ll see a modest dip in the humidity after the front passes, but not a huge change.  In addition, with the front meandering along the coast through mid to late week, it will be close enough to keep our weather unsettled.  As a result, we’ll keep scattered rains in the forecast throughout the week.
T.D. #8 was upgraded to T.S. Gordon earlier today.  Gordon has already taken his turn to the northeast and east, which means ‘he’ will be no threat to land.  But the National Hurricane Center believes that Gordon will slowly strengthen over the next 24-36 hours or so and calls for Gordon to become a hurricane.

Gordon is the season’s 7th ‘named’ Atlantic storm.  As has been true since May, the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season remains well-ahead of the long-term average in terms of storm counts for mid-August.  Historically, the 7th ‘named’ storm doesn’t develop until mid-September, and if Gordon does become a hurricane, ‘he’ would be the third hurricane this season.  By comparison, the basin’s average date of the 3rd hurricane is not until September 9th!
We’re also watching an easterly wave over Central America, the remnants of T.D. #7.  Some of the wave’s energy has emerged over the southern Bay of Campeche today as it tracks to the WNW or northwest.  While development can’t be entirely ruled out, the wave’s relatively rapid movement coupled with its proximity to land should inhibit any significant intensification before it moves onto the eastern Mexico Coast.

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