Friday, August 17, 2012

Wet Pattern Extends into Next Week

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Scattered showers and storms tracked across the WAFB viewing area during the afternoon, with the a few ‘strong’ storms embedded within a general WNW-to-ESE movement. Unlike the previous two days, when most of the rains occurred to the south of Baton Rouge, today’s rains and storms developed on both sides of the I-10/12 corridor. Fortunately, while the storms did play a little havoc with the evening commute and some of the storm clusters became rather strong, we did not see any storms achieve “Severe” thresholds (as of 4PM).

The afternoon and early evening rains should subside by/before sunset, but we’re keeping a very slight chance for some overnight showers in the forecast, with spotty to isolated showers in the sunrise forecast (mainly closer to the coast).

We’ve been calling for a “wet” weekend just about all week long, and we’re staying with that forecast. Set rain chances for Saturday and Sunday at about 60% to 70%. These won’t necessarily be all-day rains, but we are expecting the weather to be a little busier throughout both days compared to the mainly-dry mornings and scattered-rains of the past couple of days.

In fact, there will be a somewhat better chance for rain on Sunday morning compared to recent mornings: keep that in mind as you head out to church services, to that family breakfast, or if you’re going to try to sneak in a few holes on the golf course.

We’ve been talking about a cool front as a primary focus for the weekend rains, calling for the front to sag south of BR and possibly stall over the coastal waters by Monday. As of this afternoon, it looks like the front will struggle to get even that far south and may remain draped over Louisiana, not only through the weekend but also for the better part of the work week. If that occurs, not only do we NOT get any relief from the humidity, but we keep pretty good rain chances in the forecast throughout the upcoming week.

Yes, folks, it’s looking rather wet through the next 5 to 7 days.

In the tropics, we have three areas of interest. T.S. Gordon ran into a little shear earlier this morning and has thus far failed to strengthen into a hurricane as projected yesterday by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). At best, Gordon may have a small window to make ‘Category 1’ intensity before shearing winds and cooler waters start to take their toll, but the latest NHC forecast has taken hurricane intensity off the table. Gordon will maintain essentially an easterly track over the coming days, and that could mean tropical-storm force winds for the Azores Islands late Sunday or early Monday.

The remnants of T.D. #7, located in the western Bay of Campeche, organized enough today to be upgraded to Tropical Storm Helene. The Hurricane Hunters found a small center of circulation with maximum winds around 45 miles per hour. The official forecast calls for Helene to move inland into Mexico on Saturday, but there's an outside chance the storm could linger along the Mexican coastline into the weekend. Either way, Helene doesn't appear to be much of a threat to the northern Gulf Coast at this point.

Lastly, way, way out in the eastern Atlantic, to the south of the Cape Verde Islands, a healthy looking tropical wave has been designated as “94L.” Regardless of what transpires with 94L over the coming days, it is simply too far to our east to be concerned about, at least at this stage of the game!

Have a great weekend ... and as always, a big “THANK YOU!” to all of our Weather Watchers!

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