Thursday, February 21, 2013

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

We’ve already seen some passing showers and heard a few rumbles of thunder, and Titan9 Doppler was even suggesting some small hail in a couple of t-storms south of metro BR earlier today.  In the meantime, the weather has been quite active to our west.  In addition to a Tornado Watch for much of western and central Louisiana (through 7PM), we’ve seen a number of T-Storm and Tornado warnings posted.

In addition, the warm front has finally moved from south-to-north through the BR metro area: temps at Metro Airport have responded by jumping from the low 60°s during the early afternoon to 70° as of 4PM. 

Although many of you have enjoyed a few "dry" hours after the earlier rains, don't be shelving the umbrellas just yet.  In fact, a new Tornado Watch was posted for our counties in SW Mississippi just after 5 PM. The threat of severe weather appears to be relatively low this evening, but it's not nonexistent.  But even if we don’t see any severe weather, more rain is likely for your backyard while we await the cold front’s arrival.

The cold front is already over western and northern Louisiana, and thus far most of the active storms appear to be forming over the northern half of the Bayou State.  While we still expect additional t-storms to develop over our viewing area this evening as the front approaches, a majority of the stronger storms may stay north of the BR metro area.

We’re anticipating the frontal passage through metro BR before midnight, taking the severe weather threat with it as the front continues to the east.  But the cold front is expected to slow and eventually stall over southeastern Louisiana’s coastal waters through the day on Friday.  With the front over the southeastern coast, we effectively eliminate any severe weather threat for the WAFB viewing area on Friday, but we can still expect off-and-on showers through the day as the stalled surface front combines with the subtropical jet above to keep mainly-light rains in the Friday forecast.

The front should eventually start moving off to the east on Saturday, allowing skies to start clearing mid-day Saturday.

Highs for both Saturday and Sunday will be around 70° or so, with a slight chance of rain back in the forecast by Sunday afternoon as our next weather-maker heads in our direction from the Southern Plains.  Rain appears likely on Monday, especially for the first half of the day as another Pacific cold front slides by.

In the extended outlook, Mother Nature finally smiles on us with a dry Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

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