Monday, February 18, 2013

Rain Tonight, Sunshine Tuesday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

We’ve already seen some passing showers this afternoon in the viewing area, and rain chances will be on the increase through the evening and into the night. While we can’t rule out a strong thunderstorm or two during the overnight and pre-dawn hours, it looks like we are outside of the main “threat” zone for severe weather. The NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has posted a “Slight Risk” for severe weather over the northern half of the state tonight -- thankfully, the SPC severe threat excludes all WAFB parishes or counties.

We think that the rains will be just about over by the Tuesday morning commute although you may still be dealing with some slick streets during the AM drive. Skies will clear through the day on Tuesday, with sunshine for the drive home and afternoon highs reaching the low to mid 60°s. But the clear skies don’t last long, and we’ll be back under mostly cloudy skies for Wednesday.

Rain is back for Thursday, Friday and at least the first half of the day on Saturday. We’ve even got a slight rain chance for the day on Sunday, with good rain chances returning again for Monday. 

The outlook for the next seven days calls for continued movements of storm systems from west to east across the U.S., delivering cold fronts to the lower Mississippi Valley. Tonight’s rains will be courtesy of a cold front currently approaching the ArkLaTex this afternoon. Our next frontal system delivers rains during the latter half of Thursday into Friday. That system may stall and linger along the northern Gulf Coast until it gets kicked-out by the next front, scheduled to arrive Monday the way things look right now.

On the positive side, note that temperatures are expected to remain rather mild even with the anticipated frontal passages -- not so much as a brief freeze, much less any Arctic air!

The main story here is that the next seven days look to stay on the “wet” side. The NWS Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) has a 7-day rain forecast of 3” to 5+” for the WAFB viewing area -- not good news given the recent round of river flooding. If those rains are well spread out over the 7-day run, flooding should not become a major concern. However, should a major slug of those projected totals fall within a couple of days, we could see some local rivers return to flood.

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