Friday, March 29, 2013

Increasing Clouds, Rain Chances This Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Our Easter weekend forecast may not be exactly what you have been hoping for.

After a morning start in the low 50°s, Saturday’s forecast calls for a sun/cloud mix to mostly cloudy skies with isolated afternoon t-showers.  Highs climb into the upper 70°s for most WAFB communities.  Yes, you might have to dodge a raindrop or two, but most stay dry through the day -- so keep those Saturday outdoor plans in place.


Our Easter Sunday forecast looks like it may be wetter than what we’ve been thinking for the past few days.  We’re still calling for a mainly-dry start to the day, but we’ve added fog to the morning forecast.  Rain moves in for the afternoon and evening.  The latest model runs are sending some mixed signals about Sunday’s weather: while we don’t anticipate a severe weather event, our in-house RPM model is suggesting that some WAFB neighborhoods could see upwards of one-inch or more of rain!  That’s NOT what the Easter Bunny ordered!

Sunday’s rains will be powered by several features: a slow-moving cold front to our north will help maintain a steady in-flow of moist Gulf air, while daytime heating and a “weakness” aloft will combine to enhance afternoon instability.

The weather remains wet into Monday, with a follow-up cold front to our north getting a good push from a southbound Canadian air mass.  As the front slides southward into the lower Mississippi Valley, it will get a boost from an upper-level system currently located over the eastern Pacific -- that should make for a noticeably cooler and fairly soggy Tuesday.

Unfortunately, it looks like the cold front slows its southward advance on Tuesday into Wednesday, lingering over and along the northern Gulf and helping to keep our weather unsettled through mid-week.  In fact, the last couple of runs from the GFS model holds the wet weather in here through Thursday before finally clearing out on Friday.  Highs for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will likely top-out in the 60°s, making for cool and damp early April weather.

Our extended outlook has afternoon temps rebounding into the 70°s on Friday under sunshine, with the longer-range outlook suggesting a decent pair of days for next weekend.

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