Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Breezy, Warm & Muggy Weather Continues

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

A few light showers overnight, patches of fog for the morning, then persistent clouds and a muggy air mass -- that pretty much shapes up the past 18 to 24 hours.  That will also be close to the forecast for tonight and Wednesday.
We don’t expect the “surprise” showers we had late last night, although a few still could see a sprinkle or two this evening.  In addition, we’ll add an ever-so-slight increase in rain chances for Wednesday afternoon -- at 20% or less.  The winds will return on Wednesday with a steady flow off the Gulf in the 10 to 20 mph range.  It will be another muggy day on the way with highs returning to the 80°s for just about everyone in the viewing area.
The outlook for Thursday morning and afternoon are shaping up to be a near carbon-copy of our Wednesday forecast, with changes arriving late Thursday night into Friday morning.
An upper-level low over the western U.S. will continue a slow march to the east, cutting across the Central Plains on Wednesday and Thursday on its way to the Great Lakes.  That system will drag a cold front into the lower Mississippi Valley late Thursday into Friday. 
At this time, the NWS forecast calls for rain totals running from 0.25” to about 1.00” for the WAFB viewing area with locally-higher totals.  The Storm Prediction Center also has metro Baton Rouge on the edge of an area outlined under a 'slight risk' of severe weather late Thursday into Friday morning. We're seeing mixed signals on the threat of severe weather, so we'll take another look at that on Wednesday.

Friday’s afternoon forecast remains in question.  While Friday’s cold front is currently expected to be moving to the east and out of southeast Louisiana in the early morning, our in-house RPM model and the rather-reliable European model suggest some “backside” showers and clouds could linger into the latter half of the day.  We’ll watch over the coming days to see how that shakes out.

But here’s the good news -- we get the wet weather out of here on Friday, leaving us with an outstanding weekend ahead.  Look for sunny skies for both Saturday and Sunday, with cooler and drier air in place both days: sun-up temps in the 40°s and afternoon highs in the 70°s!  It’s looking superb for Sunday’s Earth Day festivities.

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