Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Strong Storms Possible Thursday Morning

Windy and warm conditions prevailed across the WAFB viewing area today, with highs once again climbing into the mid 80°s despite a good deal of cloud cover this afternoon. Radar has been fairly quiet most of the day, but that will begin to change late tonight.

A cool front in east Texas as of late afternoon is making slow progress toward Louisiana. Showers and t-storms, some severe, have begun to line up along the front out to our west. So far, the most significant severe weather has been up to our north.

A few spotty showers are possible this evening, but rain chances will begin to increase after midnight as the front inches closer. By the time you wake up on Thursday morning, showers and t-storms will be fairly widespread, especially from Baton Rouge westward. Rains will gradually spread eastward as the morning progresses.

We have two main concerns headed into Thursday morning: 1) the threat of severe weather, and 2) the potential for locally heavy rains. While it does look like severe weather will be most widespread to our north, a few strong storms primarily capable of producing damaging winds will be possible. As for the rains…totals of 1” to 2” will be common in our viewing area, but isolated amounts of 3”+ are possible.

The wet weather should come to an end from west-to-east during the afternoon as the cool front slides to our east. In fact, we may even squeeze out a little sunshine before the day is up.

Big improvements are expected in our weather by Friday. That means for the second week in a row, it should be just about perfect for Live After Five on Friday evening. And the weather looks equally nice for Saturday’s Baton Rouge Blues Fest to be held downtown.

Scattered showers and t-storms return to the forecast by Sunday, with isolated-to-scattered rains in the forecast each day through much of next week.

And as a not-so-gentle reminder that Hurricane Season is just around the corner, the team at Colorado State led by Dr. William Gray & Dr. Phil Klotzback released their forecast for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season today. The team is predicting 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 ‘major’ (Category 3 or stronger) hurricanes…numbers that are significantly above-normal. Using another metric from the team called ‘Net Tropical Cyclone Activity’ (NTC), they forecast tropical activity to be nearly 75% above-normal in 2013. Among the factors pointing to an active season are warmer-than-normal waters over a large part of the Atlantic, low wind shear, and the expectation that an El Niño will NOT develop. Remember, El Niño events tend to produce increased wind shear in the Atlantic, something that serves to reduce tropical activity.

Obviously, these forecasts must be used with great caution and as we always remind you, it only takes one ‘healthy’ storm to make it an active season locally. Let this serve as a reminder to start stocking up on hurricane supplies and make sure your families and homes are ready for the upcoming season…

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