Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Windy, A Few T-Showers on Wednesday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Even with the clouds and steady winds, we had an “almost summer” feel to the air this afternoon, with high humidity thanks to the southerly winds delivering a steady flow of moist Gulf air.  In addition, most WAFB neighborhoods saw afternoon temps rise into the low to mid 80°s -- not uncommon for this time of year, but certainly adding to the warm and muggy feel for the afternoon. Today's high of 87° in Baton Rouge makes it our warmest day since Oct. 5th of last year!

The clouds stay with us through the evening and overnight, and while the winds will back down a bit, the steady flow of Gulf moisture will continue tonight and through the day on Wednesday.  As was true for Tuesday morning, we’ll start Wednesday on the warm-and-muggy side, with sunrise temps around 70° for many of us.  And as we saw on Tuesday morning, we’ll have patches of mainly-light fog in the area, but the winds should be sufficient to minimize any real fog-related concerns for commuters.
By mid-day, steady southerly winds like those we experienced today will return, again in the 10 to 20 mph range for much of the day with gusts in the upper 20s and 30s!  And highs for Wednesday will return to the 80°s too.
We’re still watching the storm system to our northwest, currently strengthening as it spins over the Central Plains.  As we mentioned yesterday, the core of this storm will track to the east and will remain well to our north, but its trailing cold front will sweep through the Southern Plains tonight and early tomorrow and then trek across the lower Mississippi Valley late tomorrow into Thursday.
The timing of its approach and passage through the WAFB viewing area still varies by a handful of hours between some of the operational models, but they all are calling for a very wet first half of the day for Thursday across WAFB parishes and counties.  The biggest differences appear to be just how long the rains might linger into Thursday afternoon and evening.

It’s looking like the front will slow its forward progress as it moves across Louisiana and that could mean some significant rain totals.  We’re anticipating fairly widespread event totals of 1” to 2” or more, with pockets possibly topping 3” over the period between Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon.  In addition, the entire WAFB viewing area remains posted under a “Slight Risk” for severe storms, mainly in the window between midnight and roughly 8AM or so on Thursday.
Our Titan9 RPM model projects 1" to 2" of rainfall for much of the area through Thursday, with localized  amounts in the 2" to 3" range.
The clearing will be slow on Thursday afternoon and evening, but that should leave us with a very nice Friday and Saturday.  Sunday still is still a weather question mark, however, as several models hint at a weak disturbance tracking across the northern Gulf and potentially delivering scattered rains to our viewing area on Sunday into Monday.

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