Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Short Reprieve from the Rains?
The start of Hurricane Season is just two days away: are you Hurricane Ready? Have you got your “Game Plan?”
We’ve been keeping a watch on Barbara, the Eastern Pacific tropical system that was trying to work its way into the southwestern Gulf (Bay of Campeche). Fortunately, Barbara couldn’t survive the trip -- although ‘she’ picked the narrow strip of Mexico’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the interaction with the nearby high terrain and ‘her’ slow movement spelled “Goodbye” to Barbara -- and the National Hurricane Center has issued its last advisory on the system.
Around the WAFB viewing area, we did have a few showers and t-storms in the region today, but coverage was considerably lower than what we saw on Wednesday. And we expect a repeat of this drier pattern for Friday and probably Saturday as well. True, the air is moist enough, but the atmosphere is not quite as unstable as it was at mid-week, so there’s not quite as much opportunity for rising air to generate rain-making clouds. Still, we do expect a few afternoon showers and storms for Friday and Saturday -- we’re setting rain chances in the 20% to 30% range for both days.
A cool front will be getting better-organized in the Southern Plains by Saturday, with that front expected to reach northwestern Louisiana by Sunday morning. This boundary will provide a boost in atmospheric lift -- in other words, it should help get the rains and t-storms going on Sunday. For now, I’m thinking a 50-50 chance or better for rain in your backyard on Sunday afternoon and evening.
Our current guidance says the front slowly clears to the east on Monday, with a drier Canadian air mass filtering into the lower Mississippi Valley by Tuesday. Now don’t be thinking “cooler” -- in fact, with the drier air we should see fewer clouds, which means more solar heating. So look for highs in the low 90°s for next Tuesday and Wednesday, but we should feel a brief drop in the humidity.
Down the road, there is some hinting at another front approaching towards the end of next week.  We'll have to watch and see if that really pans out.

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