Thursday, May 2, 2013

Flash Flood Watch Extended into Friday Morning

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Although we did see some large rainfall bull’s eyes across the WAFB viewing area over this run of rain days, some neighborhoods have seen very little thus far.  In the end, flooding concerns so far have been minimized in our region.
Still, the NWS not only has a regional FLASH FLOOD WATCH in effect, but has extended it until 7:00am tomorrow.

While we are maintaining good rain chances (50% to 60%) for the viewing area through this evening, overnight and into Friday morning, we believe that the threat for heavy rains -- even more localized bull’s eyes like we’ve seen the past day or so -- is minimal.  We’re expecting mostly light to moderate showers over the next 12 to 18 hours.  True, there could be a thunderstorm or two between now and early Friday, but we think those will be few and far between for the WAFB viewing area.
That pesky upper-level low that has been a three-day threat to be a big rainmaker for the WAFB neighborhoods is now to our southeast and will continue to drift away from us.  Even with some radar estimates of 2” to 4” over the past few days, many of us will see less than 1” of rain for the entire multi-day event.  It’s been a far different story well to our east, however, where rains pounded parts of coastal Mississippi, southern Alabama and the western end of the Florida Panhandle.  Latest radar estimates along that portion of the Gulf Coast suggest widespread rains of 4” to 8”, with some pockets of double-digit totals.

We still have to await the passage of our next cold front, which will occur during the early hours Friday morning.  Rains should end as the front slides by, but clouds will linger into the afternoon.  The other thing you will certainly notice is the much, much cooler air mass that moves in: morning temps will be in the 50°s but most of us will be lucky to make it into the low to mid 60°s for Friday afternoon.  It looks like it will be rather breezy for much of Friday as well.
Given the Canadian air mass coming in behind Friday morning’s front, we are forecasting a record low for Saturday morning, with BR area temps falling to the low 40°s!  Temps should rebound in the afternoon, however, with highs on Saturday climbing back into the 70°s.  But the computer models are delivering mixed signals for Saturday’s forecast.  Our in-house RPM model is suggesting that wrap-around clouds could even generate some light rains over the region!  But our other two key models offer much better outlooks for both Saturday and Sunday.

For the time being, at least, we’ll go with a fair-weather forecast for Saturday followed by a good looking Sunday.

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