The chilly start to the month of May has ended as we can
expect highs in the 80°s each day this week. Mind you, the outlook for the rest
of the month is leaning towards a near-normal to cool May ... but normal May
afternoon temps for the remainder of the month are in the mid to upper 80°s, so
cooler-than-normal weather will be welcomed. Not only would most of us enjoy a
delay in the onset of Louisiana summer heat, but who would complain about a
delay in those ‘fat’ A/C bills?
The morning clouds were a little thicker
than I expected -- the disturbance that was over East Texas on Monday evening
held together sufficiently to deliver the mid-level cloud deck. But all in all,
it was a nice Tuesday with highs in the low 80°s and dew point temperatures
remaining in the comfortable 50°s.
Winds will start to swing around to
the southeast by Wednesday afternoon (if not before), meaning a return of
low-level Gulf moisture to our area for the rest of the work week. We’ll stay
with fair to partly-cloudy skies on Wednesday with a morning low in the upper
50°s and a mild afternoon in the low to mid 80°s. By Thursday, you’ll start to
feel the increasing moisture -- not becoming uncomfortable but a noticeable rise
in the humidity as dew points climb into the 60°s.
A storm system will
really start coming together over the Southern Plains (around the Texas
Panhandle region) during Wednesday and Thursday. Right now, this storm system
looks like a slow mover through Friday, but that means it will make a mess of at
least a part of the coming weekend. We’ll keep the forecast “dry” for Wednesday
and Thursday, with rain chances returning during the latter half of the day on
Friday and extending through Saturday.
The latest NWS Weather Prediction
Center (WPC) projections for this Plains storm have the surface low over
northeastern Oklahoma by Friday morning with a trailing cold front extending
back into central and western Texas. Although the front will still be well to
our west on Friday afternoon and evening, the atmosphere will be sufficiently
moist and unstable (the”warm sector” ahead of the front) for sunshine and
daytime heating to get scattered showers and storms going -- set Friday PM rain
chances at 30% to 40%.
The WPC forecast has the cold front over
northwestern Louisiana on Saturday morning, sweeping through the Bayou State
during the day -- showers and t-storms appear likely through the day and into
the evening. In addition, the WPC forecast includes a secondary reinforcing
cold front right on the heels of Saturday’s front, sliding from north-to-south
and dissipating over south Louisiana on Sunday. While there is no clear
indication of a severe weather threat with this weekend’s two fronts -- well,
not yet anyway -- we’ll be on-guard for that potential. Spring cold fronts are
among the most likely to generate severe weather.
Sunday’s forecast is
still a bit up in the air: for now, I’m expecting Saturday’s front (the first
of the weekend pair) to use up the moisture and storm “energy” over the central
Gulf Coast region. I could see some “backside” (post-frontal) rains extending
into early Sunday, but these will be associated with the first cold front. I
think that Sunday’s dissipating front will simply add another dose of dry,
Canadian air to the area, but do little to add to the weekend rains. It
is interesting to note that at least one computer model does not seem impressed
by the Canadian air mass behind the weekend’s double-barrel frontal passages --
the latest GFS model output fails to cool things down much at all for Sunday or
Monday. We’ll see how that pans out into early next week. But for now, at
least, the early part of next week looks good.
Hmmm ... May 7th: hard
to believe that Hurricane Season is just over three weeks away!