Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer Pattern Sets-in for the Week!
-- 28 May 2013
Don’t look for any cool fronts this week -- all of the nation’s frontal action will remain to our north and west into the weekend, at least. Along the Gulf Coast, we are locked into a summertime weather pattern now, with Gulf moisture and late May heat combining to make the afternoons uncomfortably warm and also fuel those typical afternoon showers and t-storms as we head deeper into the work week.

After our long-weekend of relatively “dry” air, today’s rain coverage remained rather limited. But that changes for the rest of the week as the atmosphere overhead “moistens up.”

A dome of surface high pressure is located just off the Atlantic Coast with low pressure sitting just east of the Rockies. That puts us in the middle of an east-to-west pressure gradient, which will mean a general southeasterly flow over the WAFB viewing area for the coming days. That means a steady flow off the Gulf with the regional atmospheric moisture climbing as the week progresses.

This morning’s low of 67° will likely be the “coolest” morning start that we’ll see for some time. Mornings will be rather muggy for the rest of the week and right into the weekend, with sun-up temps running at or even above 70° for the Red Stick -- a signal of a moist air mass in place. By the mid to late afternoons, temps will have climbed into the upper 80°s to low 90°s for most WAFB neighborhoods, with clouds building through the afternoon thanks to the warm and unstable air mass. That means scattered afternoon and early evening thundershowers just about every day for the rest of the week.

The NWS Weather Prediction Center (WPC) maintains our summer-like days into the weekend, but also is suggesting that a cool front could work its way through the Bayou State on Sunday. For the time being, the extended models don’t seem to be showing any real “cool down” with this proposed front -- we’ll watch as the week progresses to see of the computer models offer any heat relief down the road.

We continue with Hurricane Preparedness Week -- today’s topic is wind.

Most of us are well aware of the Saffir-Simpson Scale, with 5 categories for hurricanes based on sustained maximum winds. Louisiana is no stranger to hurricanes, having been impacted by more than three dozen since 1900. And of those, 14 were major hurricanes (Category 3-5) at landfall!


But it’s important to realize that tropical storm force winds -- ranging from 39 to 73 mph -- are more than sufficient to produce damage, especially when they persist for extended runs of hours.

In addition, hurricanes can generate destructive and deadly tornadoes, a serious threat that is often overlooked. As an example, the NWS confirmed more than 30 tornado touchdowns in Louisiana during 2008 thanks to Gustav and Ike.

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