Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Andrea Forms in the Gulf

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Titan9 Doppler has been picking up a few showers and isolated t-storms through the afternoon.  Those pockets of rain have been moving generally from ESE-to-WNW around the larger-scale circulation associated with the broad low in the east-central Gulf.  We expect most of those afternoon and evening showers to fizzle-out shortly after sunset, although we won’t rule out a spotty shower or two during the overnight and into Thursday morning.

Our thinking for Thursday and Friday has changed a bit since yesterday.  We’ll keep a 30% rain chance in the forecast for Thursday afternoon but rather than increasing the rain chances into Friday afternoon, we’re going to bring them down a bit.  If you remember, yesterday we were talking about a 40% to 50% chance of afternoon showers and storms for Friday.  Now we’re thinking something on the order of a 20% rain chance for Friday morning, then continuing into the afternoon at about 20%, if not a tad lower.  That’s great news for the NCAA Super Regional at Alex Box ... and generally good news for anyone hoping for a dry Friday evening!

Why the change?  The cool front headed our way from the Southern Plains is now expected to lose a good bit of its definition before it arrives, which means we’ll lose some of the “lift” that a frontal boundary would have provided to kick-off showers and storms.  Remember earlier this week how we questioned whether that front would actually make it all the way through the viewing area and deliver a brief dose of less-humid air?  We should still get a slight drop in dewpoints for late Friday into Saturday, but not a big cool down.

However, the slightly-drier air that arrives on Friday will mean a drop in rain chances for the latter half of Friday and extending into the weekend.  Therefore, in addition to the reduced rain chances for Friday, we’re posting afternoon rain chances at 20% for Saturday and Sunday.  That should be even more good news: not just for the Super Regional but also for anyone hoping to enjoy some weekend outdoor time.

And of course, we’re watching that low in the Gulf.  A Hurricane Hunter left Biloxi around lunchtime today and found strong enough winds, along with a circulation center that was defined well enough to upgrade the area of disturbed weather to Tropical Storm Andrea, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. Andrea will continue to battle wind shear and some dry air on its western side, so little intensification is expected before it makes landfall potentially in the 'Big Bend' area of Florida by late Thursday. It will have little direct impact on our weather and even those headed to the beaches should be fine by Friday, although the surf will probably be a bit on the rough side.

Don’t forget, you can customize your own tracking of this system with WAFB’s Hurricane Tracker, available at -- we think you’ll like this on-line tool!

And of course, with that “something” in the Gulf, now is a great time to consider: is your 2013 ‘Hurricane Plan’ good-to-go?  Need some ideas?  A refresher?  For guidance and ideas to get yourself, your family and your property prepared, check out:
-’s Hurricane Center

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