Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Chantal Downgraded to a Tropical Wave

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

It proved to be a mainly-dry day across WAFB-land, with Titan9 Doppler picking up only spotty showers across the viewing area through the day. But we started with a very muggy atmosphere: dew points during much of the morning were in the mid 70°s for the Capital City. Thankfully the air “dried” a tad by the afternoon, but those dew points still hung in the low 70°s -- about typical for July.

Look for partly cloudy skies throughout the night with partly to mostly cloudy skies by the early morning. We could see a few showers to start the day on Thursday, although they will likely be focused over the coastal parishes. And it will be another warm and muggy start on Thursday, with Red Stick temps in the mid 70°s near sunrise.

Thursday afternoon should be a bit wetter than what we’ve seen the past couple of days -- we’re going with a 40% to 50% rain chance for Thursday afternoon and early evening. After that, our forecast reads like a fairly typical summer-season forecast for the Baton Rouge area: morning lows in the low to mid 70°s, afternoon highs in the low 90°s, and isolated to scattered mainly-afternoon rains each day.

A weak cool front is still expected to try and make it to the coast by week’s end. For now we expect it to arrive in the viewing area on Friday. Our thinking is that it will slow its southward advance on Friday into Saturday, while fizzling out as it passes over the area. 

Admittedly, the expected cool front is making the Friday and Saturday forecasts a little tougher than normal. We don’t expect the front to enhance rain chances much on Friday, and while we think we could get a brief shot of slightly less-humid air on Saturday, we don’t think that the impact will be enough to suppress rains on Saturday afternoon. For now, we’ll post a 30% to maybe a 40% rain chance for Friday afternoon and evening, and call it a 20% to 30% chance for Saturday. By Sunday, we expect to see coverage on the order of 30% to 40% for our viewers.

As for Chantal, she’s about “done” as of this afternoon. Shearing winds were mainly responsible for her steady demise over the past 24 hours, and as of mid-afternoon the Hurricane Hunter aircraft was unable to find a closed center of circulation. We’ll still be able to track what remains of Chantal for the next several days at least, but re-development appears unlikely given the hostile environment expected ahead of Chantal’s remnants. 

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