Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Drier Days Ahead

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

As expected, the “wet” pattern that we’ve seen the past couple of days continued today.  Scattered to occasionally numerous showers and t-storms moved from ESE to WNW through the afternoon, with Doppler radar estimates showing some isolated pockets of 1” to 2” of rain for the day.  A few of the day’s storms showed periods of very active lightning, but none reached ‘severe’ thresholds.
As we’ve seen each day, the rains will wind down as we lose daytime heating and we’ll go to partly cloudy skies later tonight with Tuesday sunrise temps in the low 70°s for metro Baton Rouge.
We expect a “drier” pattern for the next couple of days as mid/upper-level ridging extends over much of the eastern U.S., putting a damper on rain chances for Wednesday and Thursday.  We won’t say “no rain” for the two days but will post rain chances at about 20% across the WAFB viewing area for both afternoons.  Less rain and fewer clouds will mean a return to highs in the 90°s for both days, with one or two WAFB neighborhoods possibly reaching the mid 90°s.

By Friday, the upper ridge will be shifting to the east allowing for a return of better rain chances for Friday afternoon and the weekend.  We’ll post scattered afternoon and early evening showers and t-storms for all three days, with highs in the low 90°s for communities.
For now, at least, we don’t see any signals for much of a change in the pattern into early next week.  So we’ll keep scattered PM showers and t-storms in the forecast for next Monday and Tuesday as well -- rain chances that are typical for mid to late July.  Highs will stay in the low 90°s.

We’re watching an upper-level low and a surface trough in the Bay of Campeche -- neither offers any real threat for tropical cyclone development.  Elsewhere in the Atlantic Basin, it remains rather quiet.  You may be thinking, “Shouldn’t we be seeing more activity at this time of the Hurricane Season?”
To put it in perspective, although we haven’t seen anything significant in the tropics since last week’s Chantal, we are well-ahead of average in terms of ‘named’ storms for this time of the Hurricane Season.  According to the National Hurricane Center, on average, the third ‘named’ storm for the Atlantic Basin doesn’t appear until early/mid August -- in fact, the second ‘named’ storm, on average, doesn’t arrive until late July or early August.  Looking at it another way, on average, less than 20% of a season’s ‘named’ storms arrive before August 1st.
So, given the current state of affairs, it appears that we are still on-track for an above-average Hurricane Season this year.

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