Friday, July 19, 2013

Keep An Umbrella Handy This Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

As expected, scattered showers and t-storms popped up across the WAFB viewing area as the afternoon sunshine combined with a moist air mass to do their typical summertime jobs.
Coverage today will remain in the 30% to 40% range for our viewing area before we lose the daytime heating later this evening.  We could see a rain pocket or two linger into the late evening, but all of the rain should be out of the area long before midnight.
We’ll start off Saturday morning mainly dry ... but clouds will build through the morning and into the afternoon.  We’re posting rain chances on the order of about 40% or so for Saturday afternoon with highs in the low 90°s.  We now think Sunday looks like the “wetter” of the two weekend days -- set Sunday’s rain chances at 50% to 60%.

A broad upper-level low over the central Gulf Coast region coupled with a broad surface trough over the northeast Gulf will make for some wet weather, but together they offer no real threat for tropical development over the coming days.  While the National Hurricane Center has posted the area with a “10% chance for tropical cyclone development over the next 48 hours,” the conditions just don’t seem at all favorable for anything to come of this.  It’s already too close to land, there is no indication of a surface low to be found anywhere, and the mid-level winds appear far too active to let anything build in the short time allowed.
As we head into next week, however, we’ll really turn the forecast around.
A well-developed upper-level ridge is expected to become established over the western U.S. by Tuesday and then expand eastward through the middle of the week.  With the lower Mississippi Valley positioned below the eastern flank of the upper ridge, we’ll be under the effects of “sinking air” from above.  That air warms as it descends -- a law of physics for the atmosphere -- adding to the heat-load at the surface.  But more importantly, that warm, descending air works against our traditional mid-day summer cloud development.  Fewer clouds means more solar energy reaching the ground -- and that means higher afternoon temperatures.

So by mid-week, our forecast keeps rain chances at 20% or less with afternoon highs reaching the mid 90°s.  Think sunscreen!
Metro Airport has hit 95° once this summer, on June 14th.  But get ready for what may be the “hottest” week of the summer if our forecast pans out.

No comments:

Post a Comment