Friday, July 26, 2013

Mixed 'Weather Bag' this weekend
This morning’s low of 69° for Metro Airport was the first time the airport dipped below 70° since the morning of July 13th. If you are one of those early-morning commuters, runners or walkers, you probably noticed that the air was a tad cooler and less humid.
Even with the day’s mild start, the heat returned for the afternoon. However, once again the forecasts for mid 90°s were a little too high, although just about everyone saw temps climb into the low 90°s. With dew points ranging from the upper 60°s to low 70°s for most WAFB neighborhoods, at least the mid-day heat was tolerable, especially for late July.
The recent run of “mainly dry” days comes to an end, if only briefly. A cool front currently to our north and northwest -- linked to a surface low over the Southern Plains -- will continue to move in our direction tonight and tomorrow. As the surface low slides east, a trailing cool front should move into the WAFB viewing area on Saturday afternoon, hoisting rain chances into the “likely” category and accompanied by scattered t-storms. Not everyone will get a soaking, and we don’t expect an all-day rain event, but rain coverage should be fairly widespread -- we’re calling for a 60% chance of rain for your backyard.
While we can’t rule out a few strong storms as the front pushes through, the good news is that we are not anticipating a severe-weather outbreak with the frontal passage. Saturday’s rains should also mean a break from the 90°s for many WAFB communities.
We had expected Sunday to also be another day with scattered afternoon t-showers, but our latest guidance is backing off on the higher rain chances. Our forecast for Sunday now calls for only isolated afternoon rains, with highs climbing for most of us back into the low 90°s.
In the extended outlook, our forecast calls for isolated afternoon showers, at best, for most or all of the work week. Plan on lows in the low to mid 70°s with highs back into the low 90°s each day..
So ... what about Dorian?
T.S. Dorian has been struggling a bit over the last day. After reaching peak sustained winds of 60 mph yesterday, Dorian has weakened a tad and the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) calls for additional weakening in the coming days. In fact, the NHC’s 4PM Advisory calls for Dorian to drop to depression strength within the next couple of days and then “dissipates” Dorian by next Wednesday.
We admit that the NHC’s forecast for the demise of Dorian comes as a bit of a surprise, but clearly Dorian is headed into a region of a more hostile wind shear.
Dorian has maintained a west-northwest trajectory since becoming a tropical storm in the eastern Atlantic and the forecast for the next few days shows that general trend continuing through the weekend and into next week even while the system struggles to survive. In fact, the latest forecast suggests a path that is almost “due west” as the system approaches the Caribbean island chains.
But here’s the key: even if Dorian survives through the next five days, it’s likely that the system will still be roughly 500 miles east of the Gulf of Mexico and likely more than 1000 miles from coastal Louisiana in the middle of next week. So let’s not start getting too concerned about Dorian just yet.
However, this weekend would be a good time to review your “family hurricane plan” and make sure that you are stocked and ready-to-go.

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