Friday, July 12, 2013

Warm, Less Humid on Saturday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Thankfully, today was quite the contrast to Thursday from a weather perspective in our viewing area.  While we are seeing a few showers and t-storms break out along a weak front draped over the state, those rains shouldn’t last long.  What’s more, it looks like we’ll stay that way through the weekend.
Today’s sunshine allowed the high at Metro Airport to top-out at 96° - - the highest reading thus far this summer!

The “cool” front we’ve been talking about for the past few days has arrived along the Gulf Coast and is going to do the job.  Now don’t be expecting truly cooler afternoons over the weekend … but you should notice at least a modest drop in our humidity levels for Saturday.  And here’s some added good news:  we think that the lower humidity levels will hang around for much of Sunday too.
Our Saturday forecast calls for a nice start to the day with sunrise temps near 70° for metro Baton Rouge -- in fact, some communities north and east of BR could even see some early morning 60°s.  Plan on lots of sunshine through the day, taking Saturday highs in to the 90°s -- a few WAFB neighborhoods will flirt with the mid-90°s on Saturday afternoon.  However, dew point temperatures in the 60°s will give the air a “dry” feel by July standards.  We can’t entirely rule out a rogue afternoon shower or two, but we’re posting Saturday rain chances at well under 20%, so just about everyone stays dry.
Probably the biggest change to our weekend outlook is our call for a mainly-dry Sunday.  Low-level moisture will be returning to the area on Sunday, but the increase in humidity will be slow enough to give us another “not bad” weekend day.  Sunday’s sunrise temps will be in the low 70°s -- a degree or two ‘warmer’ than Saturday’s morning lows -- with Sunday’s highs again in the low 90°s.  Set rain chances for Sunday afternoon at about 20% or so, still below July norms.
Our traditional Gulf humidity will have made a complete recovery by Monday – rainfall will jump back to a more typical July pattern of afternoon scattered showers and t-storms for the coming work week.  Morning lows will tend towards the low to mid 70°s with afternoon highs in the low 90°s just about every day through the week.

So what about what’s left of Chantal?  As we mentioned Thursday evening, there really isn’t much of a chance for Chantal’s remnants to make a comeback -- and that is good news in our opinion.  Although the National Hurricane Center (NHC) was calling for a 30% chance for a tropical cyclone to re-develop (within the next two days) last night, the satellite presentation suggested that 30% was awfully generous.  The NHC now has backed down to a 20% chance -- we think that is still generous -- and cancelled today’s planned flight for a Hurricane Hunter investigation.

As of this afternoon, what was Chantal now shows two distinct lobes of convection -- one just northeast of the northern Bahamas, the other on the south side of Cuba.  Neither looks threatening.  Elsewhere in the Atlantic Basin, we continue to track “easterly waves” coming off the Coast of Africa, but so far every one of these thunderstorm clusters has failed to develop upon reaching the open tropical Atlantic.  Great news, of course, but just remember, it’s still early in the season.
Enjoy our weekend!

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