Thursday, August 8, 2013

Better Rain Chances into the Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Another HEAT ADVISORY was issued for the WAFB viewing area today as Heat Index readings reached the triple digits as early as 10AM for some neighborhoods.  That ADVISORY will be allowed to expire at 7PM this evening ... and the outlook for the next few days suggests a break from the mid 90°s for most of us.

In fact, you may even need that umbrella over the next few days as we return to a pattern of “scattered” afternoon and early evening rains for Friday and the weekend.

The upper-level ridge that has kept us so hot and mainly-dry for the last several days will finally weaken enough to allow our warm-and-moist summer air to do it’s normal “thing” -- generate those afternoon thundershowers.  We’re going with a 50% rain chance for Friday and keeping rain probabilities around 40% or so for both Saturday and Sunday.  These won’t be all-day rains, and the action probably won’t really get going until the afternoon hours, so many of us will still see afternoon readings in the low 90°s.  But the clouds and rains should mean an end to the mid 90°s, at least until sometime next week.

Daytime heating, a return to a more southerly flow and seabreeze pattern, plus a weak “easterly wave”  in the southern Gulf (tropical disturbance traveling from east-to-west) will all combine to add a little boost to those afternoon rain chances, especially for Friday.

Rain projections from the NWS Weather Prediction Center (WPC) suggest that most neighborhoods can expect from one-half inch to better than one inch of rain between now and Sunday evening, with a few pockets running upwards to near two inches (where localized downpours occur).  All in all, that’s good news for most communities, especially given the hot-and-dry weather of late.  The experts say that there is “no drought” for our viewing area -- at least not yet -- but we note that more and more folks are turning on the sprinklers and irrigators for the lawns and gardens.

In other weather news, while the tropics remain relatively quiet, the NOAA Hurricane Experts issued their early-August update for the 2013 season.  With four named storms already, they barely adjusted their forecast from late May -- tweaking it downward ever so slightly.  Their official forecast now calls for a 70% chance of 13-19 ‘named’ storms for the season (down from May’s call for 13-20), of which 6-9 will become hurricanes (down from 7-11).

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