Friday, August 2, 2013

Hot .. Hot .. Hot Weekend Ahead!

For many WAFB neighborhoods, today has been one of the ‘hottest’ days -- if not the very 'hottest' day -- of the year with highs reaching the mid 90°s for many of us.  A lucky handful did get a little in the way of relief from afternoon t-showers ... that includes the WAFB studio and parts of EBR and WBR thanks to a pop-up mid-afternoon storm.

For most of the past work week we’ve talked about the “warming and drying’ influence of the upper-level ridge to our west. That ridge -- shown using the water vapor imagery -- has expanded eastward across Texas and into Louisiana today and is likely to remain over us through most of the weekend. Although we still have a weak quasi-stationary front draped east-to-west across the Bayou State, that boundary is fizzling out and doing little in the way of impacting our local or regional weather.

In fact, the air has been “drying” even more rapidly than we expected -- that means an additional reduction in the potential for afternoon showers on Saturday.

Still, the daytime temps are pushing mid- to late-afternoon Heat Index readings into the triple digits ... and as we like to remind you, the Heat index is the “feels like temperature in the shade.” Full sun can add as much as an additional 10° to 15° to the “apparent temperature” (another name for the Heat index).

Don’t expect much of a change for Saturday -- maybe a degree or two lower on the high temps but a mainly dry day with abundant sunshine. Yes, it is summer, so we are likely to see a t-shower or two pop-up somewhere in the WAFB region, but don’t bank on it. Take care in the afternoon and early evening heat if you are planning to spend much time outdoors -- we encourage frequent breaks from the sunshine and keep the water bottle handy.

For Sunday, we’ll ease afternoon rain chances up to 20%, maybe, with another mainly hot-and-dry day anticipated.

As we head into the work week, the strong upper-ridge may relax a little and retract (“retrograde”) back to the west a bit, taking some of the atmospheric “lid” off of south Louisiana and SW Mississippi by mid-week. So we’ll slowly introduce modestly increasing rain chances for the early to middle part of the week, but not a huge change in our general weather pattern. Morning starts will remain at/near the mid 70°s with afternoons returning to the low to mid 90°s each day.

In the tropics, the remnants of Dorian just won’t give up the ghost, although the weak disturbance still shows no real threat of a “return.” It looks like whatever remains could side-swipe Florida’s Atlantic Coast before heading to the north and northeast, but the opportunity for significant re-development appears minimal. In fact, the Hurricane Hunter scheduled to visit the wave today was canceled.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic basin, all appears “quiet” -- for now!

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