Thursday, September 19, 2013

More Wet Weather on the Way...

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

The viewing area saw scattered rains and t-storms with some locally-heavy downpours today and the action will be even more widespread by Friday afternoon.
We could see a few morning showers, but It should be a mostly-dry Friday morning drive under mostly cloudy skies.  The anticipated cool front we’ve been talking about over the past several days is approaching from the U.S. Plains and should be entering NW Louisiana by Friday evening.  Although the front doesn’t reach our viewing area until Saturday, a warm-and-moist Gulf air mass ahead of the front should be sufficient to fuel scattered afternoon and evening showers and storms.  We’re going with a 50% to 60% rain chance during the latter half of Friday.
Once again, “Live After Five” fans and Friday-night high-school football followers should be prepared.
The forecast for Saturday stays very wet as well, although the weather picture for Saturday evening remains a little “cloudy” (pun intended).  With the cool front expected to be draped over our viewing area through the better part of the day, we can expect more rain through the day ... but possibly not an all-day washout.
Most importantly for many of you, the prognosis for Saturday night in Death Valley is not quite as gloomy as it was yesterday.  Entirely rain-free in Tiger Stadium for the LSU-Auburn clash?  Maybe not ... but probably not a stormy night either.
The cool front is expected to slow, possibly even stall, over the southern parishes or the coastal waters into Sunday, keeping the weather a bit unsettled for our coastal communities.  But for most WAFB neighborhoods we expect the rains come to an end late Saturday or early Sunday, with clearing kicking-in by mid-day Sunday, if not sooner.  The weather remains settled through at least the middle of next week.
Keep this in mind: the outlook from the NWS Weather Prediction Center still calls for 2” to 4” of rain between now and Sunday.  While most of us can use the rain, that’s enough to produce some “nuisance” flooding in the usual places.  However, area rivers are in “low flow” (base flow) stages and most should be capable of handling the excess runoff.
In the tropics ... Invest 95L -- the disturbance over the Bay of Campeche -- has not looked good at all today.  What seemed to be headed towards an upgrade to a tropical depression yesterday remains disorganized: so much so that the Hurricane Hunter scheduled to visit the system today was canceled.  While 95L does appear to have a broad cyclonic spin and there is convection (thunderstorms) popping to its south, northerly shear and a slot of dry air to its north and west are keeping the system from developing.
The shear and dry air may fade away some over the next 12-24 hours allowing time on Friday and into the weekend for a depression to form.  But for now, at least, most models either leave a weak system -- probably a depression at best -- in the western Gulf for the next few days or stretch it out across the open Gulf as the upper-level trough and associated front (that will be impacting us on Friday and Saturday) tug at the system.
In either case, we do not anticipate a tropical threat for Louisiana from this system

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