Monday, September 23, 2013

Wet Again for Tuesday, then the Sunshine Returns!

After the big rains on Saturday, Sunday’s dry-out was most appreciated -- and a day that also delivered an“autumn feel” to the first day of the new season!
Did you notice the deep-blue skies this morning? Unfortunately, the clouds moved in at mid-day and isolated to scattered rains returned to the WAFB viewing area this afternoon. The good news in all this rain is that we’ve taken a serious bite out of the dry spell that was threatening to become a full-blown drought.
The front that was responsible for Saturday’s rains stalled to our south but is lifting back to the north. It will stall along the central Gulf Coast and meander there through Tuesday and into late Tuesday and very early Wednesday. At the same time, a broad surface low over the western Gulf has linked up with the western end of the front. 
That western Gulf low is, in part, remnants of what was last week’s Invest-95L that threatened to become a tropical system off the Mexican Gulf Coast over the Bay of Campeche. Could “ex-95L” once again become a tropical threat? The mid-level shear is not very strong and the Gulf waters are certainly warm enough, so given the time of year it does bear watching. But the low is surrounded by dry air at the mid and upper levels and the system currently is clearly non-tropical. That combination has the National Hurricane Center giving the low virtually no chance of tropical development in the coming days.
Still, that low is expected to slowly track to the ENE along the front, likely moving along the Louisiana coast tomorrow. As a result, we push rain chances back into the “likely” category for most of the viewing area on Tuesday. With this set-up, many WAFB neighborhoods could see a half inch of rain or more, possible getting upwards to an inch of rain along the coast. But for those concerned about flood threats, not to worry: water levels have fallen enough over the past two days along our area waterways. Even widespread totals of an additional inch or more would not be enough to prompt flood warnings.
By early Wednesday, our next cool front will be approaching from the northwest. For the time being, at least, this does not look to be a very energetic front and it fizzles out as it passes by. But it should help drop dew points a couple of degrees late Wednesday into Thursday. Look for dry weather for the end of the work week with highs around 90 or so for Wednesday through Friday.
A slight chance of rain returns by Saturday, with the extended guidance showing a Pacific front potentially making for a wet Sunday.

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