Thursday, October 31, 2013

Much Nicer on Friday!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

It was a very busy first half of the day, highlighted by Tornado Watches for just about the entire WAFB viewing area. But the east-bound squall line that was the key ingredient prompting our regional severe weather concerns started to lose its form as it crossed the Mississippi River, and as of 3:45pm, the NWS began trimming the Tornado Watch for metro Baton Rouge from west-to-east.

By 4pm, we had received about 0.3” of rain at the downtown studio, most of which came in a relatively short downpour. So what does it all mean for the Halloween Trick-or-Treaters?

While the severe threat is off the table for the evening hours, it looks like the rain will persist well into the evening, making for a “wet” time for those trying to go door-to-door during the 5-8pm “Witching Hours.”

We think that most WAFB neighborhoods can expect 0.5” to 1.0” of rain before all is said and done. But the “done” part comes before Friday’s morning drive for Baton Rouge.

In fact, we think that rains will have ended for metro Baton Rouge sometime around midnight or so ... ending even sooner for areas north and west of the Red Stick. While we could still see a shower or two closer to the coast by sunrise, even even those areas clear out by mid-to-late morning, leaving just about all of us with a great looking second half of the day for Friday.

And the weekend? Spectacular! Sunshine for both Saturday and Sunday... Saturday will start out near 50° at sunrise across the Capital City with afternoon highs in the low 70°s. And it turns even cooler for Sunday, with wake-up temps in the 40°s and afternoon highs not even making the 70°s for many WAFB communities!

Scattered showers return to the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, with our next cold front currently scheduled for arrival on Thursday.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Turning Wet for Halloween Evening

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

We stayed under the clouds for the better part of the day, although there were times when the cloud-deck thinned enough to let is some decent amounts of sunshine. We’ll remain under the clouds through the most of the evening and overnight, with those cloud layers thickening as we head towards Thursday morning.

In fact, a few might see a sprinkle or two for Thursday morning’s commute, but it should be a mainly-dry morning drive for most with sunrise temps in the upper 60°s -- on the “warm” side of normal for late October.

The cold front we’ve been talking about is still on track to arrive late Thursday evening, but it’s the pre-frontal rains that are going to be a problem for the Trick-or-Treaters. It’s just not looking good at all for late Thursday afternoon and especially into the neighborhood Halloween hours (generally around 5-8pm for most local communities). We’ve got isolated to possibly scattered showers arriving by lunchtime with rain chances steadily rising through the afternoon and into the evening.

Yesterday we mentioned how our in-house RPM model was bringing the rains into our viewing area a bit later than two other reliable models -- the GFS (American) and ECMWF (European). The RPM was offering us some hope that the rains might hold off long enough to allow the door-to-door Gremlins a chance to collect their chocolate booty.

That was yesterday. Today, our RPM has sped-up a bit … and is now more in line with the other two reliable models, both of which paint a “wet” picture for the Baton Rouge metro area by 5-6pm, if not sooner. Communities well to the south and east of Baton Rouge will see the rains arrive later in the evening, so some may be able to get in their outdoor fun before the weather gets too active.

Also note that the NWS Storm Prediction Center has expanded the amount of WAFB area included in their “Slight Risk” for Thursday into early Friday. We still don’t anticipate widespread active or stormy weather, but a couple of t-storms could attain low-end severe thresholds, most likely in the form of high winds.

The good news is that the rains will move out quickly - - while we may still see some Friday mid-to-late morning rains closer to the coast, we have rains ending in the Baton Rouge metro area very early Friday morning -- before the morning commute. Look for sunshine by Friday afternoon as cooler and less humid air takes hold.

Rain totals are likely to range from around 0.5” to 1.5” for most, with some pockets of 2”+ where the stronger storms pass. Since we’ve been reasonably dry over the past couple of weeks, these projected rain totals won’t cause any serious problems in the area.

The weekend will be nearly perfect -- sunshine for both Saturday and Sunday! And looking farther ahead, we keep the weather dry for Monday, with modest rain chances on Tuesday and our next cold front currently on schedule to arrive Wednesday.

And nothing bubbling in the tropics!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Storms Possible for Halloween

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

We had some pockets of rather heavy fog develop earlier this morning as the winds were a bit lighter than expected, allowing for better radiational cooling (heat loss from the ground) even with the morning cloud deck above. Lows were about 1° to 3° cooler this morning than anticipated.

Today’s skies became partly cloudy a little sooner than expected as fair-weather cumulus clouds (‘cotton ball’ clouds) combined with a thin veil of high cirrus clouds (wispy ‘ice’ clouds) by the lunch hour. The clouds didn’t generate so much as a sprinkle over the region, but they were just sufficient enough to filter the mid-day sunshine and slow the early afternoon warm-up. Still just about all WAFB neighborhoods managed to reach the low 80°s -- all in all, not a bad afternoon.

As for the forecast for the coming days, our thinking hasn’t changed much from yesterday.
Wednesday will start off on the mild side with sunrise temps in the low to mid 60°s for metro Baton Rouge. Be ready again for areas of fog during Wednesday’s early-morning commute, with some pockets of locally-dense fog especially in the usual-suspect spots. The fog will lift by mid to late morning, with upper-level ridging adding to the daytime warm-up even while under mostly cloudy skies -- we’re expecting highs in the mid 80°s for the ‘Red Stick.’ We can’t rule out a spotty shower or two between Wednesday afternoon and early evening, but the vast majority will stay dry through the day.

Our next Pacific cool front will be getting its act together over the Southern Plains on Wednesday and will be tracking towards us throughout the day and into and through Thursday. With persistent southeast winds ahead of the front, inflow of warm-and-moist Gulf air will keep Thursday morning minimums in the mid to upper 60°s for most of us. By Thursday’s sunrise, we could even see some spotty showers developing on Titan9 Doppler that continue into the mid-day.

But the big Thursday weather question is: will Mother Nature will be in the mood for an outdoor “Treat” or a “Trick” for the youngsters?

It’s going to be close. While we are fairly confident that the cool front will not arrive until early Friday, showers and t-storms ahead of the advancing front will make the Thursday evening window from roughly 5-9pm rather dicey in terms of rain chances. Based on an early-afternoon review of three of our reliable models -- the GFS (American), the ECMWF (European) and our in-house RPM -- the outlook is not promising. However, it is not a total slam-dunk for a Thursday evening rainout just yet either.

The GFS has the rain right over us during the neighborhood “door-knocking” hours. The ECMWF is maybe a tad slower, but still suggests that the rains would be arriving at a critical time and make a mess of things. Only our RPM appears to want to delay the rains until later that night. So for now, we’ll say “rain likely” during the key hours for the candy grab, with isolated t-storms possible as well.

For the sake of percentages, we’ll say 60% to 70% chance during the “street haunting” hours. As we said yesterday, be thinking about a “Plan B” for the young ghosts and goblins.

It looks like just about everyone gets the rain between late Thursday and Friday morning, with early NWS Hydrometeorological Prediction Center estimates running on the order of 1” to 2” for most of the viewing area before the front slowly clears the region on Friday. While we do not expect a severe-weather outbreak during the overnight hours, northern portions of the WAFB viewing area are included under a “Slight Risk” for severe storms by the NWS Storm Prediction Center from late Thursday into early Friday.

The rains likely linger into early Friday morning, very possibly into the morning commute, especially for WAFB’s southern communities. With the front still draped over southeast Louisiana on Friday morning, we won’t start to feel the effects of the cooler-and-less-humid air behind the front until later in the day. By Friday afternoon and evening, however, clearing should be well underway from west-to-east -- and you’ll certainly feel the difference.

This all sets us up for a wonderful weekend weatherwise. We’re going with 50°s for the Capital City on Saturday morning and 40°s for Sunday morning with highs both days in the 70°s. Expect sunny skies for Saturday and mainly sunny skies for Sunday -- just about perfect!

Our next best chance of rain after Friday morning looks to be next Tuesday.

Elsewhere ... nothing to speak of in the tropics as we close out the month of October -- and no complaints about that either.

And as an early reminder, remember that we “fall back” with the clocks this weekend -- we get back the hour of sleep we lost last spring. The official ‘reset’ time is Sunday morning at 2:00am.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Warm, Mainly Dry Through Wednesday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Sunday was a little damper than we had expected, although most neighborhoods saw little more than a trace of rain over the course of the morning and mid-afternoon.  In fact, for many, the skies cleared nicely for the late afternoon and evening.
While today was a decent October day, we say “goodbye!” -- at least for the time being -- to the comfortably cool weather that was the last week’s highlight.  In fact, with the exception of frontal weather that resulted in a wet Saturday on October 19th, the last ten days or so have been quite nice.  Up until today, daily highs topped-out in the 70°s each day since October 17th, with daily average temperatures running below-the-norm for 11 straight days.  And how about those extra cool mornings of October 24-26, when morning minimums dipped into the 40°s at BR’s Metro Airport and into the upper 30°s for some of WAFB northern communities?  Nice ... you bet!
We’ll have mornings in the 60°s and highs in the 80°s for most or this work week as “return flow” delivers Gulf moisture and Gulf warmth through Thursday and into early Friday.  In fact, some of us could see upper 80°s for highs on Wednesday as we await the arrival of the next autumn front.
And unfortunately for the little Ghosts and Goblins, the timing of that next front may get in the way of Halloween evening fun!

The current guidance places a fairly-quick-moving Pacific cool front over the Southern Plains on Thursday morning with that front draped over Southeast Louisiana by Friday morning’s sunrise.  That set-up means that for Thursday evening -- Halloween’s “haunting hours” -- the WAFB area will be in the warm sector just ahead of the advancing front.  As a result -- as of this afternoon -- we’re posting “rain likely” for Thursday evening and late Thursday into early Friday.
A few t-storms on Thursday evening are likely to be a part of the local “weather equation.”  While widespread severe weather does not appear to be a major concern, we can’t rule out one or two strong to severe storms somewhere in the extended WAFB region during the evening and late night.
Okay, there are still a couple of days to go while we fine-tune the Thursday evening forecast, but we want the parents to start preparing for -- and thinking about -- an “indoor Plan B” for the youngsters if “Trick or Treating” is in the family game plan.
The way it’s looking now, our pay-off for a wet Thursday will be a fine weekend.  The extended outlook currently indicates fair skies for both Saturday and Sunday with highs both days back in the 70°s.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Chilly Start Saturday!

Morning temps ranging from the upper 40°s to lower 50°s around the WAFB viewing area were pretty similar to what we’ve seen much of the week, but afternoon highs that struggled to reach 70° were a good bit cooler compliments of a front that moved through overnight. In fact, today’s high of 70° at Metro Airport in Baton Rouge was the coolest since May 5th, when we only reached 65° for a high!

Pleasant but cool weather will continue into this evening, spelling good news for the final Live After Five of the fall series and high school football games. If you plan on attending those events or anything else this evening, make sure you bring a jacket with you! Temps will fall rather quickly into and through the 50°s once the sun goes down just before 6:30.

Much like Friday’s high temperature, Saturday morning’s low will likely be our coolest since early May. Temperatures should bottom out in the lower 40°s around metro Baton Rouge, meaning some areas near the state line into SW Mississippi could reach the upper 30°s!

After our cool start on Saturday, temps should rebound nicely under mainly sunny skies. Highs will reach the mid 70°s, making it just about a perfect day for tailgating at Southern, LSU and Southeastern – all of whom are celebrating homecoming. If you plan on going to one of the games, make sure you pack a sweater or jacket as temperatures will again drop pretty quickly after sunset.

Warmer weather will return as we head into next week compliments of our winds becoming more southerly. Look for morning lows to climb into the 60°s and highs to reach the low to mid 80°s through much of the week.

It looks as though our next significant chance of rainfall will arrive during the mid to latter portion of the week in association with a cold front. The timing is still a bit uncertain, with one of our more reliable models pegging best rain chances Wednesday into Thursday (Halloween), while another suggests Thursday into Friday. We’ll fine tune the forecast as the event gets closer.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Bit Cooler Friday & Saturday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

As we mentioned over the past two days, we’re awaiting the arrival and passage of our next Canadian front.  We’ve got the timing set at passage through the overnight hours with the front over the northern Gulf waters by Friday’s sunrise.  Not only is this going to be a “dry” frontal passage but it may progress without so much as a line of clouds!  What it will do is deliver a reinforcing dose of cool-and-dry Canadian air as we head into the weekend.
The front’s impact will be rather modest early on Friday, so our morning minimums will not be too much different than what we saw early this morning -- in fact, many neighborhoods will have sunrise temps on Friday running a degree or two warmer than this morning.  But by the afternoon, the effects of the Canadian air will be evident, with highs only reaching the low 70°s for the Red Stick compared to today’s highs around 80° or so today.
All looks just about perfect for Friday evening’s “Live After Five” as well as Friday night high-school football: clear skies for the evening with 5PM temps in the upper 60°s and temps by 8PM already down to the upper 50°s to low 60°s for many.  You might want to grab the long-sleeves if your headed to area high school games.

By Saturday morning, we’ll get the full effect of the cooler air mass from the north, with lows dipping into the low to mid 40°s along the I-10/12 corridor.  Many WAFB neighborhoods near and north of the LA/MS state line will have sunrise temps in the upper 30°s.
However, the notable cool-down will be relatively short-lived.  The high pressure core of the cool air mass will be moving to the east through the weekend, allowing afternoon highs to rebound into the mid 70°s for Saturday and upper 70°s for Sunday.  The other minor bug-a-boo with the weekend is the forecasted development of a disturbance over the Southern Plains.  The GFS and ECMWF both hint at the WAFB area being on the far eastern edge of the rain shield, giving us a slight chance for showers on Sunday.  For now, we’ll post a 10% chance and see how the models look tomorrow.

By early next week, many of us will be back to highs in the 80°s for Monday through Wednesday as southeasterly flow sets-up in response to a developing frontal complex over the Central and Southern Plains.  Prior guidance suggested that the mid-week front could be entering Louisiana on Wednesday, but the latest depictions from the NWS Weather Prediction Center delay the arrival until Thursday.
We’ll go with isolated-to-scattered mainly-afternoon showers on Wednesday with scattered rains and highs back to the 70°s for Thursday.  It’s too early to get the young’uns nervous just yet, but we’ll watch the weather outlook closely for Thursday -- after all, it will be Halloween!

Elsewhere ... the National Hurricane Center said its official “goodbye!” to LORENZO at 11AM this morning as the system was deemed to no longer have a tropical structure.  What is left of LORENZO is expected to dissipate in the next day or so and/or be absorbed by a cold front heading its way.  And there is nothing else worth mentioning in the tropics at this point.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October at its Prime!

The forecast for the remainder of the week continues to be outstanding, with mainly sunny skies expected through the rest of the work week and into the upcoming weekend. We can expect 40°s and 50°s for the morning starts each day through Sunday. While many WAFB communities will see highs up around 80° for Thursday, afternoon highs for the rest of the week and through the weekend will stay in the 70°s. “Dry” continental air will remain in place throughout, making for mild afternoons.
To borrow a well-known line from an old commercial, "It just doesn’t get any better than this!”
I’m making two very modest changes to the forecast through the weekend. First, I am reducing the amount of the end-of-week “cool-down” -- highs on Friday and Saturday will only slip to the mid 70s instead of yesterday’s forecast which called for highs around 70° for both days. With the latest guidance suggesting that the core of the week-ending cool air will bypass us a bit to the north, I’ll say mid 70°s for both afternoons under mainly sunny skies. Yep, not quite as cool as I thought yesterday but that’s still prime-time weather!
The other change is that I’ll grudgingly enter a very slight chance of rain into the forecast for Sunday -- a measly 10% rain chance for the afternoon, hardly worth the mention.
As we head into Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, afternoon highs will return to something closer to 80° or so, with dew point temps returning to the upper 50°s to low 60°s. So yes, maybe a blip or two pop-up on Titan9 Doppler during those afternoons, but for now we’ll keep the rain chances at well under 20% for all three days.
Our extended outlook still calls for a cool front to enter Louisiana early on Wednesday. We’re getting some mixed signals from our extended outlook guidance as to just how energetic that mid-week front will be. For now, let’s call it “scattered showers and a few t-storms” for Wednesday -- we’ll keep a watch on how that evolves over the coming days, but it’s just not something to give much thought to at this point.
T.S. LORENZO has weakened today and that trend is expected to continue tonight and tomorrow.  Strong westerly shear has pulled most of the thunderstorm activity well to the southeast of LORENZO's center. The official NHC forecast has LORENZO weakening to a tropical depression by Thursday and then losing ‘his’ remaining tropical character by Friday. Regardless, LORENZO poses no threats to land.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Great October Weather Continues!

Frankly, there’s not a whole lot to talk about -- just sit back and enjoy!
What rain that did fall overnight and in the early morning for most WAFB communities was barely a drizzle, with few WAFB Weather Watchers recoding measureable amounts. As of lunchtime, clouds and even a few showers still were observed over the extreme southeastern portions of the Bayou State, but for most WAFB neighborhoods the skies were clearing nicely through the mid to late morning.
Tuesday’s sunshine took afternoon temperatures into the upper 70°s to around 80° -- add in the low humidity and most of us enjoyed an all-star weather day. And it stays nearly-perfect for the next few days as clear-and-cool nights will be followed by sunny-and-pleasant days.
Lows will slip to near 50° for metro Baton Rouge on Wednesday morning, with upper 40°s on tap for folks near and north of the LA/MS state line. We’ve posting sunny skies and highs in the low to mid 70°s for Wednesday across the Red Stick area.
Not only will we stay dry through the coming weekend, but the Gulf Coast can expect a pair of reinforcing surges of cool-and-dry Canadian air in the next couple of days, taking temps even lower towards week’s end. Baton Rouge lows will drop into the mid to upper 40°s for Thursday and Friday mornings, and could sink into the lower 40°s for Saturday and Sunday mornings. Although highs on Thursday will reach the mid 70°s, many WAFB neighborhoods along and north of the I-10/12 corridor will struggle just to reach the 70°s on Friday and Saturday afternoons!
No complaints with Sunday either: highs return to the mid 70°s under mostly sunny skies. In fact, the extended guidance suggests dry weather into the middle of next week.
In the tropics, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) continues to track non-threatening T.S. LORENZO in the central Atlantic. LORENZO has showed some modest strengthening overnight and earlier today, with peak sustained winds now estimated at 50 mph. LORENZO will continue to track towards the northeast and all indicators are that ‘his’ days are numbered. The tropical storm is headed towards an area of increasing wind shear and cooler sea-surface temperatures, a combination that will almost certainly mean a rapid decline in LORENZO’s tropical structure. In fact, the NHC calls for LORENZO’s dissipation within the next 72 hours.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Great Autumn Days Ahead!

After a disagreeable start to Saturday, the rains ended early as promised, with slow clearing through the latter half of the day. And the big pay-off arrived Sunday – boy, what a beauty! But unfortunately, the nice stuff didn’t last long as Titan9 Doppler was showing a few showers this morning in the coastal parishes. And through the afternoon, the extent of the rain coverage has expanded, especially over the southern parishes. As of 4PM, we’re seeing some light showers working their way into the greater BR metro area.
Most of today’s rains are tied to a warm/quasi-stationary front over the north-central Gulf along with a developing area of low pressure on the western end of that front. At the same time, our next autumn cool front is approaching from the northwest. Rain accumulations could get into the 0.25” to 0.50” range for some coastal areas, but most WAFB viewers will likely see only about a tenth-of-an-inch of rain between this afternoon and Tuesday morning. In fact, some WAFB neighborhoods will see little rain at all over the next 12-18 hours.
The surface low developing over the northwestern Gulf should remain well offshore as it moves east overnight and tomorrow. At the same time, the trailing end of the advancing cool front should work its way through the WAFB viewing area early Tuesday morning. For metro Baton Rouge, we’ve got rain chances running at just 30% or so through the overnight and early on Tuesday, with skies clearing during the latter half of Tuesday. Clearing may be a little slower along the coast and to the east of the Capital City, but even there all should be looking good by the late afternoon or early evening.
After Tuesday morning’s showers taper-off and the clouds clear-out, the weather “Wow!”factor returns.
Our latest forecast remains “dry” for Wednesday and right through the upcoming weekend, with metro BR enjoying superb autumn days: lows in the upper 40s to low 50s, highs in the 70s, and mainly sunny days with no humidity to speak of!
And in the tropics, this morning’s “Invest 90L” was upgraded to Tropical Depression #13 at 10AM ... and was upgraded again to Tropical Storm LORENZO at 4PM, the 12th ‘named’ storm of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season. LORENZO is located over the west-central Northern Atlantic with the current forecast guidance taking the tropical storm off to the northeast. That means LORENZO stays over open water and will be no threat to land. The latest National Hurricane Center projections indicate that strong shear should result in the demise of LORENZO later this week.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Rains Tonight into Saturday AM

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Today turned out to be a bit sunnier than expected in the morning, but clouds have made a comeback and we're now monitoring some rains moving inland as of late afternoon. Live After Five and many of the high school football games likely get off to a dry start, but wet weather could be an issue later on this evening. If you plan on being out and about, make sure you have our free Titan9 weather app installed on your phone so you can keep up with the rains.
With a front to our south and a cold front approaching from the north and west, we expect these two boundaries to “team up” and begin to have an impact on the WAFB viewing area during Saturday’s pre-dawn hours -- we’re going with “rain likely” for the early morning.  However, there is some good news: we’ve backed down the estimates for rain amounts for Saturday and there does not appear to be any concern for severe weather.  Better still, the rains should clear from west-to-east by mid-day for most of us, with areas north and west of Baton Rouge seeing an end to the rain even sooner. By Saturday evening, just about every WAFB community should be enjoying fair skies with cool-and-dry air pouring in from the northwest.

Sunday should be a true autumn beauty: sunrise temps in the upper 40°s for just about everyone along and north of the I-10/12 corridor and a great afternoon under sunny skies with highs in the mid 70°s.
Sunday’s superb weather will only last a day, however, as our next cold front will be rapidly approaching from the northwest.  In a set-up that will be similar to what we expect for tomorrow morning, the advancing cold front will link up with the trailing end of a stationary front over the northern Gulf, resulting in another round of rain from late Monday into early Tuesday.  But much like our Saturday forecast, this all gets through here quickly, with clearing setting-in by Tuesday afternoon and evening, leaving us with a great day for Wednesday.
And for now, at least, our forecast looks good for next Thursday and Friday.  In fact, the weather may cooperate nicely right through next weekend.

And in the tropics, absolutely nothing to talk about!
So get set to dodge the Saturday morning rain and then enjoy the rest of the weekend ... and Geaux Tigers and Jags!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Wet Saturday Morning Ahead!

For the vast majority of us, it would be a stretch to even label what fell this morning as light rain or drizzle-- how about occasional spritzes? There were a couple of pockets of light-to-moderate showers through the day, but for most of us, there was little need for the windshield wipers.
The cold front moved through the metro area in the early morning hours and was already draped along the southeast Louisiana coast by 10:00am. The front will continue to ease its way into the coastal waters this evening, then stalls and begins to retreat northward on Friday.
We saw a few breaks in the afternoon’s cloud deck, but early afternoon highs only reached the mid 70°s for metro Baton Rouge as the mostly-cloudy skies and inflow of cool-and-dry air from the north limiting the daytime warming. In fact, some WAFB neighborhoods struggled just to briefly climb out of the 60s!
We expect partly to mostly cloudy skies through the night and into Friday morning, but the cool air from the northwest will allow many WAFB communities to slip into the mid 50s for Friday’s start. And while we expect to remain under mostly cloudy for most, if not all, of the day on Friday, we’re keeping rain chances on the very low side at 20% or below for the afternoon and evening. Look for Friday’s highs to return to the mid to upper 70s, but the “dry” air that has been filtering into the region today will mean an even less-humid afternoon, with very comfortable fall-like dew points in the 50°s.
So what about that weekend outlook?
If you remember, we’ve been talking about pretty high rain chances for Saturday just about all week long. Remember, the front that moved through this morning will be headed back this way late Friday into early Saturday. At the same time, a cold front will be approaching from the northwest and headed into the WAFB viewing area for Saturday morning.
That double-barrel set-up means “rain likely” for Saturday -- some neighborhoods could see between one-half-inch and one-inch of rain or more thanks to a “wet” Saturday morning. But the forecast for the latter half of Saturday continues to show some improvement -- in other words, we are becoming more confident that Saturday’s morning rains will be winding wind down and potentially coming to an end through the second half of the day.
The cold front from the northwest looks like it should have enough momentum to maintain its southeasterly progress and sweep things out of southeast Louisiana during Saturday afternoon. For now, we do suggest that you have a “Plan B” ready for any Saturday afternoon outdoor activities as a “just in case,” but we are very optimistic that the weather clears for our WAFB communities from north-to-south through Saturday afternoon and evening.
And with that Canadian front pushing through on Saturday, Sunday should be a nice autumn day, with highs in the mid 70°s.
Signals are still a bit mixed for next Monday and Tuesday, but we’re thinking that Monday should be another fairly nice autumn day before the next front approaches from the northwest. We’ll add in a slight chance of rain for late Monday and a 50-50 or better rain chance for the front’s passage on Tuesday. Like our Saturday front, we expect Tuesday’s front to have more than enough “push” behind it to move through fairly quickly and leave us with a nice Wednesday and rest of the work week!
Elsewhere . . . nothing in the tropics to worry about!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cool Front Arrives Tonight

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

A band of showers rolled through much of the viewing area during the late morning, but the rest of the day has remained dry for most of us.  Yes, there have been a few passing showers on Titan9 Doppler this afternoon, but barely enough to even mention.
A modest cool front is working its way through Louisiana and should be over the southeastern parishes by Thursday morning.  Rain chances will be on the rise after midnight tonight -- and it looks like you’ll probably need the wipers for the Thursday morning drive.  We’ll start Thursday with temps in the mid 60°s for Baton Rouge and scattered rains – but these will be mainly light to occasionally moderate showers.  So don’t expect any real downpours nor much, if any, lightning and thunder for Thursday morning.

Thursday’s rains should taper-off in the afternoon as the front slowly creeps east and southeast, but we’ll stay under mostly-cloudy skies.  Expect Highs on Thursday in the upper 70°s - - maybe even approaching 80°, depending on just how much sunshine can sneak through the afternoon clouds.
Thursday night into Friday morning should be dry for the most part, with Friday morning minimums in the upper 50°s for metro BR.  Unfortunately, scattered but mainly-light rains return for Friday afternoon.  The Thursday cool front will stall over the coastal waters on Friday and begin lifting back into the coastal parishes as a warm front, setting us up for “overrunning” clouds and showers.  But just like Thursday, we aren’t expecting any active or stormy weather on Friday afternoon.
However, heading into Friday night and especially Saturday morning, the rain picks up in both coverage and intensity.  The warm front and its surface low will be moving through the coastal parishes by Saturday morning.  At the same time, a Canadian cold front will be tracking from northwest to southeast across the state, with the two boundaries likely meeting-up late Saturday along the central Gulf Coast.

We’ll keep a slight rain chance into Saturday night and early Sunday, but Sunday afternoon should be a nice one -- fair to partly cloudy, less humid and highs in the mid 70°s for Baton Rouge.
The guidance gets a little mixed after that, but we’re going with a partly cloudy Monday before the next cold front arrives on Tuesday.  For now, we’ll stay with scattered showers and t-storms on Tuesday, with scattered rains lingering into Tuesday night and everything clearing out by or before Wednesday afternoon.
... and in the tropics, nothing of any real concern anywhere in the Atlantic Basin.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Showers, Cooler Temps on the Way...

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

We enjoyed a fairly quiet day today, and there were just enough clouds to keep the day from getting as warm as we had anticipated.
We’ve been talking about a cold front coming into the WAFB area for several days now.  That front is approaching the ArkLaTex region this evening, with its main surface low headed toward the Canadian border.  Radar has been showing a broad band of moderate rains extending from southwest to northeast through Texas and into Arkansas today, the product of the aforementioned front with added lift provided by a very active sub-tropical jet.

With the sub-tropical jet expected to move little from its current position, the cold front won’t get much of a push over the next few days.  As a result, the front will be slow to advance eastward.  We expect the front to move into NW Louisiana around midnight or so tonight, only reach the WAFB viewing area during the latter half of the day on Wednesday, and still be draped over the southeastern parishes as late as Thursday morning.  It will continue to creep to the east and south into Friday, then likely stall over the northern Gulf.
Fortunately for us, the front won’t have much lift or “energy” to work with, so most rain in the area will be light-to-moderate through the coming three days. In fact, we are only posting daily rain chances in the 30% to 40% range for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with most WAFB communities coming in at under one-half-inch of rain for their three-day totals.
You’ll also notice the cool-down as a northerly air mass arrives behind the front.  After a high on Wednesday in the mid 80°s for metro Baton Rouge, “Red Stick” highs for Thursday and Friday will be in the upper 70°s thanks to the front’s position to the south and southeast.
Unfortunately, the Gulf front looks like it will begin a northward retreat by late Friday into Saturday, pulling Gulf moisture northward and serving as a focus for another round of rains centered on Saturday into early Sunday.  In fact, Saturday could be a rather wet day for the area, and there is some potential for more in the way of thunderstorm activity.  Widespread severe weather does not appear to be a serious concern as yet, but we’ll have to watch and see how the pattern develops.  In addition, rains of 0.5” to 1.5” could be possible, especially for some of WAFB’s more western communities.

And to be honest, the outlook for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday remains very uncertain.  For now, it looks like a secondary Canadian cold front could arrive and merge with Saturday’s retreating warm front and help clear things out by late Sunday.  However, some of the extended guidance suggests that the resulting frontal system would then stall a second time and retreat again as a warm front for Monday and Tuesday -- keeping scattered rains in the forecast for early next week.  We’ll just have to see how the models respond in the coming days.
Elsewhere ... a broad area of low pressure well east of the Bahamas is the only area of interest in the tropics, and even it has very little chance of developing in the next three to five days.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Changes Ahead Later This Week

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Even with northeast winds and fair skies for much of the overnight and pre-dawn hours, it just couldn’t cool down quite as much as Jay had expected -- lows only dipped into the upper 60°s instead of the mid 60°s as forecasted.  However, those warmer-than-expected sunrise temps put the brakes on any real concerns about for the morning commute.

Just about everyone stayed dry today and we will stay that way through the night.  Look for Tuesday wake-up temps in the mid to upper 60°s once again under partly cloudy skies.  And like today, most will remain dry through Tuesday as highs return to the upper 80°s.  Notice that we’re saying “most will stay dry” for Tuesday as we will toss spotty showers into the afternoon mix, but put those chances at less than 20%.
The weather starts a run of changes headed into Wednesday.
We expect a cool front to work its way into northwestern Louisiana late Tuesday and approach our viewing area by Wednesday morning.   The front is expected to take it’s time moving through south Louisiana, traveling from central Louisiana to the coastal waters from Wednesday into early Thursday.  That should keep our weather unsettled for both days.  Most of our guidance is calling for only scattered showers, with little or no threat for active or severe storms.  In addition, we expect Wednesday/Thursday rain accumulations to come in at well under one inch for most or all of the viewing area.  We’ll go with rain chances at 30% to 40% for Wednesday, then run them at 30% for Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

That front should continue to move slowly southward and out over the northern Gulf by Friday, while a second cool front approaches Louisiana from the north.  This second front -- which is currently on-schedule to arrive sometime around mid-day or so on Saturday -- should help maintain a more fall-like feel following its passage.  But like the earlier frontal passage on Wednesday/Thursday, the current long-range outlooks suggest that Saturday’s front will not be very energetic either.  Once again, we currently see little if any threat for any active storms or severe weather with the weekend front.  And, just like the mid-week front, we’re keeping weekend rain chances on the modest side as the front moves by.
The one remaining question about the weekend front is the Sunday outlook: some of the guidance suggests lingering, isolated showers into the Sunday forecast.  Let’s watch and see how that outlook shapes up over the coming days, but our hunch is that Sunday should be a fairly nice day.

In the tropics, satellite imagery is showing a pair of weak disturbances in the Atlantic Basin -- one located east of the Bahamas and the other to the east of the Lesser Antilles.  Neither is of any serious concern at this time, with the National Hurricane Center giving both areas low-end chances for development over the next three to five days.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Weather Changes by Mid-Week

Rains late Saturday evening and into the early hours on Sunday produced a few pockets of one-quarter to one-half inch rains around much of metro Baton Rouge but totals rose quickly as you moved west, reaching as high as around two inches in the Lafayette area. Thankfully today’s weather was fairly quiet day across most of the WAFB viewing area, with just spotty showers popping up during the afternoon.
A weak cool front will try to sag into the southern parishes later tonight, but will stall and quickly retreat to the north as a warm front. So don’t expect it to have much of an impact on our weather and don’t be looking for a cool-down or drop in the humidity.
We’re sticking with a mainly dry forecast for Monday and only spotty showers for Tuesday. After morning starts for both days in the mid 60°s, we’ll call for highs to return to the upper 80°s for most WAFB neighborhoods with the humidity giving Monday and Tuesday afternoons an “almost summer” feel.
Our next cool front is currently positioned over the western U.S. and will move across the Southern Plains from Monday into late Tuesday. By Wednesday morning, the NWS guidance has this “Pacific” front (cool air, but not as cool nor as “dry” as a Canadian air mass) moving into northern Louisiana and headed our way.
The exact timing remains a little “ticklish” right now, but it looks like the front should be through most of the WAFB are by Thursday morning and positioned over the coastal waters by early Friday. That scenario set us up for scattered showers and storms from Wednesday afternoon into Thursday.
Normally such a set-up would lead to a nice looking Friday. However, the extended outlook suggests that a bona fide Canadian front will be following on the heels of the Pacific front, with the even-cooler and “drier” (less humid) Canadian air arriving on Saturday. However, the double-barrel, back-to-back frontal passages will mean that the weather remains a bit unsettled in-between on Friday.
So we’ll keep a chance of rain in the forecast for the first half of Saturday, but really cool things down for next Sunday!
In the tropics, a weak disturbance -- Invest 98L -- shows little potential for development in the short-term with the National Hurricane Center giving this low-pressure area just a 10% chance for becoming a tropical cyclone over the next five days.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Warm, Isolated Showers This Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Titan9 Doppler has been picking-up on a few quick moving showers this afternoon, but nothing to warrant concern.  In addition, it looks like the isolated rains will steer clear of downtown Baton Rouge, so ‘Live After Five’ should run without a hitch ... and most of these passing showers should be over by sunset if not before, leaving high school football in great shape for the evening.
We’ll go to partly cloudy skies tonight, with some patchy fog developing into the early morning hours.  However, we don’t think the fog will be as widespread or as dense as was the case for the past two mornings.  We’ll kick-off Saturday’s sunrise in the mid 60°s for most of metro Baton Rouge.
Two football games in town:  LSU kicks off at about 2:30pm and Southern starts at 6:00pm -- so be ready for some significant traffic around the Red Stick for the better part of the day.  Saturday’s highs will reach the upper 80°s for many of us under partly cloudy skies.  And like today, we can’t rule out spotty showers during the afternoon, but the vast majority of us stay dry.  And even for those that do see some rain, the showers will pass in a hurry and won’t be much of a problem for any outdoor activities.

Our Sunday forecast isn’t much different: sun-up temps in the mid to upper 60°s, afternoon highs in the upper 80°s, and less than a 20% chance for rain in your backyard.
If there is a disappointment, it’s that we can’t get rid of this higher humidity.  A frontal system will remain positioned to out north and northwest into the middle of next week, keeping us in the “warm sector” with flow off the Gulf maintaining low-level moisture.  Morning lows will be in the mid to upper 60°s into the middle of the week -- a sign of elevated dew points and Gulf humidity.
The outlook for the upcoming mid-week is still a bit fuzzy.  The long-range outlooks indicate that a Canadian front will push through the lower Mississippi Valley -- most likely around Thursday -- but the timing is still far from certain.  But once the front gets through, we should be set-up for some good-looking, cooler and less-humid weather for NEXT weekend!
In the tropics, we’re still watching a large disturbance currently in the central tropical Atlantic, roughly mid-way between Africa and the Lesser Antilles.  The National Hurricane Center gives this large wave a 50-50 chance of becoming a tropical cyclone (a tropical depression or possibly a tropical storm) over the next 5 days as it continues to move to the west or WNW at about 10-15 mph.  At this stage, however, given its location, it is simply not something that Gulf interests need to worry about.