Monday, October 7, 2013

Beautiful Weather Continues!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Now that’s what October along the Gulf Coast is supposed to be like ... no complaints about today’s weather and we think you’ll be pleased with the forecast right through the work week. 
As of this afternoon, the cold front that swept through Louisiana yesterday and has delivered this “taste of fall” has effectively absorbed whatever was left of Karen and is generating rains over the Sunshine State.
We’ll enjoy a couple more mornings with sunrise temps in the low 50°s for metro Baton Rouge, which means that many WAFB neighborhoods along and north of the MS/LA state line could see morning lows in the upper 40°s!  You will notice a moderate warm-up by Thursday into Friday, but still not so warm and humid as to become unpleasant.
For now, even Saturday and Sunday look pretty good, with only isolated showers currently projected for the weekend.

To our north and east, we have an upper-level trough centered over the Great Lakes and extending into the Southeast U.S. -- that’s the feature that has delivered this cool and exceptionally dry (low dew points) air.  Well to our west, an upper-level ridge is centered over the “Four Corners” of the Southwest.  The upper-level flow pattern will be a “progressive” one in the coming days, meaning that upper-air troughs and ridges will be advancing steadily from west-to-east rather than staying locked in their current positions.
Farther to the northwest, another trough, currently over the northeastern Pacific, will be headed into the Pacific Northwest states.
The upper ridge currently over the U.S. Southwest will be positioned over the lower Mississippi Valley by Thursday, accounting for our warming trend as we head to the end of the work week.  Behind that ridge, the Pacific trough will move through the U.S. Northwest and into the north-central Rockies.  By the weekend, our overhead ridge will have shifted farther east and the western trough will have moved from the Rockies into the central Plains. 
A surface low over the Dakotas will strengthen in association with that upper Pacific trough, with a trailing cold front extending into the central and southern Plains states into the weekend.
Currently we expect that cold front to make its way into Louisiana on Monday.  But with the surface low headed from the Dakotas into southern Canada, it looks like the southern end of the cold front will not have much upper-level support as it sweeps through the lower Mississippi Valley.  Under this scenario, it will be a weak front and not likely to generate much rain -- that’s why our current extended outlook only calls for a 30% (to maybe 40%) rain chance for Monday.  We’ll see how this evolves in the coming days.
In the meantime, enjoy the superb autumn weather!

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