Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Few Strong Storms Late Thursday?

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Wednesday began with a Dense Fog Advisory for the entire viewing area as moist Gulf air rode inland along the southerly winds and then chilled to "saturation" due to cooler land and water surfaces.  Fortunately, the winds stayed up just a bit for many parts of south Louisiana through the night, limiting the extent and durations of some of the fog.  Still, some areas saw visibilities drop to under a mile for the morning drive.
Sunshine warmed us once again into the upper 70°s with a few neighborhoods reaching the 80° mark -- continuing our pleasant run of spring-like weather.   We enjoyed fewer clouds through the day today than yesterday, allowing the warm-up to get started a little sooner today compared to Tuesday morning.
Fog returns again tonight, although it looks like the winds through the night and into Thursday morning will be sufficient to limit the potential for another widespread outbreak of dense fog.  Still, those living or driving through fog-prone areas need to be wary for the Thursday morning drive.

Cold Front Approaches Thursday

It gets rather windy by Thursday afternoon with temps climbing into the 80°s for many WAFB communities while we await the arrival of our next cold front.  Our current guidance has the first rains arriving during the late afternoon and early evening, with the cold front arrives in the Baton Rouge metro area very late Thursday evening or very early Friday morning.

Severe Weather Threat?

The main issue with Thursday’s weather will be the potential squall line developing ahead of the front.  The latest assessment from the NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC) continues to include all of WAFB SW Mississippi viewers and the Louisiana parishes near and along the LA/MS state line under a "Slight Risk" for severe weather.  If severe weather does develop, the main threat will be from damaging thunderstorm winds, although isolated tornadoes and large hail cannot be ruled out especially for those living to the north of the state line.  Projections from the NWS Weather Prediction Center (WPC) show rains of up to an inch or more for the northern half of the viewing area, with totals on the order of 0.5" to 1.0" closer to the coast.

The active weather exits the region well before dawn on Friday morning with the skies clearing by or before the afternoon.  The “Pacific” air mass behind the front will mean cooler and less humid conditions for Friday into Saturday, but not cold.  Plan on highs for Friday in the mid to upper 60°s.

Extended Outlook

In the extended outlook, Saturday shapes up to be a nice day, with a cool start in the low 40°s and a high up around 70° or so under partly cloudy skies.  We bring rain back into the forecast for Sunday, then clear things out again for Monday.  Scattered rains return for Tuesday before a cooler air mass sweeps the region clear for Wednesday.

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