Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rain's Done, Waiting on the Sun!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB Storm Team QuickCast:

- rains ending this afternoon and evening, but clouds linger
- cold front slips through early on Wednesday, clearing skies for the afternoon
- still expect morning lows to drop into the 30°s for Thursday and Friday

Although just about everyone received at least a sprinkle, most of the northern portion of the WAFB viewing area missed out on significant rains today. That said, we doubt that those that remained mostly-dry are complaining all that much. For our eastern and southern viewers, however, there were showers and even some thunderstorms to deal with through a good bit of the late morning and mid-day.

The disturbance from southern Texas that we talked about on Monday evening did indeed track in our direction, but it stayed rather compressed in size and, more importantly, took a slightly more southern track than we had anticipated. As a result, the heavier rains and storms missed the Baton Rouge metro area and rolled through metro New Orleans and points south. The last of the rains will wind down through the late afternoon and evening. 

Turning Cooler Late Wednesday 

Clouds will linger through the night as we await the passage of a mainly-dry cool front early tomorrow (Wednesday). Plan on wake-up temperatures in the upper 50°s to low 60°s across the WAFB viewing area with some pockets of fog to start the day as well. After the front slides by, the winds shift and a “drier” (less humid) Pacific air mass behind the front will help clear the clouds through Wednesday morning and mid-day: we’re expecting a high in the upper 60°s for Wednesday with mainly-sunny skies by the afternoon. Northwesterly winds will stay “up” through the day too, typically running in the 10-15 mph range with higher gusts.


The cool and dry Pacific air mass will combine with clear skies to take temperatures down into the 30°s for many WAFB communities for Thursday morning. WAFB’s northern neighborhoods will struggle to make the 60°s for Thursday afternoon even with plenty of sunshine and blue skies. And then many of us re-visit the upper 30°s on Friday morning, with temperature returning to the mid to upper 60°s for Friday afternoon under fair to partly cloudy skies.

Uncertain Weekend

Unfortunately, the weekend forecast remains rather garbled. Extended guidance suggests that another cool front will slide from north-to-south through the central Gulf over the latter part of the weekend and we likely return to the 70°s for highs on Saturday and Sunday. However, the latest runs (as of 3PM Tuesday) of our two main extended-range models are at odds in terms of rain chances for the two days. The America GFS suggests scattered showers on Saturday but a mainly-dry Sunday; by contrast, the European ECMWF flips the pattern, calling for a mostly-dry Saturday but a rather active and wet Sunday. 

For now, we’ll sit on our hands and split the difference between the models for the weekend. While we wait for the models to try and arrive at some consensus later this week, we’ll call for scattered rains on both days -- acknowledging low confidence in that outlook. In either case, the weather clears by early Monday and sets us up for a nice Tuesday, with highs in the mid to upper 60°s for both days.

No comments:

Post a Comment