Monday, March 31, 2014

Warm Start to April!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB Storm Team QuickCast:

- becoming partly cloudy with patchy wake-up fog for Tuesday
- mainly dry through Wednesday, 30% rain chance by Thursday
- looks ‘wet’ for Friday and a good portion of the weekend

March Recap

It was another cooler-than-normal month for Baton Rouge’s Metro Airport, the fifth consecutive month with an average monthly temperature below the norm.  And for most of the viewing area, rains were below normal for the month also, although some locations -- like portions of SW Mississippi -- saw more water than they wanted toward month’s end.  For most of us, March is “going out like a lamb!” ... and we doubt that anyone’s complaining!  Areawide, the last day of March was a near-perfect spring day.
As for our forecast for the first days of April, it comes as a mixed bag.
Some low clouds will sneak into the region by Tuesday morning accompanied by a little morning fog as metro Baton Rouge begins the day in the mid 50°s.  We’ll go to partly cloudy skies for Tuesday with highs in the 80°s for many WAFB neighborhoods.  The south-to-southeast winds will transport Gulf warmth and moisture into the region with the added humidity giving the air a slightly warmer ‘feel’ compared to today’s drier air that was in place.  By Wednesday and Thursday, the Gulf influence will translate into more morning fog and more afternoon clouds: we’re calling for spotty showers on Wednesday afternoon and a 30% rain chance for Thursday as our next frontal system approaches from the west.

Rains Arrive Late in the Week

Friday’s looking ‘wet’ thanks to that next front -- we’ll give it a 60% to 70% chance for showers and t-storms.  In fact, the NWS Storm Prediction Center has areas to our north -- centered over Arkansas and extending across all of northern Louisiana -- under a preliminary risk of severe weather as the system slides from west-to-east late Thursday into Friday.  While the WAFB viewing area is not currently included in the main severe-weather threat-zone, we’ll want to keep a close eye on developments in the next two days.  A few strong to severe storms on Friday seems a real possibility right now.
Normally you might expect a nice clear-out following a frontal passage at this time of year, but unfortunately our extended-range models are showing that unsettled weather lingers into the weekend.  For now, it’s looking like scattered rains on Saturday with rain likely for Sunday.  We’ll have to see how that outlook holds together as the week progresses.

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