Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Clearing, Less Humid for Wednesday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

** TORNADO WATCH ** for many until 9PM

WAFB Storm Team QuickCast:

- rains ending tonight, clearing through the morning
- a few sprinkles for Friday, fair through the weekend

The northern half of the WAFB viewing area remains under a TORNADO WATCH until 9:00pm. Our warm-and-muggy air mass is the fuel for the severe-weather threat but through 4:00pm we’ve only seen a couple of clusters of storms across the viewing area. What we do know is that if a storm can get going in the next couple of hours, it has the potential to quickly become severe -- that’s exactly what we saw during the mid-afternoon that prompted a Severe T-Storm Warning over northern EBR, southern E-Feliciana and St. Helena parishes.

But “warmth” at the mid-levels of the atmosphere -- and a relatively slow rate of warming through much of the afternoon kept us from dealing with a more significant outbreak -- at least so far. Many of us did reach the upper 80°s by the late afternoon - - generally warm enough to provide lift to power-up a few storms, that’s why we still might see a strong storm or two between now and 7:00pm.

However, we’re thinking that once we reach sunset, the severe threat will decline through the rest of the night. We’ll go with isolated t-showers into the evening, with most or all of the rain out of the viewing area by or before midnight. The exception will be along the coast, where the opportunity for showers and a few storms will extend into Wednesday morning.

The front will finally slide through the area tonight, with the accompanying wind shift marking a dramatic change to the local air mass: northwesterly flow behind the front will deliver much drier (“less humid”) and much cooler air. In fact, many WAFB neighborhoods will awaken to sunrise temperatures in the upper 50°s under mainly fair skies for Wednesday!

Plan on mainly sunny skies throughout Wednesday. After that cool start to the day it just gets better, with “dry” air and highs only getting into the upper 70°s for the Red Stick. How about lows in the upper 40°s to low 50°s for Thursday morning and a Thursday high in the low 70°s under mostly sunny skies? Sounds good.

Friday starts off cool too: sunrise in the low 50°s with afternoon highs in the mid 70°s. A weak disturbance prompts us to put in a very slight chance of afternoon showers in the Friday outlook -- at less than 20% -- just not enough to worry about. And the weekend? Looking great -- mainly sunny skies both days with morning starts for Baton Rouge in the 50°s and afternoons in the low 80°s.

Is there anything to complain about? Not really, although some of you could use a little rain. But with our mostly-dry outlook through early next week, you might need to water the garden in the coming days.

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