Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Clearing, Much Nicer on Wednesday!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB Storm Team QuickCast:

- showers ending tonight
- clearing skies, much cooler for Wednesday’s sunrise
- great spring weather with modest warming trend into the weekend

As we noted yesterday, a disturbance tracking east from the Southern Plains was sufficient to fuel showers and even a few stronger t-storms this afternoon. The t-storms were energized by our modest daytime warming and a very cold pocket of air aloft. Although our afternoon temperatures at the surface -- mid to upper 60°s for many -- were relatively cool by early April standards, the steep vertical temperature gradient (a rapid drop in temperatures with height) was sufficient to produce lift and to create some active lightning and small hail in the better-developed storms.

None of the t-storms in the greater Baton Rouge area achieved ‘severe’ thresholds, although we did have a Severe T-Storm Warning issued for southern Tangipahoa Parish (near Ponchatoula) just after 3:00PM. Those early afternoon hail showers caught many by surprise as they tracked from NW to SE. And the hail reports were coming in from all across SE Louisiana in response to the bubbling t-storms.

Clearing, Nice on Wednesday!

All of today’s action should subside this evening as we lose the energy from daytime heating and as the core of the upper disturbance shifts farther east. Skies will be clearing overnight and the air will continue to “dry out” (falling dew points) with the continued NW flow. By Wednesday’s sun-up, most WAFB neighborhoods will be in the low to mid 40°s -- 10° or more below the normal minimum for this time of year.

Then we’re in for a run of fine spring days, with a slow warming trend and plenty of sunshine. We stay dry through Saturday, with afternoon highs creeping back up to the 80°s by Saturday and Sunday. We’ll also add a 30% rain chance for Sunday as we await our next spring cold front.

Extended Outlook

That front is scheduled to arrive on Monday and with it comes our next good chance for showers and storms. But the thinking now is that it moves through the region fairly quickly. We’ll keep a slight chance of rain in the early Tuesday forecast for now, with skies clearing through the day but temperatures dropping into the 60°s for highs!

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