Wednesday, April 9, 2014

More Nice Days Ahead!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB Storm Team QuickCast:

- good-looking spring days ahead
- modest warming trend into the weekend
- thumb’s up for the weekend outlook too!

This was an absolutely gorgeous day with sunshine and low humidity. And the dry-out continues as we expect more fine spring weather over the coming days with a slow warming trend through the work week that has us back in the low 80°s by the weekend, if not sooner.

Just like earlier this morning, Baton Rouge lows on Thursday morning will drop into the 40°s, with some neighborhoods north and east of the Capital City slipping close to 40° before the morning warm-up kicks in. Thursday will be another mainly-sunny day but you may notice one slight difference: winds will be out of the south and southeast, delivering just a touch of Gulf moisture into the lower-levels.

The center of a surface high pressure ridge that was sitting right on top of us today will shift eastward in the coming days, giving us a 'return flow' (southeasterly and southerly winds) through the rest of the week and into the weekend. With the flow off the Gulf, we'll begin to feel a slow rise in low-level moisture (reflected by rising dew points) as well as a modest warming trend. Even so, you can expect some great days ahead.

Warm, Mainly Dry into the Weekend

Yesterday we were posting rain chances for Sunday afternoon and evening at 30%, fueled in part by instability ahead of our next anticipated cold front. Today's look at our better extended-range models has the front advancing a bit slower than we thought yesterday, which means a drop in rain chances for Sunday. 

So all-in-all, the weekend looks good too: afternoon highs in the 80°s for both Saturday and Sunday under partly cloudy skies. Titan9 Doppler might show a blip or two on Saturday afternoon but they'll be so minimal as to not even warrant an 'official' mention -- set rain chances for Saturday at 10% or less. And for now, we're thinking less than a 20% rain chance for Sunday afternoon and evening.

So it’s looking just fine for the Baton Rouge Blues Festival in downtown BR and for the EBR Master Gardeners' Plant Sale out at the LSU-Burden Plantation on Essen Lane -- both on Saturday. You might even want to consider grabbing the sunscreen!

Make no mistake ... the anticipated cold front is still on its way and is expected to reach Louisiana's northwestern parishes by early Monday morning. As of this afternoon, the NWS is going with our local rain chances at 50% or so for Monday -- we're going with "rain likely" as the front pushes through with showers and t-storms.

Extended Outlook

Although it is a very early diagnosis, the set-up for Monday's frontal passage has some signs of an active spring-season cold front: warm, moist Gulf air ahead of the boundary and a dry, cold Canadian air mass behind it. We'll have to keep a watch as Monday draws nearer, but we need to be ready for 'active to severe' weather as Monday's front crosses the state.

After that, it's looking good for the middle of the work week.

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