Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Windy & Warm Again on Thursday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB Storm Team QuickCast:

- patchy fog and mostly cloudy for Thursday’s wake-up
- a spotty shower possible, stays mainly-dry yet muggy for Thursday afternoon
- rain likely Friday morning
- unsettled through much of the weekend

We spent the day under mostly cloudy skies with the winds occasionally getting up into the ‘teens. But maybe more noticeable was the warm-and-muggy air that remains settled over the region. That stays with us through Thursday.

We’ll stay mostly cloudy through the night and right through Thursday too. Southerly winds will maintain a steady flow of low-level moisture off the Gulf, which means no relief from the ‘muggies’ that became fully-established today. The Gulf air will mean Thursday morning lows in the 60°s for just about all WAFB communities with patchy fog developing.

We’re keeping a decent wind in the overnight and early morning forecast: if the winds were a bit weaker, we’d be looking at the potential for a widespread morning fog event. However, southerly winds generally in the 5-10 mph range through the night should limit the amount of heavier fog the forms. Note, though, that morning commuters should be ready for pockets of dense fog in those usual ‘suspect spots.’

Winds will really kick-in for Thursday afternoon, ranging from the ‘teens to the 20s at times with even higher gusts. The humidity remains in place, which will add to the cloud cover through the day. In fact, we can’t entirely exclude a pop-up shower or two by the afternoon, although most of us stay dry.

Showers & T-Storms by Friday AM

We’ve been talking about the next front for some time now, scheduled to arrive early Friday. The frontal weather comes with a “SLIGHT RISK” of severe storms, mainly for the northern half of the WAFB viewing area. The NWS Weather Prediction Center is anticipating that the southern end of a healthy squall line ahead of Friday’s eastward-advancing front could impact WAFB communities along and north of the LA/MS state line very early Friday, probably before sunrise. Have your NOAA weather radios ready to go just in case, especially if you live north of the I-10/12 corridor.

The rains may linger into the day on Friday, but the active weather should end by the early-to-mid morning. We’ll keep a slight rain chance in the Friday forecast for the afternoon but all looks fairly promising for the season’s first Live After Five in downtown Baton Rouge on Friday evening (5-8PM).

More Rain into the Weekend

Our forecast remains mainly-dry from Friday evening through Saturday morning, but unfortunately we have Friday’s front stalling over the northern Gulf late Friday with the trailing end of the front retreating northward as a warm front on Saturday. All of our reliable models show ‘wet’ as the operative word by Saturday evening -- they only differ in the timing of the onset of rains on Saturday, ranging from late morning to late afternoon.

For now, our Saturday forecast reads mainly-dry for the morning, a 30% to 40% rain chance in the afternoon, and then rain becoming likely through the evening and into the overnight. At the same time, a disturbance that will be over west Texas on Saturday will be headed our way, keeping “rain likely” in the forecast for Sunday too. That disturbance will come with a surface low and attendant cold front that tracks west-to-east across Louisiana late Sunday into early Monday -- translation: more rain for Sunday into early Monday.

Extended Outlook

But by Monday afternoon, Louisiana’s weather should be improving substantially with cooler and less humid days under sunshine on the forecast board for Tuesday and Wednesday.

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