Friday, May 23, 2014

Dry Holiday Weekend...Any Rain in Sight?

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB Storm Team QuickCast:

- stays dry through the Memorial Day holiday
- flirting with highs around 90° all weekend
- needed rain in the forecast by mid-week

The good news: looks like a dry Memorial Day weekend for outdoor activities. The not-so-good news: no rain any time soon. Our forecast for the next several days is beginning to read like a broken record -- for those of you old enough to really remember what that means!

So here we go. For Saturday through Memorial Day, metro Baton Rouge and most of our WAFB viewing area can expect morning starts in the mid to upper 60°s under mostly-fair to partly-cloudy skies. Mainly-light, sunrise fog will be a possibility each morning, especially around the usual fog-prone areas. For the afternoons, we’ll go with mostly-sunny to partly-cloudy skies -- with sunscreen-intensity sunshine -- and highs flirting with the 90° mark each day into next week.

And what about rain through the extended holiday weekend? Just about nada.

While the upper-level ridge responsible for this week’s run of dry weather is “flattening” to our north, it will remain sufficiently anchored over the southeastern quarter of the U.S. to maintain the recent status quo weatherwise. Okay, maybe we’ll toss in small chance for a spotty shower on Monday afternoon, but even that’s probably wishful-thinking. In fact, given the dry-run we’ve had, a dry Memorial Day Monday to support area memorial events and ceremonies is probably a good thing.

There is rain in our extended forecast, but when?

Yesterday we we’re thinking a 30% chance for next Tuesday. We may need to back that down a tad as Tuesday is looking a little drier as of this afternoon. But we expect the upper-air ridge currently overhead to be replaced by a trough by mid-week. That should take the ‘lid’ off the atmosphere and allow daytime heating and our warm, moist and unstable Gulf air to work together and do their afternoon raincloud ‘dance.’

Add in an anticipated mid-/upper-level disturbance slowly passing from west-to-east across the lower Mississippi Valley next week and rain chances take a big jump up by the middle to the end of next week. For now, let’s go with scattered rains on Wednesday with scattered to possibly even likely rains for Thursday and Friday.

If you are wondering, the WAFB areas is not “in drought” according to the regional experts. However, drought conditions are in-play nearby, with the southwestern corner of Louisiana currently posted as in “moderate to severe drought” according to the U.S. Weekly Drought Monitor.

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