Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Run of Wet Days Ahead!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB Storm Team QuickCast:

- Flash Flood Watch in effect for areas west of the Atchafalaya
- rains continue through the week and into the weekend
- totals of 3” to 6” possible by week’s end with locally-higher amounts

Over the past 24 hours, the National Weather Service has come around to our way of thinking with regard to this week’s weather. Prior to today, the NWS was posting slightly lower rain chances each day this week and into the weekend. But now their forecasts are as “wet” -- if not “wetter” -- than we suggested on Tuesday afternoon.

The bottom line: keep the umbrella within reach as we are on the way to a run of wet days and welcomed rain. In fact, the NWS Weather Prediction Center has also upped their extended rain-accumulation forecast, suggesting that the WAFB viewing area could see as much as 3” to 6” of rain over the next 5 to 7 days, with locally higher amounts.

Rainfall potential through 7 PM Sunday from the NWS Weather Prediction Center (WPC).
Rainfall potential through 1 PM on Friday from the RPM model.

Those kinds of rain totals make residents living along and near our south Louisiana waterways nervous ... we’ll have to keep our eyes on river stages, especially if we see widespread totals in the 4” to 6” range by the week’s end. That will certainly mean nuisance roadway flooding, standing water and issues for those spots that always seem to flood. Fortunately, however, our local rivers and bayous are running near base-flow levels thanks to the recent dry spell, so they have substantial storage potential for run-off before they will reach flood stage.

In the meantime, the clouds and rain will keep daytime highs in the low to mid 80°s for the next few days, at least. In fact, some neighborhoods may not get out of the 70°s on Wednesday. However, with dew points up in the upper 60°s to near 70° for many of us, we will have muggy days and humid nights, with morning starts near 70° right through the weekend. The afternoons may be relatively mild but the mornings will have a summer-like feel to them.

So here’s what we’ve got. After today’s rains, we’re going with scattered rains overnight and rain likely for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. For tomorrow, just about everyone gets wet -- rain chances for your backyard are near 100% for Wednesday. We’ll carry a 70% to 80% rain chance for Thursday and a 60% to 70% chance for Friday. Note that those percentages are slowly falling after peaking on Wednesday and they will continue to fall into the weekend. But we’re still calling for scattered-to-numerous rains for Saturday and scattered, mainly-afternoon rains for Sunday. By Sunday, the scattered nature of the day’s rains will allow afternoon highs to creep back into the upper 80°s.

All of this is being driven by a slow-moving upper-level low currently over the Southern Plains. That low is barely moving to the east and will still be centered near the ArkLaTex on Wednesday into Thursday. The extended outlook suggests that the low will be ‘filling’ (weakening) as it slips over the lower Mississippi Valley towards the end of the week, but it lingers sufficiently to provide support for the weekend rains.

Hurricane season “officially” begins on Sunday. Are you prepared? “Get a Game Plan.” Need some ideas? Check out WAFB’s “Hurricane Center” at:

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