Thursday, May 29, 2014

Threat for Locally Heavy Rain Continues

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB Storm Team QuickCast:

- FLASH FLOOD WATCH remains in effect until 7 PM Friday
- a welcomed dry-out for most of the WAFB viewing area today
- still the potential for 1” to 3” of additional rain between this afternoon and Saturday

Overall, it's been a much quieter day around the area, although there have been some pockets of 1" to 2" of rainfall. There was also a persistent band of heavy rains from near Lafayette to St. Landry Parish that dumped 4" to 6" of rain earlier in the day, but only a scattering of showers is seen on radar as of 6 PM Thursday.

As mentioned above, there are still opportunities over the next 48-72 hours for significant additional rain, but for now, at least, we are not concerned about widespread flooding rains like we saw on Wednesday. Still, with the juicy unstable air mass in place, we’re maintaining a “rain likely” forecast for Friday and Saturday. The same upper-level low to our north that we’ve tracked the past couple of days is still in play and remains the primary trigger for our wet-weather forecast. However, as we’ve noted these past 24 hours, mid/upper-level inflow of drier air from the west continues to slow the rate of new-storm development over much of our area. 

However, the ‘dry’ air isn’t going to completely stop the rains and that’s we say keep the umbrella handy into the weekend. 

As far as area river gages through this afternoon, only the Tangipahoa at Robert appears headed towards flood stage according to the NWS Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center. Fortunately for those communities, neighborhoods and cul-de-sacs impacted by our local rivers, rains north of I-12 (and east of the Mississippi River) have generally remained under 4” for the event. True, most of the local rivers continue to rise, prompting the closure of a number of waterways around the region and there are numerous roads still closed across the viewing area. But thus far, high water has been relatively manageable for most WAFB communities and neighborhoods. That is “MOST” communities ...

Of course, that is not the case for everyone, with some WAFB communities reporting never-before-seen water levels and flood woes.

Thankfully, our forecast shows a slow downward trend in “rain chances” as work through the weekend and into early week. Mornings will remain muggy with sunrise temperatures near 70°. As the daily rain chances fall, we can expect the afternoon highs to climb. By the middle of next week, with only isolated afternoon showers in the forecast, expect highs to again approach the 90° mark.

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