Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wet Forecast into the Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB Storm Team QuickCast:

- rains on the way for Friday & the weekend 
- scattered rains extend into early next week
- cooler, drier air arrives behind a mid-week front

Yesterday we were talking about a 20% to 30% rain chance across the WAFB viewing area for today ... obviously that hasn't materialized. In fact, as of 4PM there’s hardly been more than a couple of micro-blips on Titan9 Doppler anywhere near our WAFB communities. And the lack of rain clouds likely added to the day’s warm-up, with a high of 89° for BR’s Metro Airport.

However, we're still thinking "rain likely" for Friday and Saturday with scattered mainly-afternoon rains on Sunday, so you'll need to get your hands on the umbrella for the next several days.

Over the past 24 hours, we’ve seen some noteworthy changes to the outlook for the next few days. First, while Friday still looks "wet" for just most of us, it looks like the coverage may not be quite as widespread as we thought yesterday. And we might -- just might -- get a bit of a break from the rains during the evening hours: good news for downtown's 'Live After Five,' LSU baseball (Alabama is in town), and Mid-City's "Hot Art, Cool Nights" street fair. But we say it again: MIGHT get a break.

Second, it now looks like Saturday may be the ‘wetter’ of the upcoming three days -- yesterday it sure looked like Friday was going to the rainiest of the three. That is not such good news for Saturday morning's "March for Babies" in downtown BR. We're keeping scattered, mainly-afternoon rains in the forecast for Sunday through Tuesday as well.

But maybe the biggest change is the adjustment in expected rain totals posted by the NWS Weather Prediction Center (WPC). WPC's 7-day outlook for our viewing area on Wednesday was running in the 2" to 4" range. Yet as of this morning, the WPC forecasters backed way off on those numbers, now suggesting something closer to 1.0" to 1.5" for the upcoming 7-day run. (If you read our blogs earlier this week, that's closer to what we were projecting earlier in the week up until yesterday's 'jump' by the WPC.)

So what happened to that very-wet outlook? The main factor here appears to be that the eastbound upper-level trough -- currently over the Central Rockies -- may not dig as far south as previously though as it tracks across the Plains and Mississippi Valley. That means less "lift" for our warm-and-moist Gulf air mass. Less lift equals less rain. Having said that, a couple of models still paint a 'wetter' picture, including our in-house RPM.

We'll still get wet, especially on Friday and Saturday, and there will be some rumbles of thunder to accompany the rains for Friday and the weekend. But instead of the helpful upper-level lift that we expected, most of the lift will depend on daytime heating and a weaker west-to-east upper-level disturbance. 

Hey, at this point, even an inch of rain sounds pretty good!

We're sticking with muggy mornings with patchy fog right through the weekend, with sun-up temperatures for the Red Stick running in the upper 60°s to low 70°s through Tuesday -- lows that remain a bit warmer-than-normal for early/mid May. The mix of clouds and rains will also keep highs for most days in the low to mid 80°s for most WAFB neighborhoods as well. 

While we'll get no relief from the building humidity over the next four to five days, our extended outlook does indicate a spring cool front on the way, likely arriving on Tuesday. It will mean another round of showers, but for now at least, Tuesday's front does not have the look of being a severe-weather generator. However, a cooler-and-less-humid air mass behind Tuesday's front should deliver a nice change of pace to our local weather by the latter half of the week, even if only for a couple of days.

No comments:

Post a Comment