Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Getting Hot, Staying Dry ... and the SW Gulf

- hot, humid but mainly-dry for the rest of the week
- not a threat but worth a watch in the southwestern Gulf

While you might not call it uncomfortable, overnight readings hung in the 70°s for many WAFB neighborhoods and that will continue through the week. Muggy -- yet not oppressive -- with enough moisture in the air to reach saturation (relative humidity of 100%) near sun-up and that means patchy fog. Count on more of the same through the week.

As for today, morning and mid-day clouds generated some spotty, brief showers around south Louisiana. But maybe more importantly, they slowed the daytime warm-up, which meant that Baton Rouge’s Metro Airport still didn’t quite make the ‘magic’ 90° mark today.

Can we dodge the 90°s again tomorrow? Doubt it. The upper-level ridge over Texas should expand far enough to the east by tomorrow to cut down on the daytime clouds, not only keeping us even drier than today but also allowing a faster warm-up due to more sunshine. We’ll call for a high on Thursday right around 90° with highs for Friday through Sunday also at or just above 90°. Morning starts for all four days will be in the low 70°s for metro BR.

The ridge will start to breakdown over the weekend. We’ll go with spotty afternoon showers for Saturday (less than a 20% chance) and isolated afternoon and early evening showers (20% rain chance) for Sunday. In essence, the weekend stays mostly dry – enjoy, but remember the sunscreen and careful in the June heat!

We’ll ease the rain chances up early next week: 30% rain chance for Monday and scattered mainly-afternoon rains for Tuesday and Wednesday.

And what about that ‘thing’in the southwestern Gulf? First off, let’s not get excited just yet.

Development, if it does occur at all, looks like it will be very slow. There remains plenty of mid/upper-level shear over the Gulf. And while SSTs (sea-surface temperatures) in the southern Gulf are warm enough to support a storm, the warm waters don’t extend to a great depth. Since the disturbed weather doesn’t appear ready to move away from the Bay of Campeche anytime soon, just sitting there will turn-over and stir the deeper waters enough to potentially cool the surface.

On the other hand, remnants of BORIS (the landfalling tropical depression from the eastern Pacific) could give the broad area of low pressure a little energy nudge in the next few days.

So what to make of it? It’s early in the season. Frankly, if it weren’t in the Gulf, I’d be giving it a “never mind.” But anything in the Gulf deserves at least a little attention -- and the WAFB Storm Team has you covered.

Now is a good time to review your preparedness plans. Think about it: would you be ready if that blob in the SW Gulf ramped up, earned a ‘name,’ and was here by Sunday or Monday?

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