By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta
94° this afternoon, the highest reading of the year thus far … with a heat index above 100°!'
High pressure remains in charge of our weather for the time being, which means continued hot-and-humid yet mainly-dry weather for Wednesday afternoon. We’ll open Wednesday morning with fair to partly cloudy skies with a muggy mid 70°s for the Red Stick, then heat-up into the low to mid 90°s for most of the WAFB viewing area for the afternoon. Once again, the humidity will produce ‘feels like’ (Heat Index) numbers up around the triple digits during the peak of the day. Now, given that it is summer in south Louisiana, we can’t completely exclude a rogue shower or two on Titan9 Doppler radar on Wednesday afternoon, but don’t count on it for your backyard.
A trough over the central U.S. continues to push southward, driving a summer-season cool front towards the lower Mississippi Valley. It’s certainly not common, but during our summers, a few of these mid-summer fronts try to make it into the Gulf. Our latest guidance suggests that this front will make it into south Louisiana by the end of the week, then likely stall and wash-out over the Gulf Coast states. That should provide a slight drop in the humidity for the coming weekend. However, the trough and cool front will also put the squeeze on our current high-pressure pattern, taking the ‘lid’ off the atmosphere and allowing for better rain chances on Thursday and Friday.
We’ll go with rain chances at 30% to 40% (scattered) for Thursday and Friday, then drop them to 20% or so for the weekend. And in case you are wondering, we think that any shower and t-storm action that does develop on Friday should be out of the way by the time the fireworks begin flying, so don’t change your Friday evening plans.
In the tropics, T.S. #1 was upgraded by the NHC to T.S. Arthur this morning at 7AM, the first ‘named’ storm of the 2014 season. Arthur is expected to drift just east of Florida’s Atlantic shoreline for the 12-18 hours before taking a turn to the north and then moving a little faster to the NNE. The official NHC forecast calls for slow strengthening as the system takes aim at the Carolina coast late Thursday into early Friday, with Arthur expected to reach hurricane status at about the same time. The forecast models are in very good agreement with this outlook, but we note that given these projections with Arthur paralleling the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, it would only take a modest westward shift to bring Arthur inland almost anywhere from Florida to Maine!