Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rains Returning to the Forecast

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- summer-like humidity on a slow return
- mainly dry overnight, scattered rains for Friday
- scattered-to-likely rains over the weekend

As we anticipated yesterday, local humidity began a slow, upward climb today, although most communities managed to have one more day with dew points in the 60°s -- rather comfortable by Gulf Coast summer standards. In addition, a fairly persistent cloud deck during the morning slowed the morning and mid-day warm-up, but the clouds cleared for the afternoon allowing most WAFB neighborhoods to reach the 90°s today. But all in all, not a bad weather day to close the month of July.

Humidity will continue a slow rise through the night and into Friday. The clouds return later this evening and stay with us tonight and into the early morning. We can’t rule out a shower or two overnight, but the vast majority stay dry. Some northern WAFB communities may see one more round of lows in the upper 60°s for Friday’s wake-up, with most around the Red Stick bottoming out near or around 70° for the early morning. Our Friday forecast turns ‘wet’ by the afternoon for many: we’re going with scattered showers and a few t-storms for the afternoon and early evening. And we keep rain in the weekend too, with rain chances for your backyard running at about 50/50 or better for both Saturday and Sunday. Now, to be clear: we don’t expect these to be all-day rains, just be prepared for periods of rain sometime during the day -- especially in the afternoon and early evening hours. 

Nope -- not a very pretty weekend ahead. 

Along with the elevated rain chances for the weekend, typical summer heat-and-humidity will be back to something closer to normal too. We’ll go with lows around the Red Stick in the low 70°s for Saturday and Sunday, with highs for both days in the upper 80°s to low 90°s depending on when the rains arrive in your neighborhood each day. What’s more, our latest extended outlook keeps our local weather rather unsettled through the middle to end of next week, with scattered mainly-afternoon rains posted for each day.

That big blob of rain to our north and northwest continues its approach through the night and into Friday. At the same time, a somewhat diffuse frontal boundary will meander over the southern parishes. Add in the increasing low-level moisture and we have the ingredients for rains for the next couple of days. In fact, the entire mess lingers into next week: the front continues to meander over and near the coast while additional upper-air disturbances float into and near the lower Mississippi Valley from the west and northwest. We don’t expect anything along the lines of a severe-weather outbreak, just more days where you’ll want the umbrella nearby ... or you try to plan your activities around the raindrops.

In the tropics, ‘Invest 93L’ keeps hanging on -- albeit it seems just barely at times. The tropical disturbance continues to pull ‘dry’ air into its core, really putting a stop to any serious chance for convection (thunderstorm activity) to wrap around its center. Satellite imagery still showed a pretty good low-level spin through much of the day, but without the thunderstorms it won’t get ‘upgraded’ to tropical cyclone status (a depression or tropical storm). The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has been waffling over the past 24 hours on 93L’s development potential, with their latest numbers showing a 70% chance of development in the next two to five days.

For us, 93L is way too far to the east to worry about for now. Even if 93L were to demonstrate a dynamic burst of energy over the next couple of days, it won’t be an issue for any part of the U.S. until next week. So relax ... the First Alert Storm Team will watch 93L for you.

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