Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mainly Dry Through Friday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:
- no complaints about today’s weather
- staying dry for Thursday & Friday
- rain chances on the rise into the weekend

Just a tad warmer and more fair-weather clouds today: you also may have noticed a slight uptick in the humidity today compared to Tuesday … but it would still be hard to complain about today’s weather, the second full day of autumn.

Our forecast for Thursday and Friday will reflect a modest increase in low-level moisture over the next few days, although we may get a brief, weak surge of reinforcing drier air tomorrow to keep things relatively nice. Most metro area neighborhoods can expect Thursday morning lows in the low to mid 60°s under mostly-clear skies and an afternoon high in the upper 80°s under fair to partly cloudy skies. Friday looks good too: fair skies to start in the day with sun-up temps in the mid 60°s for the Capital City and a dry afternoon under partly cloudy skies with highs in the upper 80°s once again.

Friday evening around the area will be just fine with so much to do, including area high school football, downtown’s ‘Live After Five’, and the kick-off for the Ascension Parish Balloon Festival at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center!

Of course, the good stuff can’t last forever … and our primary extended range guidance models are showing Gulf moisture moving inland over the weekend and delivering rains to the central Gulf Coast region. However, they are not in complete agreement regarding timing and extent of the rain coverage. For now, the American GFS model appears a little ‘drier’ than the European throughout the weekend, with both models essentially clearing things sometime on Monday.

Splitting the difference, we’ll call for a dry Saturday morning and go with scattered showers and isolated t-storms for Saturday afternoon and evening (rain chances at 30% to 40%). Both models show Sunday as the wetter of the two days: let’s go with scattered on-and-off rains through the day, with rain chances set at about 50% to 60% for your backyard. That said, our confidence with this weekend forecast is rather low right now -- we’ll wait another 24 hours or so to see if the models come into better agreement on the weekend solution.

As for the tropics, it remains extraordinarily quiet. There are at least four tropical waves marching form east-to-west across the basin, but most of the tropical region remains under the influence of moderate to strong shear, effectively blocking any potential for wave development. So far, the Gulf has only seen one ‘named’ storm -- T.S. Dolly -- and there have been no landfalls along the U.S. Gulf Coast since 2013’s T.S. Andrea hit Florida’s Big Bend (6 June 2013). 

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