Thursday, September 11, 2014

Scattered Rains into the Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:
- even better rain chances for Friday & Saturday
- a new Tropical Depression … and watching the invest to the east of Florida
Our run of mostly-dry days has ended.  Scattered rains this afternoon will give way to even greater coverage tomorrow as the cool front we’ve been talking about makes its way into northern Louisiana then slows to a crawl.
With the front drawing closer and a steady inflow of moisture off the Gulf, we’ve got the set-up for a rather wet Friday afternoon: not the best news for Baton Rouge’s ‘Live After Five’ nor area high school football.  While Friday will start-off mainly dry, we’ll go with scattered-to-likely showers and storms for Friday afternoon (50% or so).  And unfortunately, scattered rains linger into the evening hours too.
Set sunrise temps for Friday in the low to mid 70°s for metro Baton Rouge under partly cloudy skies.  As we’ve seen just about all week, we could see a few patches of mainly-light fog for the morning commute as well as a spotty shower or two, but it should be a mostly dry start to the day for just about all WAFB communities.  Temps for most neighborhoods will still reach around 90° or so during the day before the clouds and rains kick-in.
Saturday?  Not much better.  In fact, we’re carrying isolated showers in Saturday’s morning forecast with roughly 50-50 rain chances for the afternoon.  The cool front over the state will slowly sag southward during the day, serving as a lifting mechanism to support rains.  However, clouds and rain should keep daytime highs in the 80°s for Saturday, but it won’t be a good day for pre-game tailgating for the Jags on the Bluff, around Death Valley for the Tiger faithful, nor down in the Crescent City for the SLU Lions. 
By Sunday, we think that the front will be meandering near the coast and over the coastal waters.  Backside clouds will still keep things mostly cloudy, but rain chances should drop a bit.  With a little luck, communities north of the I-10/12 could see lows slip into the upper 60°s by Sunday’s sunrise.  We’ll set rain chances for Sunday at about 40% -- greatest closer to the coast -- with highs again topping out in the upper 80°s to maybe near 90°, depending on how much sunshine your neighborhood gets.
For next week, we keep scattered mainly-afternoon rains in the forecast for just about every day.  Morning starts will be near 70° to the low 70°s and afternoon highs return to the upper 80°s to near 90° each day.  So we do expect a modest dip in the daytime temperatures compared to this week … but still nothing “fall like” in the short-range.
In the tropics, we’re watching two features.  Earlier today, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) upgraded Invest 91L to Tropical Depression #6.  The NHC forecast calls for T.D. #6 to become T.S. Edouard in the short term with the system potentially reaching hurricane status within the next five days.  However, the key to this tropical story is that whatever T.D. #6 becomes, it should remain over the open Atlantic and pose no threats to land.
Closer to home, we continue to watch the low-pressure ‘blob’ to the east of Florida, Invest 92L.  92L is looking rather ragged today, with its convection well-separated from the apparent low-level core due to persistent northeasterly shear.  What’s more, all indications are that the shear remains in play through the next couple of days, at least, as 92L slowly tracks to the west or WSW across the Florida peninsula.  That shear is a main reason why the NHC canceled the scheduled aircraft recon earlier today and why they are keeping development chances on the low side (only 30% through the next five days).
Virtually all of the model guidance has 92L moving into the eastern Gulf by Saturday morning … and that is getting everyone’s attention (as it should) … with several models taking the system towards the central Gulf Coast early next week.   However, most of the models are also indicating that the shear will continue to play havoc with the system and limit any real opportunity for intensification.
That said, we’ve seen it before: things can change in a hurry.  There is no need for concern at this point … we are far from any kind of serious threat.  However, with the weekend approaching, now is the time to evaluate your personal, family and business preparedness plans.  Get everything ready BEFORE a potential threat develops.
Want some help to get ready or fine-tune your current readiness?  It’s never too late to become better prepared.  Check out: 

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