Thursday, October 9, 2014

Flirting with 90° again on Friday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- warm, humid afternoons continue into the weekend
- 20% to 30% rain chances for Friday thru Sunday
- autumn weather finally returns next week

For the second consecutive morning, our mild-and-muggy morning air resulted in some areas of fog for many WAFB communities during the morning drive -- in some instances, visibility dipped well below one mile. Pockets of locally-dense fog dotted the region with more widespread heavy fog prompting the NWS to issue a DENSE FOG ADVISORY for areas to the east, including our neighbors in Tangipahoa Parish and Pike County, MS. Be ready for more rounds of fog each of the next several mornings as the air mass remains moist right through the weekend and into early next week.

As for the upcoming afternoons, we’ll keep the near-summerlike feel to the air with highs in the upper 80°s to near 90° for Friday and Saturday. Add in the local humidity and many neighborhoods will see peak mid-afternoon Heat Index readings in the low to mid 90°s. For Sunday afternoon, plan on highs in the mid to upper 80°s -- a couple of degrees cooler but still above normal for the first half of October.

We did see a few showers pop up this afternoon -- a pattern that had a bit of the look of a weak sea-breeze front fueled by Gulf moisture and daytime heating. Plan on a return of isolated showers for Friday -- set Friday afternoon and early evening rain chances at about 20%. ‘Live After Five’ and high school football fans will probably be okay … but check your WAFB Weather App to track any late afternoon and early evening showers.

And we’ll go with a 20% to 30% rain chance for both weekend days. All in all, any outdoor plans should be okay for most but be ready to dodge a few showers over the course of the afternoon and early evening. Regardless, any weekend rains should be the ‘passing shower’ variety -- unlikely to last long nor produce much in the way of accumulations.

Our extended outlook continues to show a Pacific cold front arriving in the lower Mississippi Valley next week. If you watch the weather maps in the coming days, you may note a weak cool front approaching from the northwest: this first front will stall and effectively ‘wash out’ to our north and west on Sunday. But behind it will be a stronger cold front and that one does make it through the WAFB viewing area -- right now we’ve got it timed for passage sometime between late Monday and early Tuesday. 

Next week’s front may arrive with sufficient energy to be a bona fide storm-maker, so we’ll have to keep an eye on the situation and prepare for the potential of weather WATCHES and WARNINGS next Monday and Tuesday. However, once the front pushes through, we’ll return to something more like what we expect for the autumn season!

In the tropics, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is keeping an eye on a tropical wave now labeled as Invest 99L, located several hundred miles to the northeast of Puerto Rico. The environment around 99L should be reasonably favorable in the coming days. As a result, the NHC is posting 99L with a 50-50 chance of becoming a tropical cyclone (depression or tropical storm) during the next two to five days. However, the early guidance keeps 99L out over the open Atlantic: for now at least, a landfall anywhere in the U.S. appears extremely unlikely.

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