Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Staying Nice, A Bit Warmer

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- fine autumn weather continues, a little warmer into Saturday
- a dry cold front passes through on Sunday
- looks ‘rain free’ through the next 7+ days

Today was the second superb autumn day for the WAFB viewing area and there are many more on the way.  We will begin a brief and rather modest warming trend tomorrow with afternoon highs for the Baton Rouge metro area returning to the low to mid 80°s for Thursday, Friday and Saturday under fair skies.  And the humidity remains low, so no complaints!

Over the weekend, a reinforcing cold front will be headed our way and slides through the viewing area by late Saturday.  It will be a dry front, with little more than a few fair-weather clouds passing by ahead of the front.  The slightly cooler air behind Saturday’s front will knock temperatures back a few degrees after it passes by -- look for Sunday afternoon highs to top-out around 80° to the low 80°s.  Bottom line: this is going to be a “get outside” weekend, whether it’s to for yard work, a little exercise and fresh air, or just a nice afternoon under fair skies.  Enjoy!

Headed into the next week, we’re calling for more of the good stuff: mainly fair skies for just about the entire work week with yet another dry, cold front sliding through the viewing area on Tuesday.

Although it’s taken half the month, this is the kind of weather that makes October a favorite for so many.  Unlike the stormy frontal weather on Monday, many of our autumn fronts are relatively mild and uneventful – that’s exactly what we’re expecting for the upcoming fronts on Sunday and Tuesday.  These dry fronts often do little more than dropping the temperatures by a few degrees and scrub some of the humidity out of the air, leaving us with mild days with low humidity and cool nights and early mornings.  Think of this weather as a reward for managing the summer season heat and humidity.

In the Atlantic, Gonzalo cranked-up into a Category 4 hurricane this morning, but the 4 p.m. advisory showed a small drop in winds to 125 mph, making it once again a Category 3. However, it's still a very strong and dangerous hurricane. The forecast track still takes a powerful Gonzalo towards Bermuda, with the system currently expected to be a ‘major’ hurricane (Category 3 or 4) as it passes close to the island-nation.  In fact, the official forecast takes Gonzalo just west of Bermuda, putting the island on the most-destructive ‘right side’ of the projected storm track.

Gonzalo is the first hurricane in the Atlantic to reach Category 4 intensity since 2011’s Ophelia, which peaked in strength on the evening of October 1st (local time).  Somewhat ironically, Ophelia’s track was not too unlike the forecasted path for Gonzalo.  But Ophelia passed far enough to the east of Bermuda that the storm had only limited impacts on the island.  Gonzalo may prove to be a much bigger problem.

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