Friday, March 13, 2015

Finally Drying Out This Weekend!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- finally, an end to the rains
- mostly cloudy but mainly dry and mild weekend ahead

For many WAFB neighborhoods, last night’s and this morning’s rains were the heaviest of this rather soggy week.  We also had a few thunderstorms in the viewing area through the night, apparently enough to knock the power out for a few thousand WAFB area residents.  In fact, late last night the NWS briefly posted a TORNADO WARNING for parts of Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes, prompted by a thunderstorm that had the tell-tale radar signature of a possible waterspout moving inland off the Gulf (no confirmation as of this afternoon).

Thankfully, the end to the “good-for-ducks weather” has finally arrived.  Yes, we might see a light sprinkle or two this evening for areas mainly to the east of metro BR, but all in all we can all put the umbrellas away for a while.

The FLASH FLOOD WATCHES have expired too.  Standing water is still a problem in the usual places, but it has not been as serious as we were anticipating just a few days ago.  And local rivers and bayous will need to be monitored through the weekend as they will all display marked rises, but we’re expecting most of the reporting sites in our viewing area to crest below flood.

Although the Comite River will see a big rise this evening and into tomorrow, it looks like that EBR river tops out well-below flood stage.  We’ll want to keep a closer watch on the middle and lower Amite, depending on how much rain fell last night and this morning above Denham Springs -- but again, all forecast points along the river should remain below flood although several could get very close.

The Tickfaw and Natalbany will see steady rises today and tomorrow as well, but the latest guidance keeps both below flood stage along their courses.  Only the lower Tangipahoa is currently forecasted to go into flood, with the NWS Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center calling for Robert to crest 1.5 feet above flood stage late Saturday into Sunday.

So what about the weekend outlook?  The most appreciated word for Saturday and Sunday will be “dry.”

A drier (less humid) air mass from the west and northwest will take charge over the next few days and that should deliver morning lows in the 50°s instead of the muggy 60°s that many of us have experienced over this recent wet spell.  Weekend afternoons will climb into the mid to upper 70°s for both days for most WAFB communities.  Although mainly dry, Saturday and Sunday won’t be the prettiest of spring days: we expect morning fog and a mix of sun-and-clouds for both days.  Some of our guidance is even hinting at a few showers for Sunday afternoon -- we’ll post it as “spotty” for the time being, but our hunch is that we won’t see anything, or at least nothing significant.

So the weekend delivers a big improvement -- and for parade lovers, Saturday’s “Wearin’ of the Green” should go off without a hitch!

We’ve got a sun/cloud mix Monday on the forecast books for Monday: after that the forecast gets a bit muddled.  The extended guidance hints at a slight chance of rain as early as Tuesday, with scattered rains back in the local area by mid-week.  Temperatures look like they stay will remain spring-like and mild into the middle of next week too.​

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