Thursday, April 16, 2015

Can't Get a Break from the Wet Spell!

April 16th First Alert Quickcast:
- showers & t-storms likely on Friday & Saturday
- Flash Flood Watch continues
Well, let’s start with the good news of the day: most WAFB communities stayed dry into the afternoon and as of 3PM there were no Warnings issued anywhere in the region and no reports of storm-related damage.
Unfortunately, the rain started moving into the western half of the viewing area -- including metro Baton Rouge -- just in time to add to the trials of our typical evening commute.  Those drive-home rains were accompanied by a few rumbles of thunder in some spots but thankfully no severe storms.
The Flash Flood Watch continues for much of the WAFB viewing area through Friday at 7:00pm.  At the same time, a Flash Flood Watch has been issued for communities on the west side of the Atchafalaya Basin through 1:00pm Friday … and I suspect that we may see that Watch extended later in the day too.  In fact, I’m really expecting both Watches to be extended into Saturday.
The rain should subside a bit later into the evening and overnight, but we’ll keep isolated-to-scattered rains in the overnight and early-morning forecast.  Expect a Friday morning low in the mid to upper 60°s for the Red Stick, with patchy fog for the morning drive too.
Unfortunately, Friday and Saturday are currently shaping up to be even wetter than today -- we’re going with rain likely for both days with those percentages running at 70% to 80%.  And with those higher rain chances will also come a slight increase in a severe-weather threat, especially for Saturday.  The main threats from severe storms will be damaging winds, but as we saw yesterday, large hail is in the severe weather mix too.  Although the chances are very low, we cannot completely rule out a tornado touchdown in the region either.
So when does this extended run of wet weather end? 
For the time being, I’m still carrying a 50-50 chance of rain for Sunday.  The real question here is about how long does it take for an upper-level “closed low” currently over the Rockies to move off to the east.  The current thinking is that the upper low remains a factor for our weather through Sunday, pushing a cold front through the lower Mississippi Valley early Monday.  Were that low to start moving east sooner, we might be able to salvage Sunday.
However, the way it looks now, we’ll have to wait until Monday afternoon for some rain relief!
In the meantime, we could see another 2” to 4” of rain -- with some locally-higher totals -- between now and Sunday.  That virtually guarantees more nuisance flooding and standing water ... and will require that we watch our area rivers closely through the weekend.

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