Friday, April 3, 2015

Cooler for Easter Weekend

April 3rd First Alert Quickcast:
- overnight front delivers scattered showers & t-storms
- little if any severe weather threat
- cooler and less humid for the Easter weekend
As expected, it was a warm and mainly-dry Good Friday, with WAFB’s regional Doppler radar showing little if any action through the afternoon.  All that makes for a great Friday evening start for the spring “Live After Five” concert series.  The “rock gumbo” of Cowboy Mouth kicks the series off in downtown Baton Rouge’s Town Square under the Crest from 5-8pm.  I’m expecting it to stay dry with temps at 5pm in the low 80°s, easing down into the mid to upper 70°s by 8pm.
As we’ve been mentioning for several days now, we have a cold front scheduled to march through the viewing area overnight into early Saturday morning.  Expect scattered showers and t-storms with the front but the overall news isn’t bad at all.   I’m still seeing some mixed signals as to the exact timing of the frontal passage, but I’ve go the front not getting into metro BR until after midnight.  However, any weather tied to the front should be well south and southeast of the Capital City before sunrise on Saturday.
Add in a little more good news: The NWS Storm Prediction Center has shifted the region of “Slight Risk” northward -- so that virtually no WAFB communities fall within the “Slight Risk” area, although some of our northern communities remain under a “Marginal Risk.”  The bottom line: no threat of a widespread severe weather outbreak with this front, although one or two strong-to-severe storms can’t be entirely ruled out.  Any active weather will most likely be in the form of hail and high winds.
The latest numbers from the WPC rainfall experts suggest that just about everyone comes in at under one-half-inch for the event.  The WPC is currently showing 0.10” to 0.25” for most of the Florida Parishes with under 0.10” totals for the southern half of the WAFB viewing area.  If anything, I’m thinking that those numbers might even be a little generous.  Frankly, lots of us could use a little rain for the lawns and gardens -- many of us haven’t had a good soaking rain since March 21st.
The cold front will sag out into the northern Gulf by Saturday morning, reaching the mid-Gulf by the afternoon and early evening.  We’ll start Saturday morning a bit cooler than this morning, with Red Stick lows in the mid to upper 50°s under partly to mostly cloudy skies.  By the afternoon, we should be enjoying sunshine, although maybe not entirely clear skies, with highs only around 70° or so -- bringing an end to our 6-day run of highs in the 80°s.
Unfortunately, an upper-air disturbance from the west will keep us from enjoying clear skies on Easter Sunday.  However, Sunday morning will be even cooler under partly to mostly cloudy skies, with BR metro area morning lows in the low 50°s near sun-up.  The weather remains dry through the morning and into the afternoon, so there’ll be no problems with Sunday services or morning and mid-day egg hunts. 
Into the afternoon, however, I’m calling for isolated to scattered showers and maybe a rumble or two of thunder.  So it’s not an afternoon wash-out by any stretch -- rain chances at 20% to 30%, meaning that the majority of WAFB neighborhoods stay dry through the day.  And even where it does rain, it shouldn’t last all that long.  So stick with the afternoon outdoor grillin’ plans or the picnic table of mudbugs under an otherwise sun/cloud mix with highs in the mid to upper 70°s around the viewing area.
Whatever rains that do develop on Sunday afternoon wind down into the evening hours.  For next week, I’m currently going with a mainly-dry Monday, isolated mainly-afternoon showers for Tuesday, then scattered showers and storms for Wednesday and Thursday.  For those four days, plan for mild-to-muggy 60°s and 70°s for morning starts with patchy fog followed by afternoon highs in the mid to upper 80°s.  In the long-range, it looks like our next spring front arrives next Friday.
Have a Happy Easter weekend!

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