Monday, April 6, 2015

Drier for Tuesday & Wednesday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

April 6th WAFB First Alert Quickcast:
- “quieter” weather for Tuesday & Wednesday
- frontal weather shaping up for Friday

We did see a few thunderstorms in the WAFB viewing area this afternoon – most notable was a line that tracked to the northeast from eastern Ascension Parish across Livingston and into St. Helena and Tangipahoa. This line over the Florida Parishes included some rather active cloud-to-ground lightning at times along with some potential for pockets of small hail.

At the same time, a relatively weak east-bound disturbance will be enough to keep scattered showers in the evening forecast, possibly accompanied by a rumble or two of thunder. That disturbance should be well east of us later tonight, taking any area rains with it. The combination of features and the warm, moist and unstable air mass in place was sufficient to prompt the NWS Storm Prediction Center to put some of WAFB’s eastern viewers under a “Marginal Risk” for severe weather for the evening and into the night.

We’ll start Tuesday morning with some low clouds and patchy fog -- a muggy start to the day with morning lows running 10° or more above norm for this time of year. Gulf moisture on a southeast-to-south flow will keep the day warm and muggy, although we anticipate only spotty showers for the afternoon with high temperatures for the Red Stick reaching the mid 80°s under a mix of sun and clouds.

The forecast for Wednesday is a near-repeat of the Tuesday outlook: patchy morning fog with wake-up temps in the mid to upper 60°s for the Capital City followed by afternoon highs in the mid to upper 80°s under a sun/cloud mix.

By Thursday, we’ll introduce a 30% to 40% rain chance for the afternoon and early evening.

Heading into Friday, virtually all of the extended range guidance says “get ready for rain” as out next cold front approaches from the northwest and west. We’re watching a well-developed upper-level low spinning off the Pacific Northwest coast -- and that system will help drive the front our way. As of now, Friday is shaping up to be the “wettest” for a four-day period (Friday through Monday), but we’re currently calling for scattered-to-likely rains throughout the four-day period. With the current outlook in mind, hydrometeorologists at the NWS Weather Prediction Center are currently posting preliminary 7-day rain totals on the order of 1” to 2” or more for the WAFB viewing area. We wouldn’t be surprised to see those estimates go up a bit in the coming days should the weekend outlook remain “wet.”

The rainy forecast for Friday and the weekend will knock daytime highs back a bit: we’re currently showing a ruin of days in the low 80°s, although some may top-out in the 70°s with sufficient clouds and showers.

And for those of you interested in the Mississippi River, the Mississippi at Baton Rouge (Miss@BR) crested last week at 36.5 feet and has been showing a very slow fall over the past few days. As of 3pm this afternoon, Miss@BR was still at 36.0 feet. The current forecast shows a continued slow fall into the weekend but keeps the river above flood stage (35.0 ft) through Saturday and into Sunday. 

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