Thursday, May 14, 2015

Good Rain Chances into the Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

May 14th WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- rain likely for Friday  
- scattered showers and storms for the weekend

For the second straight day, a large portion of the WAFB viewing area remained dry.  However, there were a few afternoon thunderstorms in our viewing area and while none of them achieved ‘severe’ thresholds they were quite active in terms of lightning. And while the storms were fairly isolated, there was a decent concentration of activity right around the city of Baton Rouge.

Whatever action that does pop-up will subside through the evening and we’ll go dry through the night.  Plan for a partly to mostly cloudy start to Friday, staying dry for the morning commute, but once again with patchy wake-up fog.  It will be a muggy start as well, with sunrise temperatures in the low 70°s for many WAFB communities.

Our recent run of drier weather ends today -- the modest mid-level ridging that has been in place moves east with a mid/upper southwesterly flow taking charge.  The shift in upper-air flow means a series of disturbances to the region beginning with the first tomorrow.  That is why we’ve got rain likely for Friday afternoon and scattered-to-likely rains for Saturday and Sunday too.

With the clouds and rains, some parishes may not even reach the mid 80°s for highs on Friday.  We don’t anticipate a round of severe storms on Friday afternoon, but we could see one or two stronger thunderstorms develop, and a warning or two can’t be entirely ruled out.  It won’t be an all-afternoon rain for everyone, but we do suspect that somebody will be dealing with showers and storms in some part of the viewing area for just about the entire afternoon and into the early evening.

We’ll quiet things down for Friday night into Saturday morning and then do it all over again for Saturday afternoon.  Saturday’s rain coverage may be a tad less widespread than Friday’s, but not much less in terms of areal coverage.  Saturday’s highs will top out in the mid 80°s for most of us.

Unfortunately, Sunday is looking fair wet too: we’re going with 50-50 rain chances for Sunday afternoon with highs in the mid to upper 80°s. 

And the weather outlook stays with scattered showers and storms right through most or all of next week.  A series of upper-air troughs will move from the western U.S. into the Plains, with each driving disturbances through the Gulf region.  At the same time, a steady flow of Gulf moisture into the lower Mississippi will provide the fuel for afternoon rains.

Our suggestion:  keep the umbrella nearby all week long.

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