Monday, May 18, 2015

Scattered T-Storms Return on Tuesday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

May 18th First Alert Quickcast:
- scattered showers & storms return for Tuesday
- unsettled pattern holds through the work week

While today wasn’t the busiest weather day that we’ve dealt with in the past few weeks, it was far from quiet for many WAFB neighborhoods. Scattered showers and storms -- with some of those storms on the strong side -- have been the local weather story for much of the day. 

A lightning-laden thunderstorm -- likely producing some small hail -- tracked from west-to-east across Iberville, southern Pointe Coupee and WBR parishes around noon time. Not long after, locally-heavy downpours over portions of Iberville, Ascension and Livingston parishes prompted the NWS to issue a Flash Flood Warning for those areas.

However, what most of us experienced today is relatively minor compared to the flooding rains across the northern half of the state! Radar estimates are showing widespread 3” to 5” totals up there with pockets exceeding 8” to 10” of rain in just the past 24 hours. Sadly, one fatality has resulted from the intense rains in the northern parishes.

Our area rains will wind down later this evening, and we will carry spotty showers in the forecast through the overnight and early morning hours. Plan for a muggy start to Tuesday, with sunrise temperatures around 70° for the Capital City. In addition to the spotty wake-up showers, be ready for some patchy fog for Tuesday’s morning commute. 

Our forecast is generally wet for Tuesday afternoon, although rains won’t be as widespread as occurred today: we’re posting rain chances at 50% across the viewing area for tomorrow. Maybe more importantly, we don’t anticipate anything like the downpours observed across northern Louisiana. Most that do get rain tomorrow will likely see totals come in at well under one-half-inch. Expect highs to climb into the upper 80°s Tuesday afternoon before the rains arrive.

We’re easing back on the rain chances for Wednesday to 30%, with scattered showers and t-storms in the forecast for both Thursday and Friday. And again, although isolated larger totals will be possible, most WAFB neighborhoods can expect less than one-inch of rain right through Friday and Saturday.

But expect no relief from the humidity: the “muggies” stay with us as Gulf air will remain in place all week, providing a moist-and-unstable atmosphere to fuel daily rains. Morning lows will trend around 70° to the low 70°s for the Red Stick right through the weekend, while afternoon highs will run in the upper 80°s for most, if not all, days.

An upper-level trough will remain positioned over the western states throughout the week while the central Gulf coast see-saws between weak upper-air ridging and the effects of upper-level southwestern flow around the base and eastern flank of that western trough. When the weak ridging dominates, rain chances will drop off a bit; by contrast, the upper-level southwesterly flow will provide a boost to rain chances when it dominates.

All in all, the WAFB region can expect isolated to scattered mainly-afternoon rains right through the upcoming weekend. With that kind of pattern we recommend that you keep the umbrella nearby although don’t expect to see rain in your neighborhood every day.

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