Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Somewhat Drier on Wednesday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

May 12th WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- a “drier” day for Wednesday
- back to scattered showers and storms for the rest of the week

Today's storms got a late start but action really increased during the late afternoon hours, even prompting a couple of Severe T-Storm Warnings. Through early evening, there have been several reports of mostly small hail and even a report of a couple of downed trees in southern Pointe Coupee Parish.

The showers and storms that did form this afternoon will taper off into the evening as we lose daytime heating.  But clouds will be slow to thin this evening and tonight, so we’re calling for partly to mostly cloudy skies through the night and into Wednesday morning. 

A cool front did sag south across the viewing area and is hanging up right along the coast this afternoon. That front will start a slow retreat to the north later tonight and tomorrow. However, the air stays slightly “drier” (less humid) through the night, allowing early morning minimums to dip into the upper 60°s for Wednesday’s start in the Red Stick.  We don’t expect any wake-up showers but still be ready for some pockets of mainly-light fog for Wednesday’s morning drive.

At the same time, we don’t expect any significant overhead disturbances to pass by as modest upper-level ridging briefly takes hold over the lower Mississippi Valley. With no mechanisms to enhance lift, we should stay relatively dry through Wednesday afternoon … but probably not entirely rain-free.  Even with the slightly less humid air in place, daytime heating will likely be sufficient to kick off at least a couple of afternoon showers on Wednesday.  We’ll go with a 20% rain chance for Wednesday afternoon under a sun/cloud mix with highs in the upper 80°s across most of the viewing area.

As we head into Thursday, the overhead ridging will be shifting east, taking the cap off of the atmosphere and allowing the daytime heating to work with the Gulf air and take us back to scattered afternoon showers and t-storms -- a pattern close to what we would expect in mid-summer.  We’ll go with Thursday rain chances at 30% to 40%.  The weather looks “wetter” for Friday: set rain chances at 50% to 60%, but it’s not a forecast for all-day rains.  As for temperatures, for the rest of the week we can expect morning lows in the upper 60°s to low 70°s and afternoon highs in the mid to upper 80°s for most or all of the WAFB region. 

For the weekend, don’t look for much to change, although we may ease rain chances back to about 30% or so for Sunday.

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