Friday, May 8, 2015

Warm, Mainly Dry into Mother's Day

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- only spotty afternoon showers through the weekend
- warm, humid Saturday and Sunday afternoons … feeling like 90°?

For most of the WAFB viewing area, it’s been more than 10 days without significant rain – a dry-out welcomed by many after the locally heavy rains and damaging storms on April 27th.  That same mostly-dry pattern we’ve seen the past many days will continue through the weekend.

Want a little rain?  Not to worry -- we’ve got rain in next week’s forecast, so let’s enjoy the drier pattern through the weekend and especially for Mother’s Day.

Our recent run of weather has been relatively pleasant but you’ve likely noticed the humidity.  That’s not going to change.  With afternoon temperatures sneaking up into the mid to upper 80°s, we’ve been flirting with Heat Index numbers near 90° -- such will be the case for both weekend afternoons.  Expect a little patchy fog for both mornings … just like we’ve seen the past few early mornings.  But the good news is that the weather cooperates for just about everyone on Mother’s Day.

By the way, a big “Thank You!” to all of our area Moms!

Heading into next week, the upper-air pattern will finally support the onset of rains around the area.  In fact, our current forecast calls for scattered rains for just about every day next week.  We’re not anticipating excessive rains, just days with Doppler radar showing lots of returns.

Through much of this past week we were anticipating a cool front making its way into the lower Mississippi Valley early next week.  Our latest guidance now seems to take that out of the outlook.  Instead, our warm-and-moist Gulf air will remain in place and get occasional boosts thanks to passing disturbances.  And no front means no significant drop in temperatures, and maybe more importantly, no drops in the current humidity either.  While our daytime highs may come down a couple of degrees next week, that will be due to the rains and added cloud cover.

The latest on Subtropical Storm Ana shows a system trying to complete a transition to a fully tropical storm.  That appears likely within the next 12 hours or so as convection tries to wrap around the core and the enlarged subtropical wind field continues to contract.  (Remember, subtropical systems tend to be more expansive but a little less energetic than their fully tropical “big brothers.”)

Ana is expected to continue a slow forward motion to the NW to NNW with a likely landfall along the Carolinas coast on Sunday as a “minimal” tropical storm (winds at about 40 mph).  After moving inland, Ana is then expected to get picked up in a strong southwesterly flow, take a hard turn to the northeast and eventually move back out over the western Atlantic.

While ‘she’ is not expected to be an especially destructive storm, Ana will probably make for a wet Mother’s Day weekend for both Carolinas.

For us?  Enjoy the weekend and be careful in the “almost summer” afternoon heat.

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