Posted: Jul 18, 2014 5:58 AM by Meteorologist Robert Gauthreaux III
A surface low pressure system advancing eastward out of Texas and into North Louisiana will kick off a round of showers and thunderstorms in our area over the next few days. Counterclockwise wind flow around this surface low will mean southerly winds will once again be able to transport moisture into the region from the Gulf of Mexico. An upper level wave associated with this low will provide a lifting mechanism for the moist, surface air. As a southwest - northeast oriented front sits to the west with a parallel jet stream aloft, a slow-moving batch of rain and thunderstorms is anticipated for Friday. At the leading edge of precipitation, there could be some gusty wind. As the rain begins, the threat turns to heavy, persistent downpours. With a saturated atmospheric column of moisture and weak steering winds, the storms will likely be slow-movers and efficient rain-makers. A few rounds of showers and storms will pass through the area by Saturday Night and by then anywhere from 1-4" of rain may fall area-wide. Locations farther to the northwest of the viewing area stand the greatest chance of heavy rain. As the low slowly pulls into Kentucky by Sunday, a depression of cool air will be left aloft, which will enhance thunderstorm activity on Sunday. These showers and storms should be more of the summer-time, air mass variety and are not expected to be as potent as the Friday and Saturday round. It appears as though this regime will stick into next week.
Today & Tonight: The daytime hours will stay mostly cloudy with periods of rain and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could produce gusty wind and torrential downpours, along with frequent lightning. Batches of rain along with the clouds could make the forecast high of 86° more of an optimistic prediction. Where no breaks of sun occur, low to mid 80s may be all that is possible. It will be muggy however. Tonight, shower and storm strength should back off a bit, but will remain scattered about the area. It will be a sticky night with a low temperature in the low 70s. We could see the rain ease back a bit in the afternoon. Some sunshine may peek through as well.
Wet weekend: If you must pick one weekend day to accomplish outdoor activity-good luck! Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected through Sunday. Most backyards will see measurable rainfall, likely both days. The is a better chance for some breaks of sun on Sunday, but off and on showers may make it a hide-and-seek game with the outdoors. Highs will be in the upper 80s while lows are in the low 70s.
The Tropics: No tropical development is expected in the Gulf of Mexico or the remainder of the Atlantic Basin over the next 5 days.
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