An active weather weekend is ahead with warm, humid and windy conditions on Saturday giving way to thunderstorms, possibly severe, on Sunday.
Today and Tonight: The week will end on a quiet note, though a slightly less comfortable one. Despite more clouds than sun, temperatures will rise into the upper 80s. Areas that receive additional sunshine could make it to 90. Either way, much higher dew points will result in “feels like” temperatures in the low 90s. Overnight will be partly cloudy and muggy with lows in the low 70s.
Up Next: If you have outdoor plans this weekend, the first half is a much better bet. Saturday will be warm and humid with isolated showers and thunderstorms possible in the afternoon. However, this will be more of a summer-like scenario and widespread action is not anticipated. One other note about Saturday -- it will be quite windy. With a sustained southerly breeze of 15-25mph, gusts could top 30mph. Due to this persistent wind, south facing shorelines may notice higher than usual water. Into Sunday, we’ll be tracking a storm system that is showing increasing potential for severe weather and heavy rain. The Storm Prediction Center has placed area north of I-10 in a 2/5 “slight risk” for severe weather. At this time, damaging wind and heavy rain look like the main threats. The most likely time period for action appears to be late morning to late afternoon. Stay in touch with the WBRZ Weather Team on the App, Facebook and Twitter for updates through the weekend.
Any time severe weather threatens, rememeber to review your severe weather safety plan. For more information on severe weather preparedness, potential threats, watches, warnings and how you can stay ahead of the storms, visit our SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY page.
THE SCIENCE: Warmth and humidity will increase for the end of the week with some locations approaching 90 degrees on Friday and Saturday. Some fog or stratus development is possible due to the increasing low level moisture fields on Friday and Saturday mornings. Daytime heat may induce an isolated shower or thunderstorm—especially on Saturday. Southerly winds responsible for the sticky air mass will be fairly stiff and persistent. On Saturday, winds could be sustained at 15-25mph with locally higher gusts. This may prompt a wind advisory from the National Weather Service. Additionally, long duration fetch will result in water stacking up on the north shores of lakes and bays. Some minor to moderate coastal flooding will be possible. The higher impact portion of the forecast will come on Sunday. A deep trough will move across the Midwest and Central Gulf Coast with an accompanying cold front at the surface. Positive vorticity advection ahead of the trough and the front will greatly enhance omega as the system pushes through. Forecast model parameters have lifted index values maximized between -6 and -8 on Sunday Morning. CAPE values will be around 2,000 with storm relative helicity on the order of 300 - 350 m/s. In addition, the atmosphere is expected to be very rich with moisture as precipitable water tops out around 2 inches which is near the record for April 30. At this time, damaging wind and heavy rain would seem to be the primary threats. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is favoring a mesoscale convective system (or organized squall line) due to strong vertical wind shear. However, vortices within a strong squall line can spin up tornadoes and any discrete cellular storm development of that line could easily do the same. It looks as though the atmospheric cap will be weak enough such that any uplift generated by ripples of energy in the mid-levels should be able to initiate pre-linear storms on Sunday Morning. Of course, much can change in the next three days. Again, all of this is preliminary, but the SPC continues to highlight areas north of I-10 for the possibility of severe weather. Join us in monitoring these trends as the weekend nears. A good pop of cooler and drier air is expected behind this front with highs back into the 70s for Monday.