Outdoor plans for Easter Weekend appear to be in fine shape, especially early. Some locations will have to dodge nuisance, pop-up showers and thunderstorms but such is typical as we move later into the spring.
Today and Tonight: Thursday will be a warm one with highs making a run at the upper 80s thanks to ample sunshine. Winds will remain easterly at 5-10mph. Mainly clear skies will continue overnight with light winds and lows in the low 60s.
Up Next: Friday will be warm as well with a few more clouds. Saturday to Tuesday, high temperatures will remain in the mid 80s with low temperatures in the mid 60s. Each day will bring some sun but as thermometers climb, so too will the clouds, eventually producing isolated showers and thunderstorms during the afternoons. As is typical with “pop-up” action, predicting exact location of showers is not possible until activity develops, but all-day and all-encompassing rain is not expected for the forecast area.
THE SCIENCE: A mid-level ridge will pass over the area on Thursday leading to a strong cap and thus mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures. Given this, high temperatures are projected a bit above model guidance and into the upper 80s. Models have slowed the eastward progress of the ridge and therefore it looks like rain chances can be removed from the Friday forecast. However, as the ridge does break down over the central Gulf Coast, southerly flow remains established. Enough moisture will be in place that as the cap weakens and instability increases, daytime heating will be enough to force out isolated convection Saturday to Tuesday. Both the GFS and ECMWF show a few pockets of positive vorticity advection due to ripples in the jet stream and this would give an extra kick as also. As is typical in a convective regime, timing and placement are difficult but with warmth being a key driver, the isolated showers and thunderstorms should primarily occur from noon to dusk. Rain coverage could potentially be higher Monday and Tuesday compared to Saturday and Sunday as a weak front stall norths of the area adding some additional uplift to the region.
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