Tranquil and warm conditions will continue through today. Humidity will build on Thursday and by Friday showers and thunderstorms return to the region.
Today and Tonight: Mainly sunny skies and warm temperatures will continue on Wednesday. Thermometers will climb for 86 degrees with south winds of 5-10mph. Clear skies early may give way to a few low clouds or fog overnight as lows stop around 65 degrees.
Less ozone has allowed air quality to drop below alert criteria. An upper level ridge continues to push east which will cause more mixing of the air and less settling of pollutants. Mostly sunny skies will continue to cause an extremely high ultraviolet index.
Up Next: Thursday should be noticeably more humid than the first half of the week with more clouds mixing into skies as well. A cold front will come into the region on Friday with showers and thunderstorms. At this time, severe weather is not expected. This system may leave behind an inch or so of rain before ushering in slightly cooler and drier air for Mother’s Day weekend. Nice sunshine is expected Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
THE SCIENCE: An upper level ridge of high pressure will remain over the region through Wednesday. A surface high pressure system will migrate eastward across the northern Gulf of Mexico through Thursday as the backside of the ridge moves overhead. As this occurs, southerly flow will deepen through the atmosphere allowing surface humidity to increase and some clouds to develop. On Friday, a slightly positively tilted trough will dip from the middle to lower Mississippi River Valley with an accompanying cold front at the surface. This storm system will move into an area with some mid-level moisture and marginal instability—forecast model CAPE values appear to be near 1,000 – 1,500 j/kg. With the cold front generating uplift and some upper air divergence providing column evacuation, a shield of showers and thunderstorms is expected to develop, but at this time wind shear is forecast to be very low which should minimize the threat for severe weather. Forecast model rain projections and the Weather Prediction Center highlight Southeast Louisiana and Southwest Mississippi in a region of 0.5 – 1.0 inches of rain. Once this cold front pushes through on Friday night, slightly cooler and drier air will return in time for Mother’s Day weekend. Temperatures will be near normal over the weekend with mainly clear skies through early next week. Temperatures will moderate to about 5 degrees above average on Monday and Tuesday.
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