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Best rain chance of a dry, hot week

1 year 5 months 3 weeks ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 May 18, 2018 6:10 AM May 18, 2018 in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

15 out of 17 days in May have been dry at Metro Airport in Baton Rouge. All but one has been above average. In fact, the area is approaching a May record for consecutive days in the 90s. A little drink for lawns and gardens, plus an afternoon cool down looks possible to end the week.

THE FORECAST:

Today and Tonight: Due to a quick moving upper level disturbance, Friday will offer up the best rain chances so far this week. With early sun providing fuel, showers and storms will spark off from the mid-morning hours and increased rain chances will continue through the afternoon. Remember, warm season storms are capable of downpours and frequent lightning. Unlike the majority of this week, inland locations are a better bet for rain. High temperatures will stretch for the low 90s before any showers send them back down. Clearing skies are expected overnight with lows in the low 70s.

Up Next: Saturday should have the lowest chance of a pop-up shower in the 7-day forecast. A summer-like pattern will continue into next week with little variation in temperatures. Highs will be in the low 90s with lows in the low 70s. Isolated rain chances will be out there each afternoon, but nothing jumps out in the forecast so keep the sprinkler systems in working order. Looking ahead to Memorial Day Weekend, there once again may be a disturbance in the Eastern Gulf worth keeping an eye on for increased rain chances.

THE EXPLANATION:

Friday morning water vapor and 500mb analysis plainly shows an area of moisture and positive vorticity advection in northeast Texas diving southeastward. With ample instability, this feature should be able to offer the 13 Parish, 3 County forecast area the highest rain coverage of the week. Still, the daytime heating will be a key ingredient in sparking convection and therefore the mid-morning through afternoon hours bring the best chances for rain. Mainly dry conditions are expected on Saturday as a weak ridge axis moves across the forecast area. A bit more low level moisture by Sunday may be supportive of slightly better convective development Sunday through Wednesday. Still, precipitation is expected to remain in the isolated category with only about 10-30 percent coverage in the 13 Parish, 3 County forecast area. Through this time, upper level winds will be zonal allowing diurnal heating and microscale boundaries such as the marine breeze to be the primary drivers of any precipitation. Well beyond the 7-day forecast, it is worth noting that both the GFS and ECMWF models indicate another disturbance in the Eastern Gulf. This should be monitored, especially for those with beach plans for the Memorial Day Weekend. At the very least, this could spell increased rain chances. 

--Dr. Josh

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