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Sun and clouds as humidity slowly builds

8 months 1 week 8 hours ago Tuesday, May 12 2020 May 12, 2020 May 12, 2020 6:06 AM May 12, 2020 in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

The quiet weather pattern is about to end. Temperatures will warm, some humidity will return and showers and thunderstorms return to the forecast.

THE FORECAST:

Today and Tonight: Winds will shift southerly on Tuesday leading to a slow return of humidity. Some clouds will develop during the afternoon hours as highs chug into the mid 80s. A disturbance will weaken west of the forecast area overnight, but will allow a continued increase in cloud cover with lows in the mid 60s.

Up Next: Thermometers will warm to seasonable readings with highs returning to the mid to upper 80s and lows in the upper 60s Wednesday through the weekend. As this occurs, the daytime warming and availability of Gulf moisture will allow afternoon showers and thunderstorms—especially Thursday through Monday. While severe weather is not expected, recall that warm season thunderstorms can produce downpours, frequent lightning and gusty wind. In addition to this, a stalling area of upper level low pressure could create an even more unsettled round of weather along the central Gulf Coast Sunday and Monday.    

The Mississippi River: At Baton Rouge, The Mississippi River has fallen into moderate flood stage with a level of 39’ as of Tuesday morning. The river is expected to continue falling over the next two weeks. The high water is primarily an issue for river traffic and river islands, although some inundation will continue for a few spots north and south of Baton Rouge that are not protected by levees. Unprotected low-lying areas will be flooded and agricultural operations will be impacted on the west side of the river. The city of Baton Rouge and the main LSU campus are protected by levees at these levels.

THE EXPLANATION:

On Tuesday, onshore flow will commence and a gradual return of moisture will begin. A shortwave trough over central Texas is hoisting moisture into the atmosphere and producing showers and thunderstorms. This moisture will move eastward in the westerlies aloft and allow some cirrus clouds to roll over the region today—but sunshine will still be available. The trough is expected to weaken as it moves toward the Mississippi River and therefore rain chances are low to nil. By evening, dew points will return to the 60s and there will be some noticeable humidity in the air by Wednesday. Enough instability will be available west of I-55 that an isolated shower may develop during the afternoon hours as a weak sea breeze develops. Moving into Thursday, persistent onshore flow and cooler temperatures aloft will lead to the familiar marine breeze and daytime warming cycle of showers and thunderstorms through Saturday. As you know, these thunderstorms are rarely “severe” but can be attention getting with downpours, frequent lightning and gusty wind.

A shortwave trough of low pressure will move into the region on Sunday and enhance development of showers and thunderstorms. Forecast models indicate that this trough will stall out and cut off from the jet stream, thereby leaving a cold pool aloft for widespread showers and thunderstorms late in the weekend into early next week. Depending on the position and integrity of this cut off upper level low, some parts of the central Gulf Coast may need to be monitored for heavy rainfall.   

--Josh

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