Your regularly scheduled thunderstorms
There is no need to cancel outdoor plans, but you should be ready to move inside at times as thunderstorms will be scattered about the forecast area this weekend.
Today and Tonight: Expect another round of showers and thunderstorms to flare up by the middle of your Friday. Highs should make it near 90 degrees before rain and clouds knock the numbers back a bit. Of course, any thunderstorm will be capable of heavy rain. Tonight will be partly cloudy with lows near 76 and some patchy fog late.
Showers and thunderstorms have been attention getting of late, dropping a quick inch or two of rain before moving along. The good thing is, they do move along. For those drawing parallels to one year ago, remember that it rained for almost three consecutive days without stopping across the entire forecast area. The nature of the latest showers and thunderstorms is much different. While heavy, they are short-lived, and it is never raining in the entire forecast area at once. Rain coverage was on point with the forecast, approximately 70 percent of the area received measurable rainfall with the heaviest amounts in northern East Baton Rouge Parish and central Tangipahoa Parish.
Up Next: Showers and thunderstorms will be a nuisance to outdoor plans well into next week. Since there are no distinct weather features to focus development, exact location and timing will be difficult to nail down. However, daytime heating and marine breezes will be the two main ingredients in forcing showers and thunderstorms, so look for mid to late morning initiation near bodies of water followed by an inland spread into the afternoon hours. No washouts are expected but a midday hour or two could be lost due to rain and lightning. Temperatures will not budge much with highs in the low 90s and lows in the mid 70s.
The Tropics: Invest 99L continues to spin in the open Atlantic and hangs on to a 40 percent chance of development. Should it survive the weekend, the east coast may need to closely monitor progress of that system.
To end the week, an upper level trough axis will further weaken and the stationary surface front will become more diffuse thus eliminating a focus for showers and thunderstorms to develop. However, precipitable water values will stay rather high and the greatest mid-level warming associated with a building ridge will remain west of the area. That ridge will be just far enough away from the local area to quell convective development. Since our area will sit on the periphery of that ridge, northwest flow aloft will allow a few short waves of energy to dive across the area. The waves may serve as a timing mechanism in the forecast for additional activity but will be too subtle to pinpoint more than 24 hours in advance. In addition, these waves may give storms just a little extra burst of energy making some gusty winds possible. Any shortwave energy aside, convection will have no problem developing with surface heating each day. Small scale features like lake and sea breezes will serve as a trigger point for late morning to afternoon activity. Rather than the widespread 60-80 percent rain coverage noted in the forecast area over the past several days, it will scale back into the 40-60 percent scattered category. That means some locations may dodge the rain on a given day but through the course of the next several days, most areas will receive some. Amounts will not be spectacular but any storm could produce locally heavy rain.