Friday, February 15, 2019

Hidden North Shore Gem...

Today was supposed to be Cloudy, muggy, warm and dry so my golfing group decided to head to Springfield, home of Carter Plantation Golf Course.    In reality, the weather was cloudy & muggy, but it was not warm nor dry.    Highs were in the low to mid 60s and I was glad I layered up.   In addition, I had to put on my rain jacket as most of the round we endured off/on mist that turned into a moderate rain at times.   Clearly the previous night's computer forecast was not accurate as none of the models had any rain for today.  Still, the course was very playable and I can't wait to return when the sun is out.    If you're a golfer, you should give this course a try.  You won't be disappointed.

Locally, there are no major changes coming for the next 5-7 days.  Very cold air is not that far away, but the upper air pattern will keep most of the chill away from SE LA/MS.   The change to a colder pattern is shaping up for the last week ahead of Mardi Gras.  The difficult questions will be how cold and what parades will be wet?   Thank goodness I don't have to deal with that stress anymore.  The parades this weekend should not have to deal with much in the way of rainfall & temperatures will stay above normal/warm.   David showed the "Battle Zone" that will develop between the warm & cold.  Along that zone look for lots of heavy rains with snow farther to the north.  If it briefly sags to our south during the next week, the cold air will not be drastic and should quickly retreat back to the north.  I'm pretty confident that March will be colder than February, but the longer days and higher sun angles should help temper the chill.  For now, enjoy the warmth.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

More Spring-Like Warmth Coming...

As we reach mid-February with no signs of real cold air during the next 7-10 days, are we done with any more Winter Chill?   For all you "cold air freaks", the answer is no.  In fact, the long range models (10-14 days) are strongly hinting that real cold air will return for Mardi Gras weekend lingering into Mardi Gras itself.  Way too soon to know the timing regarding rainfall, but I have previously mentioned the many late Mardi Gras that were late (in March) often had colder temps. than the previous 2-3 weeks in February.  I see that happening this year so don't put away your heavy weather gear yet.  We are not done with the cold air.

In the short term, highs will stay 70+ into next week and that will really kick in the greening of our yards.    Daily night and morning fog will return but I don't see any wide spread rainfall until after the weekend.   Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Big Surge Coming Down Mississippi...

The Weather Channel this morning showed the Ohio River at Cincinnati overflowing its banks closing down many of the riverfront restaurants.  Most folks don't know that 70% of the lower Mississippi River flow comes from the Ohio River with only 30% coming from the Upper Mississippi.  With so much water coming down the Ohio, it's only a matter of time before we start to see the impacts here.  The levels at the Carrollton gage just dropped below 14 feet, but are projected to surge back to 16+' by early March.  Our high river water levels usually come in April into May so I would not be surprised to see the Corps of Engineers opening the spillway this year as the next 2 weeks keeps the southern storm track very active with lots of heavy rains falling over the Ohio Valley & southeast.   What I don't see during the next 2 weeks is a shift of the upper trough from the west coast to the east coast.    That should mean we will avoid any hard freezes for the rest of this Winter.  What could happen is the East Coast trough develops in March so that we keep a frost and light freeze threat here long after trees and flowers have budded out.  So much uncertainty that we need not worry just yet.

In the short term, we are warming back up into the 70s for the next several days.  Rain chances will remain low, but daily fog possibilities increase as we head into Saturday.  I don't see another front until some time later next week and this weekend's  Mardi Gras parades should be mostly dry.  I still have bad vibes regarding a big cool down coming before Fat Tuesday...still over 2 weeks away.  Stay tuned!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Fronts Keep Coming With No Real Cold Air...

We'll see several fronts this week but neither will bring any real cold (freeze threat) air.  Until there is a change in the upper pattern, the main storm track will be to our north getting us into the warm air sector ahead of each front.  Models are hinting there might be a Gulf low develop for next week and that will be something to watch.    Today's high reached 77 and we could be back up there for Thursday and Friday as the cool down behind tomorrow's front is not drastic.  Best rain chances appear to be between 6 AM & 2 PM with amounts about 1/2 to 1".    Skies will quickly clear and Wednesday looks terrific with all day sunshine.   Clouds return for Thursday PM with some showers ahead of the next front.   I'm finding my grapefruit tree already has some blossoms and that's not good.    I hate that it's getting so warm so soon.  My memory recalls that whenever Mardi Gras is late into early March, it often is colder then than it was in February.  Hope the current warm spells don't doom us to be colder 2 weeks from now?  Mother Nature has a way of balancing things out.  Stay tuned!