Thursday, May 21, 2015

Holiday Weekend Starts Dry, Ends Stormy?

Kids are getting out of school, parents are excited to have a long Memorial Day holiday weekend and the weather is…a mixed bag.  A weak front has staggered to our south and will bring us slightly less humid air on Friday.  Any showers should stay along the coast.  Saturday begins fine but moisture will start returning allowing for some PM Storms to develop.  The rain machine will start cranking by late Sunday and continue into much of next week.  It won’t rain all the time, there will be many dry hours, but if you’re planning on doing any grilling outside, just know rain chances will be rather high (60%+) Monday-Wednesday.

 

I will be enjoying some time off for the next 2 weeks.  I intend to stay far away from computers and that means no blog updates for awhile.  I’ll see you in June all refreshed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Stormy Thursday?

Today we reached 90 degrees in Kenner for the first time this year.  That kind of heat is usually enough to bubble up some daytime T-Storms.  We did have a couple of showers this afternoon, but coverage was limited to 20-30%.  The main storms stayed to our north & east and headed towards Mobile Bay. Based on what I’m seeing tonight, Thursday looks to be a more active day for T-Storms.  Why?   A weak cold front is coming + an upper disturbance in Texas is heading towards us.  Add in daytime heating and I feel we’ll see storm coverage in the 60-70% range or higher on Thursday.  IF this frontal boundary sags to our south, we could see a mostly dry Friday.  Daily storms return for Saturday & Sunday before rain chances increase for next Monday & Tuesday.  Memorial Day right now looks pretty wet at times.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Return to Normalcy?

I was watching The Weather Channel this morning with Jim Cantore talking about how the recent heavy rains have ended the drought in Texas & the central plains.   One of the ladies said it was nice “to return to normalcy”.   Huh?  What does that mean?   There is no “normalcy” in weather.   The averages or “normals” are determined by taking the peaks & valleys (the extremes) and averaging them out.  It rarely is normal on any given day.    But to say a “return to normalcy” implies the current CYCLES of weather have not happened before.   For example, several years ago the Southeast was experiencing a dry cycle (drought) with Lake Lanier north of Atlanta at record low levels.  Fast forward to now and the Lake has refilled after several rainy years.  Look at Texas where their dry spells dropped many lake levels to record lows.  In the past 2-3 months, a rainy cycle has refilled all lakes and eliminated all drought.    Even California is starting to see some rain during their dry time of year.  A growing El Nino is likely to curb our hurricane numbers, but it should also mean more storms returning to California this Fall and Winter.  Their rainy CYCLE will return.  Lack of rainfall has been a problem, but the main problem for California is too many people wanting to live there stressing the limited water resources available.    Think about it.  5 million population back in the 40s to 30+ million now.   You do the math.  That a huge increase in water demand.  What have the politico powers done to prepare for such increased demands?   Very little except to raise taxes…but back to weather.

 

Our rain coverage today was far less, but the intensity of the storms that developed were strong, typical of a summer afternoon.  I expect about the same coverage on Wednesday with an increase Thursday afternoon as a weak front staggers close.  If that front makes it, we could see slightly drier conditions for Friday & Saturday.  When we see few, if any showers, that usually means hotter temps.   Look for our first 90 at MSY either Friday or Saturday or both.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Efficient Rainmakers...

Since our dew points are back 70+ now, it’s a reminder of how much moisture (water vapor) the summer atmosphere has versus other times of the year.  A basic weather principal is …the warmer the air, the higher capacity to hold more water vapor.   NWS often refers to this in their discussions by calling T-Storms “efficient rainmakers”.   Today was an example.  It didn’t rain for long (2 hours) but the intensity (1-2”+ in less than an hour)of the showers were enough to cause minor street flooding.  The challenge of forecasting this week is seeing where an old frontal boundary sets up.  That will be the focus for our daily rain storms.  One day it might be over the North Shore, the next day over the South Shore and the next day gone.  One thing is almost certain now that we have such summer moisture around, it will rain somewhere every day.  Only when an upper high builds over us (a cap) will we stay mostly dry.  That’s called a HEAT WAVE!   Our daily storms are Mother Nature’s air conditioners.