Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring Begins With Storm On Both Coasts...

What a change in the feel to the air today as not only were we 10-15 degrees cooler(70), but the lack of humidity made it feel great.  Drier air will mean cooler overnight lows, but under bright sunshine highs should recover to near 70.  I was out golfing today and the 15-25 mph winds made it difficult keeping the ball going where I wanted it.  Wednesday through Friday will see less wind and comfy cool temps with a warming trend by Friday PM.  The weekend should be back to near 80+.


Today is the astronomical beginning of Spring, but nasty winter-like weather is pounding both coast.   California is getting a real soaker while from the Ohio River Valley to New England,  it’s the 4th Nor’easter in 4 weeks.  8-12”+ snowfall is likely from D.C. through Philly through NYC to Boston.  I hope none of you have travel plans up that way for the next 1-2 days.  Sooner or later, this persistent pattern of an east coast trough will break down, but we are likely to see it last into April.  That means we still can look forward to more cold fronts for another 3-4 weeks before the real heat of summer starts to show its face by late April.  Stay Tuned!

Monday, March 19, 2018

What The Hail...

Watching TWC tonight showing the large hail pounding Alabama breaking car windshields, and seeing the large hail that pounded Chauvin this morning with the same kind of hail that broke windshields and left marks all over the hoods and roofs of car, reminds me how lucky we are not to have those weather events very often.  Usually we are so warm that any hail often melts long before reaching the ground.  However, I do remember an event back in the early 80s that pounded my neighborhood (Bridgedale) in Metairie causing me enough roof damage that our whole block had to have new roofs.  It striped vegetation off trees & plants and left huge marks on the shingles of everyone’s roof.  Fortunately, insurance paid for it, but that was before the era of deductibles.   That severe threat is long gone from us and the next 3-4 days will be delightful…if you’re dressed for it.  You’ll notice a different feel to the air in the morning as the humidity will be much lower and that good feel air will hang around into late Friday & Saturday.  Fortunately, with the higher sun angle, the chill in the air should not be as intense as 2-3 weeks ago.  The wind will add to the chill on Tuesday, but Wednesday & Thursday will feel great with less wind.   A big warm up will return over the weekend getting us back up into the 80s as we head towards April. 


FYI…The Corp opened another 15 bays (183 out of 350) to make sure the River crest stays below 17’ at the Carrollton gage.  The crest has arrived and the river should stay steady for the next 2-3 days before falling later this week. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Not A Washout...

Watching the local weathercasters & I see many of them using the phrase “not a washout” when the rain probabilities are 70% or higher.   What they should be saying is, “although rain chances are high, there will be many dry hours between showers.”  A classic example was Friday.   The morning forecast called for 70% chance.  I played golf with my friend Marvin and we were able to complete 18 holes in the afternoon.  However, there were far fewer golfers out than a normal Friday would see.  Why?  Could they have been scared off by the 70%?     So let’s review what probabilities mean.  #1…they have NOTHING to do with time.  If the forecast calls for 80% chance for rain, it could rain for 10 minutes and the forecast would be TECHNICALLY correct even though most of the day was dry.   What bothers me is weathercasters using 50% chance.  Really?  What does that tell you?   I never used 50% chance.  Either choose lower or higher, but give your viewers the idea that you are better than a coin flip.


We are in a weather pattern that has very fast upper disturbances racing west to east.   We have no fronts around us and it’s difficult to time these disturbances.  Our air mass is very juicy and it doesn’t take much to trigger storms.  It appears the disturbance in East Texas tonight will rumble our way for Sunday morning with the bulk of the storms staying north of Lake P.   The big Irish-Italian Parade should be OK IF the storms stay north.   We hit 81 today and should stay in that neighborhood Sunday & Monday.  A front will sweep through late Monday bringing cooler & drier air back for Tuesday through Thursday of next week.  Long range still shows no indication of any Arctic outbreaks coming and that is great news for gardeners.  We are not done seeing cold fronts, but at this time of the year it usually means pleasant temps & drier air.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Sunny, But Gloomy Day...

Under bright sunshine and 70 degree warmth, a gloomy mood set over our city after it was announced that Tom Benson had passed away.   All the local channels devoted their entire newscast and rightly so as Mr. Benson was the reason we still have the Saints & Pelicans.   Technically, I did work for Mr. Benson as he bought Ch. 8 for several years and I even remember taking a photo with my wife next to the Super Bowl trophy at our annual Christmas party in 2010.   My experience with Tom goes back into the late 80s when I was President of the local chapter of Big Brothers/Big Sisters.   We honored him as our “Man of the Year”  at our yearly fundraiser and I could always count on him buying a table before and after that event.   As the local news reported, Mr. Benson was a VERY generous man.  He knew what we were trying to do at BB/BS (Mentoring) was important to youths at risk and he was one of our biggest supporters.   I feel blessed to have crossed paths in life and know he has made this Planet a better place for all of us.


The next 4-5 days will see a warming trend, but several fast moving upper disturbances will bring the opportunity for some showers & T-Storms.  Friday might see some morning showers, but the main storms that develop will stay to our north & east.  A cold front will stall to our north and west on Saturday with small rain chances that appear to increase on Sunday.   With more parades this weekend, timing will be everything as there will be many dry hours between showers.  Highs should get well up into the 70s approaching or topping 80 Sunday & Monday before a weak front pushes through for early next week.  Another Nor’easter (#4) could bring more snow to the Northeast which is crying for a break from Winter.   It looks like the chill could last well into April for our friends up north.  Stay tuned!