Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Get Ready For Severe Weather Season...

NWS has designated this week as Severe Weather Awareness Week for SE LA.  Why?  Because, historically, we are about to enter that time of the year when early spring warmth collides with lingering winter cold.  When a strong upper disturbance accompanies a cold front, the clash often produces strong T-Storms with damaging winds & a stray tornado.  Fortunately for us, the upper dynamics are usually well to our north resulting in more storms north of Lake P. than south.   Our current warm spell (currently day 6 of 80+) will finally come to an end this weekend.  RIGHT NOW, it doesn’t appear likely we’ll see any severe weather with this front, but it’s a reminder that the next 6-8 weeks will require us to pay attention as we transition from Winter to Spring.  In the short term, more record warmth is likely for Wed-Friday.   This is resulting is an explosion of grass & tree pollen so allergy sufferers are under attack.  There is quite a temperature contrast behind a slow moving front that has Oklahoma City at 25 while Shreveport is 72!  That front should arrive here Saturday or Sunday, but the core of the cold will stay well to our north.  However, we’ll see a return to sweaters and jackets as highs in the 80s will be replaced by the 60s, which is the normal/average high for late February.   Heavy rains (5-8”) will fall for the next 2-3 days to our north & west, but I am not expecting that kind of rain here since the front will be moving rather quickly across SE LA/MS.   The real changes will occur during the second & third week in March as the current west coast trough realigns itself over the Great Lakes & east coast.   We will be wondering how can March be colder than February?  The easy answer is the upper level steering currents shift from a huge SE ridge to an east coast trough.  The ridge kept cold fronts away while the trough keeps them a coming.  It reminds me of the great March blizzard of 1993 that brought snows into the deep South(Atlanta, Birmingham) following an early Spring warm up.   It’s not too late for Old Man Winter to keep on rolling.  Stay tuned!

No comments: