BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The only surprise in Tuesday’s weather was a later than expected arrival of rains that allowed temperatures to climb into the low 90s and heat index values to soar above 100° in some areas. But by mid-afternoon, showers and t-storms quickly erupted and we can expect to see some of that activity continue into the evening before dying out after sunset.
Wednesday promises to be yet another wet day, although the latest guidance has somewhat backed off of the idea of an early start to the rains. Regardless of the exact timing, showers and t-storms are once again likely, with the potential for some areas to get two to three rounds of rain through the course of the day. Locally heavy rainfall will continue to be a possibility, along with the threat of an isolated strong to severe storm.
A slow-moving upper-air disturbance moving into the area from the west looks to keep those good rain chances going into Thursday also. That disturbance should weaken and lift to the north by Friday, finally giving us a window of drier weather. We’re not going with a rain-free forecast, but Friday’s rain chances drop to 20%, while Saturday’s will run 30% to 40%.
One forecast unknown is the potential impact of Saharan dust on rain chances. An initial surge of dust is expected to reach the northern Gulf Coast by late Wednesday, but it still looks like peak concentrations will occur somewhere in the window from late Thursday into the first half of Saturday. The dust may be a limiting factor in the area’s rain chances.
But the highest dust concentrations shift north and east by Sunday and the atmosphere also gets a boost once again from a series of upper-air disturbances. That will translate into a return of scattered showers and t-storms from Sunday into early next week. Overall, the extended outlook points toward a fairly typical summer pattern for much of next week, with scattered rains each day and highs near or a little above 90°.
One final note: Subtropical Depression #4 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Dolly around lunchtime Tuesday. Dolly will likely only remain a tropical entity for another 12 to 24 hours before losing tropical characteristics over the north Atlantic. According to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, Dolly is the third earliest formation of the fourth named storm on record in the Atlantic.
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