A day after a tornado struck Monroe, Louisiana, and a few days before another round of severe weather swept through northern Louisiana, there was a respite. Temperatures were cool for this part of the world, especially in the spring, with highs never pulling out of the mid-70s and lows even dipping below 40 on Thursday morning. Forecasts were generally pretty good, but this was a fairly simple forecast. A benign forecast for benign weather when that is just what everyone needed. The Weather Channel and Accuweather had the top marks. Actuals: Wednesday, High 64, Low 40 Thursday – High 74, Low 39
We have a short, less than 6 hour drive today, covering 368 miles at a pace of about 63 miles. Even though this is a narrow stretch of the road, it is also exactly the most ravaged part of the south from the Easter tornado outbreaks. We will pass through Collins, which was just north of the 2 mile wide, long track twister that struck Bassfield, and clipped by another mile wide twister on the north side of town. It was a bruising day, that the Jackson WFO is still assessing.
The southeast currently finds itself in a pretty good respite, as the severe weather from Sunday is now a few days behind us, and dry weather has invaded. It’s warm and comfortably dry, though on Friday during the drive, expect the Lower Mississippi Valley to get increasingly humid as a weak cold front sinks southward and draws Gulf moisture north. This will mean increasing cloud cover as well, ahead of some rain that might enter the picture over the weekend in Monroe.
Monroe was one of the first places impacted by the Easter Sunday tornado outbreak in the southern US. Monroe saw damage at the airport, and hundreds of homes and buildings in the area. Fortunately, it looks like we will be getting some more tolerable weather through the middle of the week. Let’s see if I can prove that.
At 1253PM, CT, Monroe was reporting a temperature of 59 degrees with a north wind and mostly sunny skies. There were a few stray clouds to the west, from El Dorado, Arkansas to Ruston and Shreveport, but Monroe was in a sunny streak of the atmosphere. The north wind trailed a still active cold front that stretched from north Florida to the Gulf of Mexico, while the band of clouds atop northern Louisiana was associated with a much weaker trough wrapping into the same area of low pressure as the front. That low was heading towards Ellesmere Island, which should give an indication of how strong it’s influence is. The parent jet trough is winterlike in it’s strength. The trough is broad and encompassing, but its momentum is carrying it eastward at a pace that doesn’t reflect how weak the flow is behind it, especially given how broad the trough is. With cold air pressing eastward, there doesn’t seem to be much poleward motion, and Monroe looks to be ensconced in cool dry air for the middle of the week. Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 65, Low 37 Thursday – Mostly sunny, High 70, Low 40
TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny skies, High 65, Low 40 Thursday – Mainly sunny, High 73, Low 41
AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 64, Low 38 Thursday – Mostly sunny and pleasant, High 72, Low 39
NWS: Tomorrow – Patchy frost before 8am. Otherwise, sunny, High 66, Low 37 Thursday – Sunny, High 73, Low 40
WB: Tomorrow – Areas of frost through mid-morning. Mostly sunny. High 63, low 40 Thursday – Sunny, High 70, Low 43
WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with areas of frost, High 66, Low 37 Thursday – Sunny, High 73, Low 40
FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 65, Low 37 Thursday – Clear throughout the day. High 72, Low 39
That should be very comfortable. Even if you are out of power in Monroe, first off, thank you for using your mobile device to check Victoria-Weather, and second, I am happy to hear that you will not have to contend with heat without air conditioning. See the banding of clouds over the southeast, below.
Just to provide some context for just how big these United States are, we will be staying entirely west of the Mississippi and remain in states that border either the Gulf of Mexico or the nation of Mexico, and we will still be traveling 1,842 miles and taking 3 long days to get where we are going. We’ll even take interstates, so we’ll cover 68mph, and 546 miles per those first two days, and we’ll STILL have a lengthy 11 hour day to finish with.
DAY ONE (Wednesday) There is a stout ridge of high pressure in the southeastern United States, and most of the precipitation for the next couple of days will be ridge riding on the north side of this dome, meaning very hot, dry and mostly sunny weather in the southeast, including in Louisiana and east Texas. The western edge of this dome will be in west Texas, but we will stop in Childress, before we run into the associated showers and thunderstorms. Hopefully, the AC works in the hotel.
DAY TWO (Thursday) As is the nature of shower activity on the backside of high pressure, it won’t be moving anywhere, but it’s coverage will probably expand through the day on Thursday. Expect some showers and storms through Amarillo, and as we cross into New Mexico, rain will lighten, but persist. In fact we may see rain persist right up to Tijeras, butting up against the foothills of the mountains surrounding Albuquerque. We’ll be in the clear, however, by the time we reach New Mexico’s biggest town, and will drive in sun to Manuelito, just before the Arizona line.
DAY THREE (Friday) High elevation rain showers may encroach the hills east of Manuelito, but that will be the only threat for this long finishing day of our trek. Strong low pressure is going to develop in the Rockies, kicking up a Santa Ana wind that may necessitate a firm grasp of the steering wheel. particularly as the day reaches it’s final stages, and we turn north into the San Joaquin Valley. Fresno will be mild and could be fairly breezy.
The forecast in Monroe seemed promising. There was a little bit of rain in the early part of Wednesday, but then the heat was supposed to break. It certainly did not. Instead, high temperatures remained in the mid 90s, which was just as hot as it was before a weak cold front slid through. The National Weather Service and Weathernation weren’t optimistic about a cool down, and ended up claiming a forecast victory. Actuals: Wednesday – Thunderstorms reported, not measured, High 95, Low 72 Thursday – High 95, Low 70
Today’s forecast brings us to northern Louisiana. The weather here tends to be less ‘coastal’ and seems to be more at the mercy of the factors that drive the weather elsewhere in the southern Plains and lower Mississippi Valley.
At 818AM. CT, Monroe was reporting light rain with a temperature of 77 degrees. A large area of showers and thunderstorms lingered over northeast Texas, and extended a narrow tendril of rain through northern Louisiana. This outflow boundary suggested that the overnight convection was dissipating for the time being, but it seemed unlikely that the storm machine would be out of commission very long. A deep area of low pressure was spinning in western Ontario, draping a long, winterlike cold front through the Plains and into the Red River Valley. The length and orientation of the boundary seemed to indicate that the feature wouldn’t be moving with any urgency. The scattered showers and thunderstorms will be an ongoing threat today into tonight. the front will linger over central Louisiana through the day tomorrow, which might mean some more clouds and spots of rain. The low will shift to the northeast through the period, and this will allow the front to diminish. high pressure will take over for Thursday, and it may be a tick cooler than it’s been lately over the next couple of days. Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, with isolated showers, High 86, Low 74 Thursday – Mostly sunny, High 91, Low 70
TWC: Tomorrow – Thunderstorms likely in the morning. Then the chance of scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 89, low 74 Thursday – Sunny skies. High 90, Low 69
AW: Tomorrow – Intervals of clouds and sun, a couple of showers and a thunderstorm High 87, Low 74 Thursday – Partly sunny High 91, Low 68
NWS: Tomorrow – A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy High 90, Low 74 Thursday -Sunny, High 92, low 69
WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms, High 88, Low 74 Thursday – Mostly sunny, High 89, low 70
WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with scattered storms, high 90, low 74 Thursday – Mostly sunny, High 92, Low 69
FIO: Tomorrow – Light rain tonight and tomorrow morning. High 86, Low 75 Thursday – Clear throughout the day. High 89, Low 70
The radar in Jackson is out, so we will take a look at the big picture. That bowl shaped band of showers moving through the northern parishes of Louisiana is caused by storms to the north beginning to collapse.
The forecast later in the week for Monroe, Michigan would become a little bit gloomier, but at the beginning of the week, there was only an isolated shot at some showers. It was warm, otherwise, with a lot of sun. More sun than expected, because those rain showers never materialized in Monroe, and temperatures warmed even more than expected. A warm forecast doesn’t usually mean Weatherbug has a horse in the race, but they did this time, claiming victory. Actuals: Sunday – High 64, Low 43 Monday – High 72, Low 55
It’s a rough time for basketball fans in Michigan. Michigan State lost tonight, while Michigan lost last weekend, and both to the same team, Texas Tech. Perhaps they will cope quickly. Does Monroe have the forecast for recuperation?
At 1253AM, ET, Monroe was reporting a temperature of 46 degrees with clear sites. Dew points were also at 46, and with haze filtering in around Ann Arbor, it seems as though the morning will be hazy in Monroe. Low pressure is developing in the Plains, with a warm front already arcing through northern Michigan. Warm, moist air was spilling into the eastern Great Lakes. Low pressure will reach Michigan by this afternoon, with some rain and isolated thunderstorm activity joining it. The parent trough has been fairly shallow and is expected to move quickly across the northern US. The precipitation will ultimately punch through the region in the afternoon and evening and be out of the picture by Monday morning. It will be cooler to start the work week, but the responsible trough will be shallow enough that cold air won’t be overwhelming. Tomorrow – Rain with a bit of thunder in the afternoon, High 63, Low 46 Monday – Clearing through mid morning, and warmer, High 68, Low 53
TWC: Tomorrow – Cloudy early with showers for the afternoon hours. Thunder possible. High 58, Low 41 Monday – Cloudy early with partial sunshine expected late. High 67, Low 52
AW: Tomorrow – Increasing cloudiness, mild; spotty afternoon showers High 62, Low 45 Monday – Clouds giving way to some sun; warm High 69, Low 54
NWS: Tomorrow – A chance of showers after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, Hgh 65, Low 45 Monday – Mostly sunny, (Early rain) High 68, Low 5
WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of rain in the morning, then rain showers likely and slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 64, Low 43 Monday – Mostly sunny, High 68, low 55
WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with isolated storms, High 65, Low 44 Monday – Partly cloudy with isolated showers, High 68, Low 50
FIO: Tomorrow – Light rain in the evening. High 60, Low 40 Monday – Mostly cloudy until night. High 64, Low 51
Satellite has some clouds to the southwest. That’s the rain coming later today.