After a cool start to May, summer-like air is now invading Acadiana. It’s not going to be very hot, but the humidity will be much higher for the next week. The weather pattern will be stagnant as we won’t see a good chance of rain, and the temperatures will be about the same for the next week during the day and at night. Overnight lows will be in the low 70s each night with highs in the upper 80s to low 90s. We have not seen 90 yet in Acadiana this year. There is a chance of another cold front moving through Acadiana before summer moves in, but the chances are slim. We probably won’t see another strong cold front again until October. If you are ready for summer, it’s almost here.
If you’re thinking the severe weather season has been unusually quiet this year, you are right! In fact, we’re setting records for the fewest number of EF1 or stronger tornadoes in a 12-month period since reliable records began in 1954. As a result, the number of fatalities is way down. So far in 2013 there have only been three tornado fatalities, well below the annual total just a couple years ago. In the May 2012 to April 2013 period, there were only 197 EF1 or stronger tornadoes. That broke the previous record low for a 12-month period of 247 from June 1991 to May 1992. This is quite a turnaround compared to the record number of EF1 or stronger tornadoes we saw from June 2010 to May 20111 of 1,050. This spring has been dominated by unseasonably cool air across the mid-section of the country, cutting down on the number of severe weather outbreaks. The future looks pretty quiet as well, at least for the next couple weeks. The number of tornadoes looks to remain below-normal.
Here’s an interesing look at the temperature of the lower atmosphere across the globe since satellite records began in 1979 (data from the University of Alabama – Huntsville). While there has undoubtedly been some warming since then, if one examines temperatures since 1998, it’s easy to see there’s been no statistical warming over the past 15 years. This happens to correspond rather well with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, or natural changes in the circulation of the North Atlantic Ocean that significantly alter the climate for 20-30 year periods.
While temperatures are running just below seasonal norms this week, another shot of cooler air is in sight for early next week. Here you can see one computer model projection of a cold front passing Saturday night, opening the door to some cooler and less-humid air. We’ll see lows dip into the 50s again for Monday and Tuesday mornings. Tough to beat for the middle of May!
We’re looking at unseasonably cool weather for the weekend, which isn’t all bad since we’re into May already! Highs will average in the lower to middle 70s with some passing cloud cover likely on Sunday. This is perfect weather for the annual Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, probably the best weekend of weather since the festival’s inception. Enjoy!
It’s hard to believe we are in the lower to mid 50s during the middle of the day in early May. I could write a poem about that. A very chilly air mass has moved into Acadiana, and we will see temperatures fall into the low to mid 40s tonight. We may actually tie or break records across Acadiana tonight. We will see a very nice weekend with clear nights and mostly sunny to partly cloudy days. Highs will be in the mid 70s. This will be one of the last cold fronts we will see until next fall, so if you like the cool air, like me, enjoy this weekend. Have a great weekend!
This is really remarkable: Amarillo, TX, reached a record high of 97° Tuesday and around 24 hours later it’s just 46° there! Talk about a change! The cold will continue spreading southeastward over the coming days, setting numerous record lows along the way. Dallas, TX, will fall into the mid 30s Friday morning, breaking the record low of 40° and challenging their all-time record low for May of 34° set on 5/1/1903. At Lafayette, we’re forecasting 44° for Saturday morning, which would tie the record set in 1954. The all-time record low for May at Lafayette is 42°, reached on two different occasions. We’ll come close this weekend. To put this cold in perspective, if we came within two degrees of the all-time record low for February at Lafayette, we’d dip to 8°!
April is in the books and the average temperature was cooler than normal by 2.5°. We’ll keep the below-normal readings going for the first several days of May, too. With any luck, perhaps we can keep below-normal temps going all summer!
The month of April has been relatively cool in Acadiana. Thru the 24th, the average temperature at Lafayette was 2.6° below-normal. With temperatures only moderating slightly between now and the end of the month, there’s a good chance the average temperature will end the month below-normal. The relatively cool weather looks to extend into May, as well, as another blast of cool air arrives for the first week of next month.
Unseasonably cold air is moving into Acadiana, setting the stage for record or near-record lows Saturday morning. Here’s a look at records across the area for April 20, some of which may be tied or broken. We’ll see warmer air return by early next week.