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.
The cold front is very easy to find on the temperature map as temperatures drop off about 20 to 25 degrees behind it. That cold front will move through Acadiana this evening, giving us a chance of showers and storms, and a few storms may be strong to severe. Overnight, temperatures will fall into the upper 40s, and that will feel cold, especially with the warm and muggy mornings we have experienced this week. Highs tomorrow will be colder than most of the overnight lows we’ve seen this week. Early Saturday morning temperatures will fall into the low to mid 40s, and that will be close to breaking record lows. The weekend will be nice! Expect a lot of sun during the day and clear nights. Highs will be in the low to mid 70s, and lows will be in the mid to upper 40s. The next rain chance returns Tuesday.
Scientists have recently discovered a new phenomenon within thunderstorms which they will be referring to as “dark lightning”. Dark lightning in a nutshell is a blast of radiation of x-rays and gamma rays within a thunderstorm cloud. They suspect that about 1 out 1,000 strikes is a dark lightning strike. Dark lightning does not pose a risk to anyone on the ground however airplanes are in the greatest threat if they fly through a storm. If you are in a plane that is struck by dark lightning you will receive a lifetime dose of radiation and the plane could glow purple!
Here is the article from the Washington Post that details more about this discovery. http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-04-08/national/38369090_1_lightning-safety-specialist-john-jensenius-regular-lightning
The seasonal hurricane forecast team of Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. William Gray from Colorado State University released their first outlook for the 2013 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season on Wednesday. The researches are predicting above-normal activity, due in part to unseasonably warm water across a good chunk of the Basin and the expectation of favorable winds aloft. They put the chance of a major hurricane (Category 3-4-5) strike from the Florida Panhandle to Brownsville, TX, at 47%, above the long-term average of 30%. For the East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula, they put the chance at 48%, above the long-term average of 31%. Keep in mind a major hurricane has not hit the U.S. since Wilma in October 2005. Needless to say, the U.S. is due for a major hurricane strike and this could very well be the year. Regardless of the forecast, Klotzbach, Gray, and every meteorologist out there will say it only takes one storm to make for a bad season, if that one storm strikes your area. We’ll help you prepare for the upcoming hurricane season with our annual hurricane special in late May.
A strong storm system will move through Acadiana late tonight and early tomorrow morning, which will give us a good chance of showers and storms, mostly early tomorrow morning. There will be enough instability and wind shear in the atmosphere to give us a chance of severe storms as a strong cold front passes through Acadiana. The main threat will be damaging winds, and there will be a very small chance of tornadoes. The overall severe weather risk will be low as the best chance of severe weather will be north of Acadiana. The storms should be out of Acadiana by mid-morning tomorrow. After the cold front moves through Acadiana, the temperature will drop 15 to 20 degrees. Highs tomorrow will be in the upper 60s to low 70s. Friday will be a gorgeous day!
The Yoshino cherry trees around the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., finally reached peak bloom Tuesday, April 9, the time at which around 70% of the blooms are open. This is the latest date in the past 20 years due to the unseasonably cool start to the year. Below is a list of bloom dates since 1992.
|Year||Green Color in Buds||Florets Visible||Extension of
|Peduncle Elongation||Puffy White||Peak Bloom|
Temperatures at 5 PM Tuesday in Texas are remarkable, ranging from the lower 100s along the Mexican border, to the 20s in the Panhandle! This is a surface map showing all the observations. The crazy temperature difference is being caused by a huge storm system developing over the Rockies and Central Plains. Arctic air is diving southward, as unseasonably warm air moves in from the south. Quite a sight! Amaraillo was 89° Monday afternoon, but only at 37° Tuesday afternoon. Talk about a change!
Here are 11 PM Monday temperatures. Think the weather is crazy here? Amarillo, TX, reached a record high of 89° Monday afternoon, but will drop to around 18° tomorrow night! The early summer-like air will be replaced by late winter-like air as a cold front passes Amarillo Tuesday afternoon. Here’s a look at the NAM computer model’s projection for temps Wednesday at 6 AM.
If you thought Thursday was unseasonably chilly, you’re right! But the chill was actually one for the record books, as Lafayette experienced the coolest high temperature on record for April 4. Records in Lafayette date to 1893. The high was just 56°, breaking the previous record of 59° set in 1949. Much warmer air will move into Acadiana over the weekend.