Rain is on the way for Tuesday night and Wednesday, locally heavy at times, especially between 6 AM and Noon. Computer model projections of total rainfall vary greatly, with this model being rather robust, showing spots of 6″ or more thru 5 PM Wednesday. While this is definitely possible, general amounts should be around 2-3″. Those that get 6″+ may see localized flooding. Make sure to watch Passe Partout beginning at 4:30 AM Wednesday for the latest look at Live Doppler 10.
Many kids are out of school for spring break, and it’s the week of Easter, so many eyes will be to the sky this week. The weather will be nice this week, but for most of the week, temperatures will be running below average. Lows tonight will be in the low to mid 30s, and some areas may dip to freezing overnight. Record lows may be broken tonight across Acadiana. A warming trend will kick in by mid-week with temperatures back close to average by Friday. We will see a gorgeous day Good Friday, then a chance of rain will return for Easter Sunday, but the rain chances will be low. Have a great week!
For all those gardeners across Acadiana or people that just hate Winter this is a forecast you don’t want to see. Starting tonight temperatures will be falling to near record lows for Lafayette. I don’t see temperatures breaking the record tonight but for Monday night we will have a good chance to beat the 1955 record of 34°. As of right now I have Lafayette reaching 33° and that number could be adjusted cooler as we get closer to that time. You will need to protect the plants over the next few nights across Acadiana.
One of the more reliable weather computer models we analyze each day is painting this picture for Wednesday morning. With high pressure in control giving us clear skies and light winds, conditions will be ideal for frost as we drop into the lower 30s north of Hwy. 190 and middle 30s along I-10. Prepare to cover any tender plants in the garden!
A storm system will move through Acadiana over the weekend, giving us a chance of storms Saturday, then the much colder air will return Sunday. We will see a slight chance of rain tomorrow, then the rain chances will be a little higher Saturday. The chances of severe weather will be slim, but with enough instability in the atmosphere and some wind shear, an isolated tornado is possible. We are in severe weather season across Acadiana, so be weather aware Saturday, especially during the afternoon hours. After a cold front moves through early Sunday morning, winter-like air will return to Acadiana. Next week looks dry, so that will be great for the kids out of school for spring break.
Check this out! NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite captured the Vernal Equinox on Wednesday. The equinox officially happened at 6:02 AM CDT, while this image was taken at 6:45 AM CDT. On the equinoxes (vernal, autumnal) the Sun’s rays are centered on the Equator and all spots on Earth have 12 hours of daylight. (By the way, the Sun depicted here was artificially created.)
Over the years, the media has taken sides on climate, touting “global cooling” in the 1970s and “global warming” in the 2000s. This series of TIME Magazine covers is worth a thousand words. It’s true the 1970s were a period of relatively cool weather, while the 2000s were a period of relatively warm weather. Digging deeper, what’s interesting is the correlation between the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and global temperatures, particularly in how that is manifested in Arctic sea ice anomalies. Arctic sea ice has declined markedly since the mid-1990s. Here’s a look:
In 1995, we saw a sudden shift in the AMO. Sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic Ocean warmed, a cycle that usually lasts for 20-30 years. This is a main reason hurricane activity increases in the Atlantic Basin when the AMO shifts to the positive phase. Warmer water in the North Atlantic translates to less ice in the Arctic and causes global temperatures to rise.
Now watch what happens when the AMO is overlayed on Arctic Sea Ice Anomalies since the early 1980s:
See the correlation? Arctic sea ice was pretty stable in the 1970s and 1980s, but took a big down-turn when the AMO turned positive. The fingerprint of the AMO on Arctic sea ice anomalies seems quite clear. As the positive phase of the AMO likely shifts negative sometime in the next 10 years, the amount of Arctic sea ice will probably increase, but only time will tell for sure.
While we bask in spring-like air through the weekend, I’m keeping a close eye on the Arctic air that is still lurking along the US/Canadian border. These are 5 PM temperatures on Friday, showing the bitterly cold air covering much of Canada and the northern fringe of the United States. While this air will stay put for a while, there are indications in the long-range models that this cold air will dive southward later next week. We may see a strong cold front move across Acadiana by later next Friday, with highs only in the 60s for next weekend. I gambled and put in much of my garden on Friday, with the understanding I may need to be covering for a potential frost before the month ends!
We have seen a great week of weather acros Acadiana. Besides a few showers early Monday morning, the weather has been fantastic with sunny days and clear nights. It looks as though the weather will stay nice as we head into the weekend. It will be warm during the day and cool at night. Highs will be in the mid to upper 70s, and lows will be in the low to mid 50s. Expect breezy conditions at times over the weekend, especially during the day. We will see a slight chance of rain Monday as a cold front moves through Acadiana. Slightly cooler air will follow Monday. Another chance of rain will return Wednesday. Enjoy the nice weather.
As the summer season comes to an end in the Southern Hemisphere, ice is beginning to expand in coverage once again around Antarctica. In February, the sea ice minimum was the second highest on record. Those records date to 1979. The extra ice at the end of summer there isn’t a huge surprise, considering the coverage of sea ice hit a record high back in October. On the flip side of the world, Arctic sea ice is nearing its seasonal maximum as winter concludes. While the coverage is nearly as high as it’s been over the past 10 years, it is still well below maximum levels recorded in the ’80s and ’90s.