Latest updated blog – Clouds & rain chances sticking around – Nick
Better rain chances by the weekend
Good Wednesday evening, everyone. As advertised, we saw more tropical moisture work into the area today. That resulted in increasing clouds though the day across a good portion of the area while some spots saw some tiny scattered showers and a few t-storms. We can thank the returning clouds for keeping most of us a little cooler compared to yesterday. After our highs in the middle to upper 90s, we dropped to a mild start this morning in the lower 70s. We were able to quickly jump into the lower 90s this morning at Joplin Regional before the cloud cover worked in. That allowed temperatures to drop and hold in the upper 80s for the afternoon.
With the tropical moisture sticking with us, we’ll stay a bit muggy tonight. However, we do turn mild again for Thursday morning before we warm back up for the afternoon. The moisture will also keep cloud cover in place with some additional rain chances as well.
The surface map below really tells the tale of how the next several days will unfold. We have a front to our north that hasn’t been able to budge for much of this week. Before that changes by this weekend, we’re dealing with the tropical moisture coming from the Gulf of Mexico being driven in by Hurricane Laura ready to make landfall.
In just a matter of a day when we put up Tuesday night’s blog, we saw Laura go from a Category 1 Hurricane to a Major Category 4 Hurricane. It’s a strong Category 4 storm with sustained wind speeds of 150 mph and gusts pushing over 160 mph. This is a remarkable hurricane and one that this part of the Gulf hasn’t seen since 2005. Poised to make landfall near the Louisiana/Texas border, this hurricane plans on bringing in storm surge between 10 and 20 feet for the southwestern Louisiana coast. Not only is that storm surge frightening, the surge will possible make its way inland by 30 or 40 miles close to the I-10 corridor.
After Laura makes landfall in mainly southwestern Louisiana early Thursday morning, it will rapidly start to weaken as it continues its journey to the north through the day. By Thursday afternoon, it will work out of northwestern Louisiana (around Shreveport) and into southwestern Arkansas.
While Laura will keep the bulk of the rain and t-storm chances to our southeast across much of Arkansas, Laura will continue to keep the moisture in place for our Thursday. For the morning, mostly cloudy skies will be in place with lows dropping back into the lower 70s. There’s a chance we could see a few showers overnight and by sunrise. Most spots should be dry to start the morning commute, though.
The moisture from Laura could result in a few more showers late in the morning. However, we’re expecting a slightly better chance for scattered hit and miss t-storms to come our way for the afternoon. With mostly cloudy skies a pretty good bet for much of the day, that will keep us out of the heat for the afternoon. Still, it will be a warm and muggy day with highs in the upper 80s.
With Laura passing just to our southeast across central Arkansas, the eventual tropical storm will keep the better chances for rain and t-storms across those areas of the state. However, it’ll still be close enough to us to keep a chance for some scattered showers and t-storms for Thursday evening and into Thursday night.
By the start of Friday’s morning commute, Laura will start working into southeastern Missouri before it shoots into the Ohio River Valley for the rest of the day. While the departing system keeps us dry for Friday, some returning sun will push us back into the summer heat to start the weekend out. After we start in the upper 60s, partly sunny skies will push us back into the lower 90s for the afternoon.
While we start the weekend out on a dry note, our next system will head in from the north. The cold front will work in for Saturday and bring in better chances for widespread scattered rain and t-storms. Even with the better chances for scattered rain and t-storms, we’ll stay hot for Saturday with highs in the lower to middle 90s.
The frontal system sticks around for next Sunday and Monday. That will encourage highs to drop back into the middle to upper 80s as we head into a new week. With the better rain chances on the way, we could see rain chances between Saturday and Monday climb to amounts between 1 and 3 inches. Given that much of the area is in a drought to moderate drought, we’ll take the rain chances that’ll come our way. For a look at the rest of the month and much of September, Doug has you covered with his long-range forecast down below.
Have a good night and a great Thursday!
Long range forecast into September:
Next Thursday-Saturday: Warm for the rest of the week. Thunderstorm chances return on Friday.
September 6th-12th: Mainly a warm week with two cold fronts rolling through during the week. This will keep thunderstorm chances around most of the week.
September 13th-19th: A warm start but most of the week will be mild. Thunderstorm chances the first half of the week. Then mild and nice the rest of the week.