What a change in the feel to the air today as not only were we 10-15 degrees cooler(70), but the lack of humidity made it feel great. Drier air will mean cooler overnight lows, but under bright sunshine highs should recover to near 70. I was out golfing today and the 15-25 mph winds made it difficult keeping the ball going where I wanted it. Wednesday through Friday will see less wind and comfy cool temps with a warming trend by Friday PM. The weekend should be back to near 80+.
Today is the astronomical beginning of Spring, but nasty winter-like weather is pounding both coast. California is getting a real soaker while from the Ohio River Valley to New England, it’s the 4th Nor’easter in 4 weeks. 8-12”+ snowfall is likely from D.C. through Philly through NYC to Boston. I hope none of you have travel plans up that way for the next 1-2 days. Sooner or later, this persistent pattern of an east coast trough will break down, but we are likely to see it last into April. That means we still can look forward to more cold fronts for another 3-4 weeks before the real heat of summer starts to show its face by late April. Stay Tuned!
Watching TWC tonight showing the large hail pounding Alabama breaking car windshields, and seeing the large hail that pounded Chauvin this morning with the same kind of hail that broke windshields and left marks all over the hoods and roofs of car, reminds me how lucky we are not to have those weather events very often. Usually we are so warm that any hail often melts long before reaching the ground. However, I do remember an event back in the early 80s that pounded my neighborhood (Bridgedale) in Metairie causing me enough roof damage that our whole block had to have new roofs. It striped vegetation off trees & plants and left huge marks on the shingles of everyone’s roof. Fortunately, insurance paid for it, but that was before the era of deductibles. That severe threat is long gone from us and the next 3-4 days will be delightful…if you’re dressed for it. You’ll notice a different feel to the air in the morning as the humidity will be much lower and that good feel air will hang around into late Friday & Saturday. Fortunately, with the higher sun angle, the chill in the air should not be as intense as 2-3 weeks ago. The wind will add to the chill on Tuesday, but Wednesday & Thursday will feel great with less wind. A big warm up will return over the weekend getting us back up into the 80s as we head towards April.
FYI…The Corp opened another 15 bays (183 out of 350) to make sure the River crest stays below 17’ at the Carrollton gage. The crest has arrived and the river should stay steady for the next 2-3 days before falling later this week.
Watching the local weathercasters & I see many of them using the phrase “not a washout” when the rain probabilities are 70% or higher. What they should be saying is, “although rain chances are high, there will be many dry hours between showers.” A classic example was Friday. The morning forecast called for 70% chance. I played golf with my friend Marvin and we were able to complete 18 holes in the afternoon. However, there were far fewer golfers out than a normal Friday would see. Why? Could they have been scared off by the 70%? So let’s review what probabilities mean. #1…they have NOTHING to do with time. If the forecast calls for 80% chance for rain, it could rain for 10 minutes and the forecast would be TECHNICALLY correct even though most of the day was dry. What bothers me is weathercasters using 50% chance. Really? What does that tell you? I never used 50% chance. Either choose lower or higher, but give your viewers the idea that you are better than a coin flip.
We are in a weather pattern that has very fast upper disturbances racing west to east. We have no fronts around us and it’s difficult to time these disturbances. Our air mass is very juicy and it doesn’t take much to trigger storms. It appears the disturbance in East Texas tonight will rumble our way for Sunday morning with the bulk of the storms staying north of Lake P. The big Irish-Italian Parade should be OK IF the storms stay north. We hit 81 today and should stay in that neighborhood Sunday & Monday. A front will sweep through late Monday bringing cooler & drier air back for Tuesday through Thursday of next week. Long range still shows no indication of any Arctic outbreaks coming and that is great news for gardeners. We are not done seeing cold fronts, but at this time of the year it usually means pleasant temps & drier air. Stay tuned!
Under bright sunshine and 70 degree warmth, a gloomy mood set over our city after it was announced that Tom Benson had passed away. All the local channels devoted their entire newscast and rightly so as Mr. Benson was the reason we still have the Saints & Pelicans. Technically, I did work for Mr. Benson as he bought Ch. 8 for several years and I even remember taking a photo with my wife next to the Super Bowl trophy at our annual Christmas party in 2010. My experience with Tom goes back into the late 80s when I was President of the local chapter of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. We honored him as our “Man of the Year” at our yearly fundraiser and I could always count on him buying a table before and after that event. As the local news reported, Mr. Benson was a VERY generous man. He knew what we were trying to do at BB/BS (Mentoring) was important to youths at risk and he was one of our biggest supporters. I feel blessed to have crossed paths in life and know he has made this Planet a better place for all of us.
The next 4-5 days will see a warming trend, but several fast moving upper disturbances will bring the opportunity for some showers & T-Storms. Friday might see some morning showers, but the main storms that develop will stay to our north & east. A cold front will stall to our north and west on Saturday with small rain chances that appear to increase on Sunday. With more parades this weekend, timing will be everything as there will be many dry hours between showers. Highs should get well up into the 70s approaching or topping 80 Sunday & Monday before a weak front pushes through for early next week. Another Nor’easter (#4) could bring more snow to the Northeast which is crying for a break from Winter. It looks like the chill could last well into April for our friends up north. Stay tuned!
When Katrina hit and the levees failed, the blame was placed on the Army Corps of Engineers for not following proper engineering rules in levee construction. Frankly they were embarrassed. Well, let’s give them credit when they’re right and they have been correct on opening the spillway bays to keep the crest of the Mississippi below the 17” crest needed to keep NOLA safe. In fact, it appears the river will not reach the 17’ level as almost 150 bays have been opened to steer enough water into Lake Pontchartrain to keep the river mainly steady or slowly falling for the next week. The only folks who are affected are those who operated vessels on the river. The rest of us have no issues.
This has been an exception stretch of nice weather with cool mornings and pleasant afternoon. Some changes are coming as south winds will bring back low level moisture and an upper disturbance will trigger showers and possible T-Storms on Friday. As we head into the second half of March, I see no signs of any Arctic outbreak coming during the next 2 weeks. That will place us into April and almost guarantee no need to worry about frost or freezing weather. I have been working on replacing my back fence and have completed 75% of it. It’s a one day job for young folks, but at 70+, I’ve stretched it out for over a week. I love seeing new growth in my plants, however, I’m discouraged seeing no growth in some plants I want to come back. Spring is a great time of the year. Enjoy what we have because we know what happens in May & June and lasts into September. Stay tuned!
Usually by now, my bird houses (4) have some activity as the mating cycle kicks in. Not this year. In fact, none of the houses even has a nest yet. I’ve seen the ducks paring off around the ponds at Chateau so I know the spring season brings baby duckies and that looks on schedule. But even my apartment /condo bird house has no activity. I think the record warm February followed by a cool March has the critters all fouled up. I know the fishing reports all show little trout activity, but that is normal as the trout season typically ramps up in April & May. But why no birds? They are around as my bird feeder is usually packed with sparrows, blue Jays & cardinals. Maybe the next 2 weeks will start the process?
Today was delightful, if you were dressed for it. While the East Coast is getting battered again by another Nor’easter, all we’re getting is the cooler and drier air rotating around the storm. Tuesday & Wednesday should stay cool & dry with a warm up starting on Thursday lasting through the weekend. Longer range, I see no big Arctic outbreaks coming so , if you are south of Lake P. you can start the tomato plants growing. Our chances for a frost get very slim once we pass the 20th historically. It appears the Great Lakes to the North East is in for more cold & storms the next several weeks, but the core of the cold will stay with them & not us. I’m still waiting to see any signs of life coming from my shrimp plants & hibiscus, but so far…nada. I think the bell is about to toll for them. Stay tuned!
The Mississippi River is supposed to reach the 17’ crest tomorrow at the Carrollton gage.
The Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day was always a special day when my kids were young. I was fortunate enough to meet a man (Eddie Renton) who founded the Irish-Italian Parade that rolls the following Sunday. Eddie, with his brother Billy, owned a printing shop on Metairie Road and they hosted a party for friends that gave us a perfect spot to watch the Irish Parade. I remember many years when the parade had great weather and the crowds were HUGE. Today was not one of those days as storms rolled through just in time to spoil all the activities. Eddie passed many years ago, but his dream of joining the Irish with the Italians continues. Hopefully next Sunday’s weather will be much better than today’s?
More cold air is returning for this week and you’ll need sweaters & jackets for the 1st half of the week. David mentioned the possibility of frost or a light freeze on the North Shore Tuesday & Wednesday mornings, which is a reminder that we still are officially in Winter. Astronomical Spring does not arrive until the 20th. Late week will see a big warm up into the weekend before more cold returns next week. Another snow storm is heading towards New England which will be the 3rd Nor’easter in less than 2 weeks. Lest you believe that has never happened before, Joe Bastardi of WeatherBell Analytics pointed out the same thing happened back in the 60s and late 70s. Weather does has a way of repeating. You just need to go back in time to see the same patterns that we see today. Stay tuned!
Today I was down at the Home & Garden Show to help promote my window advertiser, Acadian Windows. Met many fine folks and enjoyed hearing how much I’m missed. Appreciate the support from all of you who stayed with me over almost 40 years at Ch. 8. What you should check out is the new FOX 8 Stormtracker vehicle that will really be important during a severe weather event. It’s at the Home & Garden show and I checked it out before heading on over to the Acadian window booth. The SUV is outfitted with all the gear that will allow the meteorologist go out into the field and search for any dangerous weather. A camera is attached to the roof and it can span 360 degrees giving a live view of any possible tornadoes. I’m looking forward to seeing it in action during our Spring severe weather season.
We had a few brief showers today and more are likely ahead of our next cold front Late Sunday. These showers could impact the big Irish parade for Sunday afternoon. Highs will be back into the 70s before cooler and drier air requires sweaters & jackets Monday thru Wednesday. Another brief warm up comes late week ahead of our next front on Saturday & Sunday. February had many days 80+, but this March is going to see many days struggling to get out of the 60s. RIGHT NOW, I don’t see any Arctic breaks coming that could bring us freezing temperature to the South Shore. Some 30s are possible North Shore Tuesday-Thursday mornings so frost could be a problem. Sure beats the Nor’easters that keep hitting the NE Coast. I enjoy living where all I have to shovel is the dirt in my garden!
The Mississippi River has topped 16’ at the Carrollton gage and will slowly rise for another week. The crest has passed Memphis and should reach us on the 13th. The Corps of Engineers will keep opening bays if needed to make sure the crest stays below 17’ at NOLA. Stay tuned!
Today was as good as it gets with plenty of sunshine, low humidity & temps near 70. You’ll notice a different feel to the air on Saturday as low level moisture will return along with warmer temps. Some showers could develop during the day, but the better chances will arrive after midnight into early Sunday morning. SPC (Storm Prediction Center) has us in the lowest risk for severe storms, but it appears the higher chances will remain farther to our north. Colder air will follow for Sunday night into Monday with highs staying in the 50s & 60s and lows 30s North Shore and 40s south. All in all, next week looks to be great if you’re dressed for it.
As I mentioned yesterday, I’ll be down at the Home & Garden show in the Super Dome on Saturday noon to 2 PM. Come look for me at the Acadian Windows booth where I can guide you regarding what type of window you should buy. They have a fabulous product that keeps out the heat of Summer and the cold of Winter. Ch. 8 also has a booth displaying their new storm tracker SUV. Come on down and stop by as I’ll be wandering around both places. Hope to see you there.
Every year I look forward to the various shows (Boat Show, Sportsman Show) that indicate “ warmer weather is just around the corner.” This weekend in the Super Dome it’s the Home & Garden Show. Since I’m a spokesperson for Acadian Windows, I’ll be there on Saturday from Noon till 2 PM in their booth. If you’re thinking about upgrading your windows, come on by and I’ll tell you my experiences with Acadian. Ch. 8 also has a booth showcasing their new weather storm tracker SUV. I might make a visit there too since I remain their hurricane consultant for 2018.
Normally we are saying “warmer weather is just around the corner”, except this year had a record warm February and March is heading in the opposite direction. In fact, after a brief warm up beginning tomorrow into early Sunday, our next cool down Monday through Thursday looks colder than the chill we now have. Lots of below zero Arctic cold remains over Canada and a deep east coast upper trough will drive that chill into the Deep South. The North Shore will certainty dip into the 30s with the possibility of a light freeze. With the waters of Lake P. in the mid-60s, that should keep most of the South Shore above frost levels. However, all gardeners should stay focused on the weather next week as we may need to “protect our tender vegetation”. Daytime highs on Monday & Tuesday will struggle to get out of the 50s , and with a stiff north breeze, sweaters and coats will be necessary. Looking beyond next week, the third week in March could see several severe weather outbreaks, mainly over the plains into the Ohio Valley. March is already off to a wild start with 2 powerful Nor’easters and a third likely coming this weekend. We were spoiled by a warm, tranquil February. March will make up for it. Stay tuned!
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