Monday, February 13, 2012

Rain Tonight, Warmer Days Ahead

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Did you notice Baton Rouge’s record low (above) for today: 2°F -- Yikes!

That’s the all-time lowest reading ever for the Red Stick, beating the 8° many of you remember in 1989. And for you trivia buffs, the monster freeze of February 13, 1899 set records not only in Louisiana, but across a large portion of the Deep South. The event still claims the record for all-time lowest temps for more than a dozen states!

Reports from the time indicate that the Port of New Orleans was completely iced over and ice floes were spotted moving from the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico. Mardi Gras fell on February 14th that year, making it the coldest Fat Tuesday on record in New Orleans, with a low temp of 6° and a high of only 25°! The parade route reportedly had to be cleared of snow and ice before Rex rolled.

So what was the lowest reading for the Bayou State during that event? How about -16°F in Minden, LA!

You can read more about the amazing outbreak of cold weather in 1899 here:
"The Great Arctic Outbreak and East Coast Blizzard of February 1899"

Well we had our brief taste of freezing weather over the weekend, and now we catapult back into the 70°s by tomorrow. But not before we deal with another round of rain. As of this afternoon, we’ve already seen a few showers, and rain becomes “likely” later this evening. But this will generally be light to moderate rain, and while a few might hear a rumble or two of thunder, most of us will see less than one-half-inch of rain through the overnight hours.

Our thinking is that the rain is out of the WAFB viewing area before Tuesday morning’s commute and bus rides, although the clouds may still be around. And with temps likely to stay in the mid to upper 50°s overnight and into Tuesday morning, the wet ground and relatively warm air will support some areas of fog early in the day. But the clouds move out quickly, as does the fog, with clearing skies by or before lunchtime and plenty of sunshine for the afternoon with highs in the low to mid 70°s!

After another morning start in the 50°s, showers and thunderstorms will return during the latter half of Wednesday, and continue into the early morning on Thursday. The Wednesday/Thursday event looks wetter and probably stormier -- we’ll have to see how the forecasted dynamics develop after tonight’s round of showers.

We cool things down as we head into Mardi Gras weekend. For now, we’ve got isolated showers for Friday night with scattered showers lingering into Saturday morning.

So ... for the Krewe of Southdowns (Friday evening), just be sure to carry an umbrella although you may not really need it. And while we may see some rain for Saturday morning, we’re hopeful that all will be quiet before ‘Spanish Town’ rolls ion Saturday!

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