Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dense Fog Advisory Friday Morning

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

A DENSE FOG ADVISORY goes into effect later tonight, and don’t be surprised to see morning Fog Advisories posted for Saturday and Sunday as well.

Our forecast is simple: more of the same! We’ll be staying warm and mainly dry for Friday and right through the weekend into at least the first part of next week. That means mornings in the 60°s with locally-dense fog likely, and highs in the 80°s with a stray shower or two, but mainly-dry afternoons and evenings.

Daily temps will continue to average around 8° to 10° or more above normal through the next several days, as ridging aloft combines with surface high pressure over the Southeast U.S. to keep us warm and mainly dry into at least the early to middle part of next week.

Clockwise circulation around the surface high pressure to our east will continue to produce onshore flow -- “return flow” -- and that means mild-to-warm and moist low-level air inbound from the Gulf. At the same time, subsidence -- sinking air that warms as it descends -- resulting from the upper-level ridging overhead will only add to the mid-day warming. And it looks like that set-up remains in place until at least Monday or Tuesday, possibly even into Wednesday.

So how “warm” has it been? For the first half of March, temperatures at Baton Rouge’s Metro Airport are averaging nearly 7° above normal, ranking as the “warmest” first half of March since 2006 (and ranking among the top six first halves since 1930).

And what about temperatures for the year-to-date? We know it has been a very mild winter, and the data support that: temps for January-thru-mid-March (76 days) are averaging about 60° -- ranking among the 4 “warmest” runs since 1930 for the first ten weeks of the year!

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