Friday, March 9, 2012

Improving Weather on Saturday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

The time to SPRING FORWARD with your clocks is rapidly approaching (officially at 2:00am Sunday, as we lose an hour).  And we remind you that this is also a good time to check the batteries in your home smoke detectors and the back-up battery power for your NOAA weather radio!

Friday’s high of 72° is a bit misleading as it came in the first hours of the day.  With the cool front having moved over the coastal waters, many WAFB neighborhoods slipped into the 50°s by mid-day and stayed there through the afternoon.  For most of us, the significant rains ended by late morning although a damp air mass and a low cloud deck continued to deliver mist and patches of fog through much of the mid-day and afternoon hours.
Thankfully, last night’s active storms over central Louisiana stayed contained to the north of metro BR for the most part, with the front losing its punch as it moved south.  Doppler radar estimates and Weather Watcher reports indicated that most WAFB communities, especially those near, south and east of metro BR, received less than one-half-inch of rain (as of mid-afternoon).  However, radar-estimated totals over the Felicianas and Wilkinson and Amite counties were impressive, running as high as 2” to 3” in some locations!

24-Hour rain estimate showing the heaviest rains occurred in the Felicianas, northern Pointe Coupee, and parts of SW Mississippi.

Looks like the serious rains have ended for most of us for the rest of the afternoon, this evening and overnight.  There still remains some light rain over the southern parishes, and that might continue into the evening closer to the coast.  We can’t rule out a passing shower or two this evening and overnight as the atmosphere remains moist and an upper-level disturbance over Texas heads northwest.  So don’t be surprised by periods of mist this evening, but we really don’t anticipate any thing more than a few spotty sprinkles and little or no accumulation.

The upper-level low we’ve talked about so much during the latter part of this week remains well to our west -- in fact, it appears to have drifted farther to the west today and is now over the Desert Southwest! 

That is good news, especially for Saturday.  With that upper-low so far to the west, and the current Texas disturbance expected to be out of the picture by tomorrow, Saturday’s forecast looks much improved.  We’ll start Saturday in the upper 40°s for metro Baton Rouge with afternoon highs reaching the low 70°s.  Although most of the day will be in-and-out of the clouds, the day will stay mainly dry.

Indeed, Saturday will be the “get outdoors” day of the two-day weekend -- good news for Saturday morning’s Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure” ... or a quick trip to unload some of those household materials at EBR’s (residents only, please) Household Hazardous Materials Day collection (9am-1pm) at BR’s Memorial Stadium.

Rains return to the forecast for Sunday and Monday, with isolated rains still possible into Tuesday.  For now, the remainder of the week looks pretty good!

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