Friday, May 4, 2012

Staying Summer-like into the Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

A note of interest for skywatchers before we get into the weekend forecast...
Saturday night will not only provide a full moon, but something known as a "super moon". What exactly is that? A "super moon" occurs when the timing of a full moon coincides with perigee -- the time of moon's closest approach to earth in its orbit. Astronomers tell us Saturday's full moon could appear to be as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than any other full moon in 2012. The best time to catch what could be a neat view of the moon is likely around moonrise (7:36 p.m. in Baton Rouge) due to a known optical illusion that tricks our eyes into thinking the moon is even larger when it first appears above the horizon.
The heat has set in, and we don’t anticipate much of a change for the next several days! Today marks the second straight day with a high of 90° at Baton Rouge Metro and there could be more ahead into the weekend.
Morning starts will remain in the upper 60°s to around 70° for the Baton Rouge metro area with patchy sunrise fog each morning through Monday.  Warm and moist Gulf air will remain in place into early next week.  With afternoon highs expected to climb to near 90° through the weekend, we expect mid-afternoon Heat Index values to climb into the mid to upper 90°s -- a word of caution for weekend Golfers and those working their backyard gardens as most of us are not yet quite “acclimated” to this summer-like heat!
Weekend “outdoor activities” call for sunscreen, fluids and breaks from the warmer-than-normal weather.  But the good news is that we don’t see a need for the umbrella on Saturday or Sunday!
Well, okay ... given the heat and humidity over the coming days, we can’t completely rule out a rogue afternoon shower or two, but the vast majority of us will remain dry.  That’s good news for the continued clean-ups underway in northern and eastern Ascension Parish as well as portions of western Livingston Parish following Wednesday’s flooding rains!
Our extended forecast currently projects a cool front sliding across the Bayou State sometime between Tuesday and early Wednesday.  At this point, that front doesn’t look like a very energetic from a rainfall perspective -- and the truth is we’ll have to watch through the weekend to see if this scenario really does materialize.

That said -- and based on what we see for now -- the anticipated mid-week cool front will mean a slight drop in temperatures and humidity for the latter half of next week compared to what we are expecting for the upcoming weekend.
And don’t forget:  Saturday is Cinco de Mayo and FestforAll will be running both Saturday and Sunday in downtown Baton Rouge.  Enjoy!

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