Friday, October 26, 2012

Cool Weekend Ahead!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

You have probably noticed the clouds increasing throughout the day. A cold front will slide through south Louisiana later tonight. If you have looked at radar you have probably seen the showers and the isolated t-storms moving through west Louisiana along and ahead of the front.

A few of you may get a little rain as the front passes by and folks north of Baton Rouge may even hear a rumble or two of thunder. But even those that do get rain won’t get much and the way it looks right now most of us will stay dry as the front goes by.

The big story with this front will be the drop in temperatures. Overnight clouds will give way to clearing skies by Saturday morning, and metro area neighborhoods will see sunrise temperatures in the 40°s. Saturday will be sunny, breezy and considerably cooler with highs for Baton Rouge topping out in the upper 60°s. It will be even chillier for Sunday morning with WAFB communities along and north of the I-10/12 corridor likely dipping into the 30°s for their morning starts. Sunday again will be breezy and cool with afternoon highs in the mid to upper 60°s. 

We’ll stay cool and dry for Monday and Tuesday with a modest warm up starting at mid week. The Halloween forecast looks good for the door-to-door Trick-or-Treaters. For the time being our outlook remains “mainly dry” right through next week.

Hurricane Sandy continues to be the BIG weather story for the U.S., with the latest model runs still turning Sandy back to the NW and landfalling along the Atlantic Seaboard. Sandy has weakened slightly today, but ‘she’ remains a very large system, with tropical-storm force winds extending as much as 200 miles out from the center!

The latest National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast now maintains Sandy as a Category 1 hurricane right up until landfall, with the “forecast cone” at landfall currently extending from near the NC/VA state line to Long Island, NY sometime early on Tuesday. Admittedly, there is still a fair amount of uncertainty about what Sandy will ultimately do, but most of the computer models continue to advertise this somewhat unusual turn back towards the U.S. East Coast early next week.

Why unusual? One would expect that a tropical system that tracks so far to the north (as is forecasted for Sandy), especially for this time of year, would begin moving to the NE. In other words, a turn away from the U.S. at that latitude would be more along the lines of “climatology” (historical tendencies). But the deep trough that will deliver our chilliest mornings of the season this weekend is also expected to set-up a mid- to upper-level steering pattern that will cause Sandy to go against the “norm” and head back towards the mid-Atlantic or southern New England states.

If Sandy does head back and make landfall along the heavily populated U.S. Atlantic Coast as currently projected, the impacts of the storm’s winds, surge and anticipated flooding rains could lead to a storm for the record books!

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