By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta
Our chilly mornings keep coming -- Wednesday morning’s sunrise saw temps in the upper 30°s under mainly clear skies for metro Baton Rouge, and our forecast for Thursday’s sun-up reads much the same, with bus stop temps expected again in the mid to upper 30°s.
Although temps will remain a little below mid-November norms through the next few days, the forecast continues to look good right through the coming weekend. Wednesday started the trend of slowly-warming afternoon highs -- with highs in the low 60°s -- and that will continue right into Sunday when highs could reach 70° or more for a good portion of the WAFB viewing area. In addition, we think that morning lows will return to the 40°s for metro Baton Rouge by Friday and remain in the 40°s into next week.
Why the recent run of chilly mornings and cool afternoons? The main driver has been a surface ridge of high pressure extending from near the Great Lakes all the way to the Gulf Coast, maintaining a northerly flow of cold-and-dry air southward. That low-level flow is being augmented by a northwesterly flow at the mid and upper levels (the jet stream), helping to keep the air both cool and very dry. How dry? How about dew point temps in the low 30°s and even some upper 20°s today -- compared to “average” November dewpoints in the low 50°s.
Our forecast remains essentially “front free” right into next week -- good news for anyone NOT looking for a little rain.
It certainly has been dry of late: many WAFB neighborhoods recorded less than an inch of rain in October and many of those same areas have yet to get an inch during November. We’re not entering “drought” conditions yet, however, as “cooler-than-average” temps over the past six weeks have also meant reduced moisture demand for landscapes and agriculture.
Our extended outlook keeps temps in the low 70°s through the first half of next week, with rain chances returning by about mid-week.
And for the time being, nothing brewing in the tropics. Maybe, just maybe, we’re done with tropical weather for 2012?