Thursday, November 8, 2012

--  Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta
        Thursday, November 8
Thursday morning’s low dipped a few degrees lower than we had expected thanks to clear skies, calm conditions and dew points in the upper 30°s. Even with the chilly start, it would be hard to complain about Thursday afternoon: although temps max’d out a few degrees below the norm, sunshine and generally light winds made for a fine November day.
Clear skies and light winds tonight will allow temps to drop into the low 40°s for metro Baton Rouge, with lows returning to the 30°s for many WAFB neighborhoods north and east of the Red Stick.
At the upper levels, we’ll be directly under a broad ridge by tomorrow; at the surface, high pressure will continue to slide to the east. The upper ridge will keep skies fair, while the surface high to our east will cause the winds to veer (shifting in a clockwise direction) tonight and continue doing so into the day on Friday. By Friday afternoon, “return flow” -- transport off the Gulf -- will help warm us up and start bringing low-level moisture back into the area. Look for highs on Friday in the upper 70°s for the Capital City under mostly sunny skies - - but by Friday afternoon, the inflow fromn the Gulf will mean take dewpoints into the 50°s.
By Saturday, we’ll have increased the regional low-level moisture sufficiently to generate partly cloudy skies by the afternoon, with highs approaching 80° for many WAFB communities. But the weather looks good Saturday evening and Saturday night – great news for LSU’s Homecoming as the Tigers take on Mississippi State and for the Jags up on the Bluff as they celebrate Senior Night against Alabama State.
By Sunday -- Veteran’s Day -- we could see some patchy wake-up fog, depending on the morning winds. By the afternoon, most of us can expect partly cloudy skies with highs around 80° or more. We can’t rule out a spotty shower or two during the afternoon and early evening, but the rain threat is small and even those showers that do pop-up won’t last long.
Monday is the area’s “wet” day in the extended outlook as our next cold front is scheduled for arrival during the day. For now, we’re going with a “likely” chance for rain in your backyard. Based on the four-day outlook, most of us can expect something along the lines of one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch of rain with Monday’s front. While we could see an isolated strong to severe storm or two, the current guidance shows little in the way of a widespread severe weather threat.
Monday's front will also deliver a modest cool-down, but it won't last long.  In addition, because the air mass behind Monday's front is more "Pacific" (i.e., cool and slightly moist) than "Canadian" (i.e., cold and very dry), the temperature drop for next week will not be all that impressive.  But note that as we head into the cooler months of the year, we revert to that "roller coaster" pattern of warm-ups and cool-downs related to frontal passages.

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