Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Staying Mild & Dry Through Friday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

How about another good looking day for Tuesday? And there is more of the same over the next few days!

The surface low associated with the winter storm system in the Pacific Northwest that Steve described in detail on Monday will move into the Northern Rockies on Wednesday. Meanwhile, surface high pressure will continue to dominate the weather from New England and the Great Lakes down to the Gulf Coast -- covering almost all of the eastern half of the nation.

At home, our Wednesday forecast is a winner! We’ll start the day under mainly clear skies and sunrise temps in the mid 40°s for metro Baton Rouge. Just like we saw on Tuesday morning, there could be some patchy fog for the morning start. Skies will remain virtually cloud-free through the day, with highs returning to the mid 70°s under light to moderate northerly flow.

By Thursday, the winds will swing around to the east and southeast, so expect sunrise temps in the upper 40°s to near 50° for Turkey Day and Black Friday. In addition the wind shift should add a little low-level moisture that may translate into some additional morning fog for wake-ups on both days, especially Friday. But once the fog lifts, both days will be mild ones with highs in the mid 70°s. We’re going with mostly sunny for Thursday afternoon and partly to mostly cloudy skies for Friday afternoon.

The guidance still shows a cold front sliding through our viewing area during the latter half of the day on Friday, but just about all indications are that the front will be a “dry” one, only delivering some clouds as it passes by. Skies will be clearing by early Saturday, but we’re now calling for a notable cool down for the weekend, with highs in the low to mid 60°s for Saturday and mid 60°s for Sunday!

Our next weather system will begin organizing over the Southern Plains late Sunday into early Monday, delivering a good chance of rain to the forecast area by Tuesday.

We could use some rain. As we said yesterday, it’s not a drought yet, but things are getting quite dry. It comes as no surprise that a quick look at about 20 rainfall-recording sites for rainfall since October 1st shows no locations with near-normal rainfall. The “wettest” site we could fins was St. Francisville, with 5.18” of rain since the start of October, about 72% of normal. But just across the Mississippi River in New Roads, they’re reporting a mere 1.11” -- only 16% of normal.

The vast majority of sites we reviewed are reporting rain totals between 20% and 40% of normal for the 51-day period (Oct 1 - Nov 20). Metro Airport is one of the drier sites, with just 1.16” for the period, only 17% of normal. Yes, we could certainly use a good soaker.

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