Friday, December 28, 2012

Clearing, Much Cooler This Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Today’s frontal passage shaped up to be a substantial rain-maker but severe weather was not a real issue. There were a few areas where wind gusts may have climbed into the 30+mph range in association with some of the passing afternoon t-storms, but all-in-all this was a much “gentler” frontal passage as compared to the storms of Christmas Day.

We’ve received some Weather Watcher reports of as much as 2” to 3” of rain today, with widespread rains of 1” to 2” for the frontal passage as indicated by regional radar estimates. (totals below are through 4-5 p.m. Friday)

The last of the rains -- to the east and southeast of metro Baton Rouge -- will wind down through the evening, but expect the clouds to linger into the overnight hours. Cooler air has already begun to filter into the WAFB viewing area and will continue to do so through the evening and tonight, with Saturday daybreak temps likely to dip into the upper 30°s to around 40° for neighborhoods along and north of the I-10/12 corridor.

We may still be under clouds early Saturday, but skies should clear through the morning, giving way to plenty of sunshine by the afternoon. But the cold, Canadian air mass will keep Saturday afternoon on the cool side: highs for metro BR will only reach the low 50°s, with some of the northern WAFB communities possibly not getting out of the 40°s.

The forecast for Sunday morning calls for a freeze for just about everyone from Ascension Parish northward -- and we may even see “hard freeze” conditions for SW Mississippi and parishes along the LA/MS state line! Thankfully, this will only be a one-day event, with temps climbing back into the 50°s under mostly sunny skies by Sunday afternoon - - and we say goodbye to freezes for the time being.

Temps will moderate for Monday and Tuesday, but rain moves back into the forecast with the warmer weather. A quick-moving storm system will track from the Southwest U.S. into the Southern Plains on Monday, then move into the lower Mississippi Valley by early Tuesday -- this could mean scattered rains for the area during the peak midnight festivities on New Year’s Eve.

The frontal system is then expected to slow and eventually stall near the Louisiana coast, then linger over the northern Gulf through Wednesday, possibly even early Thursday. The net effect: a “wet” start to 2013 beginning with a potentially stormy New Year’s Day, with rains continuing through Wednesday into Thursday.

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