By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta
We expected the high clouds to hang around through the day today, with our forecast on Monday evening calling for a “sun/cloud mix, possible more clouds than sun” for Tuesday afternoon. But the fact is, the clouds were a bit thicker and more persistent at times than I had anticipated. What was interesting in watching the sky through much of the afternoon was the obvious “cloud line” that lingered in the western sky -- you knew that they were getting plenty sunshine on the western side of the Atchafalaya Basin, but the clearing line just didn’t seem to want to ease its way eastward.
Our afternoon clouds filtered the sunshine sufficiently to keep highs in the 40°s for many WAFB communities, especially for those along and north of the I-10/12 corridor. Quite that change after a run of days with highs in the 70°s, eh?
In fact, some neighborhoods to the east of metro Baton Rouge may have even seen a little extra-light drizzle or mist today thanks to the high clouds. Those clouds stay with us for most of the night, but metro BR will still see Wednesday morning lows slip down into the mid to upper 30°s.
Mostly to partly cloudy skies early Wednesday will give way to plenty of sunshine by the afternoon, and that should allow temps to rebound into the mid to upper 50°s for the afternoon. But those same clear skies, accompanied by a very dry air mass with dew points in the 20°s, will produce a light freeze for Thursday morning -- if we do dip to freezing, that will be the second freeze of the season for Metro Airport.
Afternoon temps on Thursday will reach the low 60°s under sunny skies, and a warming trend sets-in through the weekend. At the same time, our “weather attention” turns farther to the west as the next frontal system makes its way towards us.
A Pacific front (generally not at cold as the Canadian front that moved through on Monday) will track across the central and southern Rockies on Friday, and move into the Central Plains by Saturday, with a cold front draped into Texas.
Timing of the system’s arrival in Louisiana remains a little unclear, but for now we’re going with scattered showers and t-storms during the latter half of the day on Saturday and extending into Sunday. At least one model is currently hinting at the cold front getting into the Bayou State then slowing and essentially stalling along or near the coast on Sunday. There is also a suggestion of a second system developing over the Southern Plains that could bring another round of rains late Monday or early Tuesday.
And a final note...it was on this date 4 years ago that south Louisiana received one of our biggest snowfalls in recent history. Up to 8 inches of snow fell in Amite...certainly a rarity around here!