It was a fine Thursday and it looks like a repeat for Friday. Just like earlier today, the young’uns will need jackets for the bus stop as we open Friday morning with a chilly start in the 30°s. A weak cool front will slide through the WAFB viewing area on Friday, but there simply isn’t enough moisture associated with it to do more than generate a few fair-weather clouds. Expect mostly sunny skies for the day, with the air mass on the backside of the front keeping Friday afternoon highs in the low 60°s.
So much going on this weekend ... including live music in Town Square and Mardi Gras parades ... and it looks like Mother Nature is going to cooperate for the most part. The Krewe of Artemis kicks-off the weekend parades as the ladies take over downtown Baton Rouge on Friday evening -- comfortably cool for the 6:30pm start and looking good across the Red Stick.
A number of krewes roll on Saturday across south Louisiana – examples include Clinton (11AM), Denham Springs (2AM), and downtown BR’s Mystique de la Capitale (3AM). Bead-catchers for those parades can expect partly cloudy skies with temps climbing into the upper 60°s by the afternoon. The only bug for the Saturday parades is the very slight possibility of a few showers late Saturday, right in the midst of the Krewe of Orion Parade in downtown BR. But for now, we’re giving that less than a 20% rain chance, so it looks like the Saturday night Krewe will probably be fine. And on Sunday morning, Volunteer Fire Departments from around the area will join the Addis FD for that community’s family-oriented parade. All in all, it will be a nice “winter” weekend topped off by the excitement of the Super Bowl late Sunday.
We stay dry for Monday, but the forecast for the Tuesday-thru-Thursday window is muddled. For now, we’ll go with a 30% rain chance on Tuesday as a weak cool front slides into the Bayou State. But two of our extended models (the American and the European) diverge after Tuesday in terms of rain chances. We’ll “split the difference” between the two and keep a slight chance of rain in the forecasts for both Wednesday and Thursday.
And as we close out January, it’s worth mentioning the month’s unusual weather again! Metro Airport’s monthly rain total of 14.67” is nearly three times the January norm and ranks as the second wettest January since 1888 -- less than 0.3” short of the January all-time record of 14.94” set in 1998. In fact, January 2013 was the wettest month for Metro Airport since December 2009, and is tied with May 1989 as the “10th wettest of any month” back through 1888. (By the way, BR’s “wettest” month of all? June 2001, with 21.36” largely due to sub-Tropical Storm Allison.) Rainfall over the last 2 months also makes it the 2nd wettest December-January combined here in the Capital City.
And it was a “freeze free” January . . . which may well explain the early budding many of us have noted across the region! On average, we get 7 to 8 freezes during January -- although a few of those tend to be rather light and very brief early morning events. But January 2013 is the first January since 1974 with no freezes at all for the month and only the fourth “freeze free” January for Baton Rouge’s Metro Airport since 1930.