Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mainly Clear, Cooler Rest of This Week

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

What a temperature change with the morning frontal passage: Metro Airport dropped from the low 70°s at 4:00am to the mid 50°s by 5:00am! And rain totals around the area were a bit higher than we had anticipated last evening. The advancing front earlier this morning “swelled” in size as it crossed southern Louisiana, allowing for longer-duration rains. Rather than the 0.5” or so totals we were expecting, most rains totals are running around 0.7” to 1.5” from our Weather Watchers.

Fortunately, while we’ve received numerous reports of wind gusts in the 35-50+ mph range, there was no significant damage reported, no Tornado warnings, and only one T-Storm Warning posted (for Livingston, St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes at 5:31am). In addition, no Watches were issued for the viewing area.

Clouds stayed with us through mid-day, but skies have cleared through the afternoon. The winds will also subside as the night progresses. The combination of clear skies, light to moderate winds and a “dry” air mass now in place will allow temps to drop into the 30°s after midnight. We’re calling for Thursday sun-up temps in the mid to upper 30°s for metro Baton Rouge, with some of the northern WAFB neighborhoods - - especially north of the state line - - possible getting close to freezing for a very brief period.

Yes, our late January run of mild-to-warm weather is gone. Temps over the coming days will be something closer to normal for this time of year.

Skies stay clear through Thursday, with highs climbing into the lower 60°s for Baton Rouge. A slow warming trend for Friday, Saturday and Sunday will have metro BR weekend highs back in the mid to upper 60°s, and we’ll stay dry into early next week.

A weak disturbance late on Saturday into early Sunday may give us some overnight clouds at that time, but we don’t see any rain with that passing mid-level feature.

In the extended outlook, our next cold front arrives on Tuesday, but the signals are mixed about the strength of this boundary. For the time being, we see this as a relatively weak system, with only isolated showers possible as it moves NW- to-SE across the state.

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