Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mainly Sunny, Dry Days Ahead!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Boy, oh boy ... the sun never looked so good!
Skies should stay mostly clear overnight and into the morning.  It gets cold again though, with lows dropping into the low 30°s for metro BR.  That means a light freeze for many communities along and north of the I-10/12 corridor, but not a big deal in terms of temperatures or freeze durations.
The forecast stays mainly sunny for Friday and right through the weekend – that’s got to be much welcomed news for just about everyone!  And we’ll warm it up a bit too, with highs in the upper 50°s for Friday and into the 60°s for the weekend.
Obviously the dry weather is good news for folks along our area rivers and bayous, but we all could benefit from a good run of dry weather given the region’s waterlogged backyards, fields and pastures.  And Mother Nature cooperates: not only do we stay rain-free through the coming weekend, but the extended outlook keeps us mainly dry right through next week and into next weekend, at least!
We will have another front pass through the state on Sunday, but it will be a dry Canadian front.  We’ll feel a little dip in temps on the backside of the front with the cooler air-mass in place, but the frontal passage will do little more than generate a few clouds for south Louisiana.

Now, for you trivia buffs, let’s take another look at the rainfall thus far for January.  Metro Airport is reporting 13.81”, with January-to-date reports from across the WAFB region ranging from 10” to 18”!  And to our west, in Eunice, they’re reporting a whopping 20.29” already this month - - the equivalent of 4 month’s worth of normal rainfall!
For Baton Rouge (Metro AP), the 13.81” is the largest monthly total since December 2009 (14.86”), and already ranks as the second “wettest” January on record (data back to 1888), topped only by 14.94” during January 1998.  Although our forecast keeps us dry through the next seven days, that January 1998 all-time record might still be in jeopardy.

A look at all months back to 1888 -- that’s 125 years, or 1500 months – ranks our January 2013 rains already at #18 for all-time high monthly totals, in the top 2% of all months!  When we look at it in those terms, it’s somewhat surprising that the flood damage hasn’t been worse.
And by the way, what was the “wettest” month ever for Baton Rouge based on these records?  You probably remember June 2001’s Tropical Storm Allison, which helped take that month’s total to 21.36”.  The only other over-20” month in the time series was back on November 1929.

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