Friday, January 25, 2013

Staying Warm This Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Over the course of the past five days, we’ve been modifying the outlook for this weekend just about every day.  Earlier this week, we expected a front to slide through the state and reach the coastal waters on Saturday.  Although we never thought the weekend front would be a major rainmaker, we were carrying modest rain chances for both late Friday and early Saturday.  That was Monday into Tuesday.

Then for just about each day through the rest of the work week, we adjusted the southward reach of the front, and slowly reduced rain chances as well.  Even yesterday we were still thinking that the front would reach the I-10/12 corridor before stalling and retreating to the north: that scenario included a small drop in the daytime highs to the upper 60°s for Saturday before temps rebounded into the 70°s for Sunday.

Well, now we’re stopping the southward sag of the cool front to the north of the WAFB viewing area.  Not only does that take just about any chance of rain out of the forecast, but our update now keeps highs in the 70°s for both Saturday and Sunday.  (Frankly, we doubt that many people are really complaining about this run of dry, spring-like weather!)

So now our 7-day forecast reads “mainly dry” with highs in the 70°s through Tuesday.  For now, we’ll put a 20% chance in the forecast for the latter part of Tuesday, although the truth is we think that 20% is a little generous.

We expect our next rainmaking front to arrive Wednesday.  Two of our extended-guidance models -- the GFS (American) and ECMWF (European) -- have come into better agreement over the last day or so both in terms of timing and rain coverage.  Admittedly, given that were talking about a forecast that is still five days out, we all can expect some tweaks and twists to the mid-week forecast over the coming days.  But the outlook into next week based on our current guidance looks good.

Behind the anticipated mid-week frontal passage, we’re expecting a return to temperatures that are closer to seasonal norms, maybe even a tad below normal, at least for the short term.

So what about those parades?  all in all, looking just fine for both downtown Baton Rouge parades this weekend.  The Krewe of Jupiter & Juno kicks-off the Mardi Gras parade season for BR on Saturday evening at 6:30pm.  We may still have clouds over the city, but the temps should be pleasant throughout the evening’s parade run.  And then, starting at 10:00am on Sunday morning, North Blvd. and Town Square become “dog heaven” for the Mystic Krewe of Mutts, with the “canine carnival” running well into the afternoon under partly cloudy skies.

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