Friday, March 1, 2013

Chilly First Weekend of March!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

** For those of you still hoping to catch a view of the International Space Station (ISS), we get another decent view this evening.  It will be a short view -- lasting only about 3 minutes -- but the skies and clouds look like they will cooperate.
Because of the position of the ISS with respect to the sun this evening, you won’t really be able to see the Space Station (remember, we see it because it reflects sunlight) until long after it has climbed above the horizon.  Look to the SW at about 6:48pm … the ISS will be roughly a third of the way between the horizon and directly overhead, moving to the south.  The ISS will disappear close to your south at about 6:51pm. **

We’ve been enjoying the dry weather . . . now the weather story for the weekend will be “Just How Cold?”
Many WAFB viewers along and north of the LA/MS flirted with a brief freeze earlier this morning, with McComb reporting a low of 31°.  But even there, the morning freeze lasted an hour or less.
Everyone gets a couple of degrees cooler for Saturday morning, but the much of metro BR misses out on a morning freeze with lows in the mid 30°s.  Still, just about everyone north and east of BR will get a very brief freeze on Saturday morning.  Saturday afternoon will remain on the cool side all day long, as many WAFB communities struggle just to make it into the 50°s for the afternoon under partly-cloudy skies combined with occasionally windy conditions.
Sunday morning is shaping up to be the coldest morning for WAFB viewers. In fact, the National Weather Service has already posted a Freeze Watch for much of our viewing area.  For metro BR, lows will dip to the upper 20°s to around 30° for most of the ‘Red Stick’ near sunrise.  Even so, freeze durations for most of us will be only a couple of hours . . . not really long enough to have much of an impact on the gardens and not long enough or cold enough to promote a neighborhood “pipe-wrapping party.”  The Sunday freeze likely reaches south of metro BR into Ascension, St. James and Assumption parishes … maybe even northern portions of Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes.  But temps will rebound nicely through Sunday afternoon, reaching the upper 50°s across metro Baton Rouge and approaching 60° south of the Capital area.

Monday’s wake-up will also be chilly, but not a freeze.  A low-pressure system over the central and southern Plains on Monday will track to the ENE, dragging a cold front into the WAFB viewing area by Tuesday morning.  For now, it looks like a “mostly dry” frontal passage, but we do anticipate a few showers as it moves through -- we’ll go with a 20% chance of rain for your backyard.

We’ll get another dose of “cool but not cold” air behind Tuesday’s front, but once the front is through the region, that’s it for rain chances for the remainder of the week.

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