Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rains Return on Friday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Welcome to the first official day of spring!
We started off with clouds and pockets of light rain, keeping the morning cool and damp.  But as the cloud line moved from west-to-east across the viewing area, mid-day temperatures responded quickly, jumping as much as 10° in less than two hours for many locations.  The afternoon was a gem ... a great first day of the new season!

Clear skies, low humidity and light northerly winds will mean a considerable cool-down overnight, with a chilly start for Thursday -- we expect morning lows around 40° for the Red Stick, with 30°s for many WAFB neighborhoods to the north and east of Baton Rouge!  Thursday starts off mainly clear, with clouds slowly returning through the day.  You may also feel a slow but steady return of low-level moisture as southeasterly winds set in by Thursday afternoon.  The day’s warm-up will be slow, however, with highs only getting to around 70°.
Our forecast calls for highs in the mid-to-upper 70°s for Friday and the weekend, but the warmer weather will be accompanied by some rain on Friday and Saturday.  However, we still do not anticipate any active or severe storms with those rains, and the latest NWS Weather Prediction Center forecasts indicate that rain totals over the two days will likely remain under one-half-inch for just about everyone.

Still, we continue to struggle a bit with just what to make of the Friday-through-Saturday weather set-up.  By Friday morning, we expect to see spotty to isolated rains in the area.  Rain chances will increase somewhat during the day Friday, with scattered showers and a few t-storms possible during the latter part of the day.  Scattered showers and a few t-storms continue for Saturday, with rain chances a tad higher at about 50-50 for your backyard.

The Friday/Saturday wet weather will be courtesy of another mid/upper-level disturbance coupled with a frontal boundary that is expected to stall along the Gulf Coast region on Saturday.  By early Sunday, a Canadian dome of cool-and-dry air will push the stalled front out to the Gulf, allowing skies to clear and leaving us with a nice Sunday afternoon.
As the Canadian high-pressure ridge takes charge, we’ll enjoy a run of dry-weather days while getting a prolonged dose of cooler air -- highs from Monday through Wednesday will top-out in the 60°s, well below mid-to-late March normals.

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