Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hot, Relatively Dry Next Couple of Days

As anticipated, a building ridge of high pressure helped limit shower and t-storm activity around the area today. We’ve still seen a few t-storms through the afternoon, with most of the action for areas east of metro Baton Rouge. Look for any lingering rains to end shortly after sunset.

Overall, the pattern will change little for the next couple of days. We’ll keep rain chances less than 20%, with highs topping out in the low to mid 90°s. In fact, with added sunshine and less rainfall, the scales will likely tilt a little more in the direction of the mid 90°s through the end of the week.

Headed into the weekend, it looks like the upper-level ridge of high pressure helping to keep us relatively dry for now will begin to break down and retreat westward. As it does so, rain chances will gradually increase. We’ll go with 30% on Friday, 30% - 40% on Saturday and 40% - 50% by Sunday. 

A cool front will also approach the area by late in the weekend into early next week, helping to enhance our rain chances. Scattered to occasionally numerous showers and t-storms appear possible for Monday and Tuesday of next week.

As we continue through “Lightning Safety Awareness Week”, here are some statistics that hammer home the lightning threat locally:
  • Baton Rouge averages 70-75 days a year with thunderstorms. Or, in other words, about 1 out of every 5 days produces a t-storm 
  • Louisiana ranks 5th nationally in the number of lightning fatalities since 1952 with 142. Recent fatalities include one here in Baton Rouge in 2010, 2 in Ponchatoula in 2012, and 1 in Lake Charles in May of this year 
  • It is estimated that the odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime are around 1 in 10,000. Some estimates place the odds even higher than that. Consider those numbers versus your odds of winning the lottery. 

And finally, we should have a good opportunity to view the International Space Station (ISS) passing overhead tonight. The ISS should appear in the northwest sky around 9:12 PM, pass just about directly overhead and exit in the southeast sky around 9:15 PM. Good luck if you attempt to see it!

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