Thursday, November 7, 2013

Chilliest Night of the Season Ahead!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Even with the cold front well off to the east of the viewing area early this morning, mid- and high-level clouds kept skies gray later than we expected. Then add in the northerly breezes and temps in the upper 40°s to lower 50°s for many WAFB neighborhoods at sunrise and the day started out ‘feeling’ very chilly!

The clouds finally cleared the region from west-to-east through the day, delivering the afternoon’s promised sunshine. However, given the day’s cool start, the slow morning warm-up due to the clouds, and the gusty northerly winds our afternoon highs struggled to make the mid 60°s around metro Baton Rouge. In fact, many WAFB neighborhoods were still in the 50°s at lunchtime.

Yep -- it’s feeling like November -- in fact, we’ll be running a little cooler-than-normal for the next couple of days. But here’s some very good news: we’ll stay dry through the weekend, so make some plans to get out and enjoy! Surface high-pressure will shift eastward in the coming days, settling over the mid-Atlantic Seaboard by Saturday.

With a cool-and-dry Canadian air mass virtually on top of us today and tomorrow, the next couple of sunrises will be quite chilly. We’re expecting morning lows in the upper 30°s to low 40°s for most WAFB communities for Friday and a return to the low 40°s for metro Baton Rouge on Saturday morning -- which means folks up near and along the LA/MS state line could see another round of 30°s for the weekend start. Plan for Red Stick highs on Friday in the upper 60°s under mainly-sunny skies, then we’ll climb back to the low 70°s under partly-cloudy skies for the Capital City on Saturday.

The warming trend continues into Sunday under mainly-fair skies with afternoon highs in the mid to upper 70°s and the outlook for Monday -- Veteran’s Day -- is also a good one with fair to partly-cloudy skies and highs in the upper 70°s.

In the extended outlook, guidance is suggesting that a reinforcing cold front will slide from north-to-south through the Bayou State late Tuesday into early Wednesday. Given the “dry” nature of the air mass that will be in place as that front comes through, the front will be “starved” for moisture. The way it’s looking right now, we may see some clouds as the front pushes through, but if we do squeeze out a shower or two it is likely to be little more than a sprinkle. For now we’ll post a 20% rain chance for Wednesday, but that is probably being generous. And most of us will be back down into the 60°s for daytime highs on Wednesday and Thursday.

So all in all, it looks like a dry weekend and a dry work week ahead.

And while there's nothing to discuss in the tropical Atlantic, one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever observed on the planet made landfall in the Philippines Thursday afternoon (early Friday in the Philippines). Super Typhoon Haiyan (referred to as Yolanda in the Philippines) was estimated to have maximum sustained winds of 195 mph at landfall. For a point of reference, Katrina's maximum winds reached 175 mph in the central Gulf and Hurricane Camille (1969) was estimated to have winds up to 190 mph, although some debate the accuracy of that number.

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