Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Freeze Warning for Wednesday Morning!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

The FREEZE WARNING remains in effect as issued yesterday, with areas near and north of the I-10/12 corridor under the WARNING from 2:00am until 9:00am.

Officially, all of Southwestern Mississippi, the Florida Parishes and Ascension and Iberville parishes are included in the FREEZE WARNING, but only WAFB’s more northern viewers are looking at an event of more than a few hours.
Mississippi counties can expect lows in the upper 20°s by Wednesday morning, with freeze durations of 4 to possibly 6 hours in some places.  Most of the Florida Parishes can expect freezing temperatures for less than 4 hours, except for those living right up along the state line.  Neighborhoods along and just south of the interstate will likely see temps at or below 32° for a couple of hours.

Bottom line:  this is not a “pipe-wrapping” freeze.

A birdbath, a shallow puddle, maybe the dog’s outside water bowl -- those might freeze over here and there, but pipes along the sides of homes are going to be fine.  Those pipes will have more than enough heat stored in them to stave off this brief light freeze. 

But speaking of the dog bowl, make sure that outdoor pets have places to get out of the cold and the wind.  Northerly winds will remain in the 5-10 mph range overnight, occasionally sneaking into the ‘teens -- early morning 'wind chill' readings will likely dip into the mid 20°s for metro Baton Rouge and down into the low 20°s for much of SW Mississippi.

By the way, we are occasionally asked:  "Does ‘wind chill’ apply to my pipes?”  The answer is no. 
While high winds can allow objects to cool faster -- higher winds effectively pulling stored heat out of an object more quickly -- the object can’t get cooler than the air around it, no matter how fast the wind is blowing.  ‘Wind chill’ is calculated for humans only and is an ‘apparent’ temperature -- what it feels like.  And yes, even pets and livestock experience a ‘wind chill’ effect, although their coats offer protection that effectively lowers the chilling rate of high winds as compared to humans.

As for Wednesday morning, once the sun breaks the horizon, the day’s warm-up kicks-in with temps quickly rising above freezing.  Although Wednesday afternoon will stay cool-ish with highs only in the 50°s for many of us, most WAFB communities will be back in the 40°s by or before 10:00am.

We likely see another round of light freezes for parts of WAFBland near sunrise on Thursday morning, but for now at least it looks like Thursday’s wake-up lows may not be quite as low as what we'll see on Wednesday morning.  In addition,  durations for Thursday morning's light freezes -- where they do occur -- will be shorter as well.

And after Thursday morning, “Old Man Winter” retreats to the north. We’ll have 60°s for highs on Thursday afternoon, with 70°s for Friday and the weekend.  In fact, the Sunday outlook suggests many neighborhoods could be flirting with the 80°s.

In addition to a significant warm-up, we'll also see returning rain chances as we move into the weekend. The large 'dip' currently seen in the jet stream that is allowing cold air to plunge all the way to the Gulf Coast will quickly retreat to the north and be replaced by a southwesterly flow at the mid and upper-levels of the atmosphere. That southwest flow has two important implications for our weekend weather: 1) a significant warm-up, and 2) rains return to the forecast.

Scattered showers and t-storms are in the forecast each day from Friday through Sunday, but no single day looks like a washout. Keep your plans, but also make sure you have our free weather app for your smartphone to keep an eye on the rains. Best rain chances are expected on Monday in association with our next cold front.

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