Thursday, November 14, 2013

Warmer, Isolated Showers on Friday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta
Much of the Baton Rouge metro area missed out on a light freeze this morning, but as we hinted in yesterday’s forecasts, many communities to the north and east of metro BR saw morning lows dip a degree or two lower this morning compared to Wednesday morning.
Based on reports from automated weather stations at airports around the region, Baton Rouge bottomed-out at 33° compared to Wednesday’s low of 32°; New Roads just missed a morning freeze with a low today of 33°.  McComb (Pike Co. Airport) dropped to 30° this morning compared to yesterday’s low of 31°, and farther east, in Slidell, the low was 31° earlier this morning compared to a low on Wednesday that was above freezing.
And now we say “adios” to the winter temps as a steady warm-up is underway.  After highs today in the 60°s, Friday morning lows will only drop into the upper 40°s to low 50°s for most WAFB neighborhoods.  And we’ve got highs in the 70°s on the forecast boards for Friday and Saturday, with some WAFB areas flirting with highs around 80° or so by Sunday!
Remember our “roller-coaster weather” comments yesterday?  Think about it, Metro Airport was in the low 70°s at lunchtime on Tuesday afternoon, then dropped to freezing by Wednesday morning -- a 40° swing in about 18 hours.  Then after this morning’s lows, we may be up around 80° by Sunday?
Heaters earlier this morning ... air-conditioners by the weekend!?!?
Increasing chances for rain will accompany the warm-up in the coming days.  We’ll throw in a slight chance of rain for Friday morning -- at 20% or less -- then post spotty rain chances (less than 20%) for Friday afternoon.  Saturday should be mainly-dry -- we’ll go with rain chances at 20% for Saturday afternoon -- but those percentages take a big jump up from late Sunday into early Monday.
A storm system will be building over the U.S. Plains on Saturday, which will pull a cold front through the lower Mississippi Valley by early Monday.  Given the warm temps and moist air mass in place over our viewing area ahead of the advancing system, scattered rains  -- showers and t-storms -- are expected by Sunday afternoon with rain becoming “likely” for Sunday evening and continuing through the overnight hours.
The exact timing and strength of the Sunday/Monday cold front remains uncertain at this point. In terms of the timing, the front may roll through quickly enough so that all of the rain will have ended before the start of Monday’s morning commute. As for the threat of severe weather, it’s too early to make concrete conclusions.  However, for now we’re thinking that we will have some thunderstorms accompanying the front but the primary severe threats will remain well to our north as the front slides through.
Early indicators from the NWS Weather Prediction Center show that WAFB neighborhoods can expect around 0.5” to 1.0” of rain with this event, with locally-higher totals under and along some of the paths of the bigger thunderstorms.  But then, hey, many of us could use a little rain in our backyards.
Cooler air will settle over the region following the frontal passage, but it won’t be anything like the polar chills we’ve seen the past two mornings.

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