Monday, December 23, 2013

Chilly Headed into Christmas!

The holiday ‘feel’ is back in the air in south Louisiana just in time for Christmas! A pair of weekend cold fronts resulted in a much cooler day today, with lows ranging from the upper 30°s to lower 40°s and highs that struggled to reach 50° in many WAFB neighborhoods. Perhaps the best part of today was the return of some sunshine this afternoon after a rather gloomy weekend.

The remainder of this holiday week’s weather can be summed up simply as cool and dry. Morning freezes are just about a certainty for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for most of our viewers – except those right along the coast – and afternoon highs will only reach the mid to upper 50°s on those days. While my current forecast keeps Baton Rouge just above freezing on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings, it’s certainly possible to see a brief freeze on any of those days as well.

The good news is there will be no wet weather to deal with for last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve or for the family get-togethers on Christmas Day. Just make sure you’ve got the sweaters and jackets ready to keep warm!

Overall, little change is expected into the weekend, with dry weather continuing and just a very modest warm-up. We may see a few isolated showers by the early part of next Monday as quick-moving cold front passes through.

Finally, do you remember how cold it was on this date 24 years ago? December 23, 1989 is one of the coldest days on record for much of the Deep South, including our part of the world. The remarkably cold low temperatures on this date in 1989 included 8° in Baton Rouge, 4° in McComb, 10° in Houma, and 11° in New Orleans. While the coldest temperatures occurred on the 23rd, it was a prolonged run of very cold weather that began on the 21st and extended into Christmas. During that stretch, Baton Rouge saw 64 straight hours at or below freezing and a total of 25 hours at or below 15°! The bitterly cold air also resulted in ice on many area lakes, including the LSU lakes and Lake Pontchartrain…a true rarity!

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