Temperatures were slow to fall last evening, with most neighborhoods still in the 50°s near midnight. But between midnight and sunrise, the “drying” air (dew points falling into the low 30°s), clear skies and relaxed winds allowed the bottom to drop out with the thermometer dropping 15° in less than six hours. Instead of lows near 40°, temps dropped into the 30°s for many WAFB neighborhoods by this morning’s sunrise.
Yet after that cold start to the day, sunshine warmed us nicely, taking just about everyone into the mid to upper 60°s by the mid-afternoon.
Our next cold front -- a Canadian front -- comes through early tomorrow morning. Plan on Wednesday morning lows in the mid to upper 30°s for metro Baton Rouge, but it will be a “dry” front. There’s simply not enough moisture available to generate more than some fair-weather clouds as the front slides by. With a reinforcing surge of cool-and-dry air behind the Canadian front, we can expect another sunny day for Wednesday. Maybe the biggest change for Wednesday will be a considerably cooler afternoon compared to recent days, with Wednesday’s highs only climbing into the low to mid 50°s for much of the viewing area.
By Thursday morning, we’ll really feel the effects of Wednesday’s front: the northern half of the WAFB viewing area can expect a light freeze to start the day, Baton Rouge’s first freeze since the memorable Arctic blast of January 6-8. But the morning cold won’t last long, as we expect Thursday afternoon temps to climb into the upper 50°s to lower 60°s under fair skies.
More interestingly, by Thursday afternoon, the third cold front of the week will be headed towards the lower Mississippi Valley, with the boundary expected to slide through south Louisiana sometime between very late Thursday and early Friday morning. At this stage, we’ll call Friday’s front “mainly dry” -- we can’t completely rule out an isolated shower or two as the front slides by, but we don’t expect any organized showers to develop and no notable accumulations.
Friday’s front will deliver an even colder air mass than Wednesday morning’s front. Highs on Friday will struggle to reach the low 50°s for metro Baton Rouge, with lows falling into the upper 20°s for the Red Stick on Saturday morning. Viewers north and east of Baton Rouge should get ready for a ‘hard freeze’ to start their weekend.
Even with the Saturday morning freeze and cooler-than-normal weather expect for both Saturday and Sunday, the weekend outlook is not all that bad for January. We expect lots of sunshine for both days, with Baton Rouge highs in the 50°s for Saturday and up around 60° or so for Sunday.