Sunday, January 26, 2014

Prospects for More Wintry Precip Tues. & Wed.

Temperatures are about 10-15 degrees warmer this morning than yesterday morning.  

This warming trend will continue through the day today.  Highs will climb into the mid 60°s this afternoon under mostly cloudy skies.  At times today it may look like it will rain, but rain activity will hold off until overnight Sunday into Monday.  

Sct’d off and on rain showers will then be possible through Monday as our next cold front arrives.  Temperatures will start off in the low 50°s at daybreak. We may warm a few degrees during the late morning hours until the front passes around lunch.   Then temperatures will quickly fall.  We are pinpointing around 9 PM that rain showers may start to transition to freezing rain.

Wintry precipitation is once again in the forecast for Tuesday and early Wednesday morning.  Temperatures will be definitely cold enough to support wintry precipitation as we struggle to even reach 32° Tuesday afternoon and start off Wednesday bitterly cold with morning lows in the low 20°s.  Weather model guidance is indicating we could see a brief lull in precipitation early Tuesday, but the second half of Tuesday will see some if not all forms of frozen precipitation including freezing rain, sleet, and snow.  That means road hazards will be particularly worse during the evening commute rather than the morning commute.   

Titan 9 PrecisionCast indicating wintry precipitation across Southern half of viewing area early Tuesday.

Coverage will be fairly scattered so not everyone will see the wintry mix.  The best likelihood for wintry mix will actually be in and around metro Baton Rouge and areas south towards the Gulf Coast.  Accumulations will start to build up late Tuesday maxing out at around half an inch to maybe an inch.  With the higher coverage expected south of Baton Rouge, accumulation totals may be highest the farther south you go from Baton Rouge towards our coastal parishes.  A larger issue with accumulations may be ice build up or even snow build up on already weakened branches.  These branches could fall and knock out power to some across the area Tuesday and Wednesday.  Another thing to keep in mind is that even if you are lucky enough not to see any wintry precip, a hard freeze will occur Wednesday morning and the duration of freezing temperatures could exceed 36 hours from late Monday into Wednesday morning.

North American Model showing frozen precip still around early Wednesday morning.

At this time Wednesday morning's continuation of wintry precipitation should be confined for Southern sections of our viewing area as moisture begins to exit the region from NW to SE.  An additional quarter to half of an inch of accumulation may be possible.  By daybreak things should begin to dry out for most if not all of the WAFB viewing area.  The problem is that temperatures might not get back above freezing until the very late morning hours.  That means road conditions will still not be ideal as frozen precipitation will stay along elevated roadways and bridges possibly into the afternoon.

The overall pattern though looks to change later in the week.  Finally the cold winter grip the upper level trough has had on us this winter may relax beginning Thursday.  This will lead to a quick warm up as we head into next weekend. Future storm systems over the coming weeks should be more mild, but that may ramp up the risk for severe weather.  Highs will be back near 70° Saturday with lows closer to 50°.

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