Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Warming Up!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

“Goodbye, Hard Freezes!” ... if only for now. Well, at least for most of us. Viewers up along and north of the state line could see a light freeze tonight, but most WAFB neighborhoods should stay above freezing tonight.

(Remember - there are still another six to eight weeks in the season for another one of these Arctic blasts!)

Our forecast goes with a low of 36° for Baton Rouge for Thursday’s sunrise -- still below-normal but nothing like the record-breaking and record-tying morning starts over these past two mornings! Thank an increase in clouds and winds turning around from the east for the more moderate overnight and early morning temps.

We started the warm-up in earnest today, with most of WAFBland climbing to 50° or more this afternoon. We’re expecting 60°s for Thursday and Friday, possibly reaching 70° for Saturday.

So leave the heavy coats home tomorrow -- but it is time to re-locate that umbrella. 

While we’ll stay dry under a sun/cloud mix through Thursday, our next visiting cold front will start organizing over the Southern Plains tomorrow and sweep through the Bayou State late Friday into early Saturday. Pre-frontal rains will start arriving by late Friday afternoon and continue into the night and early Saturday. Fortunately, most of the guidance has this system moving through on a steady pace with clearing skies by the latter half of the day Saturday.

So, yes, the front certainly looks “wet” ... but preliminary indicators suggest little in the way of a severe weather threat with the front’s passage. We’ll keep an eye on this over the next 24 to 48 hours to see if anything changes.

Yet maybe of even more comfort is the fact that unlike the last frontal passage, the weekend front won’t be followed by another Arctic surge. Instead, the air mass behind Saturday’s front will be a Pacific Ocean air mass. For us, air off the Pacific can still be quite chilly at times, but nothing like the bitterly-cold air we just experienced. With this go-around, our current forecast calls for only modestly-cooler temperatures for Sunday under mostly sunny skies.

We expect another quick-moving front to slide through the viewing area late Monday into early Tuesday. The extended outlook suggests that the Monday/Tuesday front will be short on moisture, so any rains that it does produce will be limited. Look for clearing skies by Tuesday afternoon with another modest drop in daily temperatures.

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