Monday, February 17, 2014

Areas of Fog Next Couple of Mornings

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

It was a Presidents Day under the clouds, but all-in-all it was quite comfortable with sunrise temps in the 50°s and afternoon readings in the mid to upper 70°s. In fact, today's high of 78° in Baton Rouge was the warmest in nearly 2 months -- just below the 80° we recorded on Dec. 20 & 21, 2013.

Everyone stayed dry today and while the forecast includes a slight chance of rain over the next couple of days, many of us can expect near-repeats for Tuesday and Wednesday.  The one difference over the coming days will be better chances of fog for the morning commute.
Yes, the 70°s are here for at least the next three days - - a welcomed reprieve from the recent cold weather.  In fact, we expect temperatures to remain relatively mild right through the upcoming weekend.  All indications are that the Polar jet stream will remain to our north through the week, allowing for the mild-to-warm temperatures throughout the South.
A weak cool front will slip into the WAFB viewing area later this evening and linger as a quasi-stationary front over the lower Mississippi Valley into Tuesday before dissipating.  A second cool front heads our way on Wednesday, but also looks like it will essentially fizzle out during or even before its arrival.  Since neither front is expected to generate much lift, we expect little more than just a few showers in the viewing area over the next two days -- we’re setting rain chances at 20% or less for both days. 
Our guidance shows a more energetic front arriving during the latter half of Thursday into early Friday.  Preliminary guidance from the NWS Storm Prediction Center (NWS/SPC) shows a potential for severe weather with Thursday’s front, but keeps the threat well to our north.  At the same time, the NWS Weather Prediction Center (NWS/WPC) suggests that the late-week front could produce one-inch or more of rain over the WAFB viewing area as it passes by.  We'll watch as the scenario comes into better focus through the week.
Our forecast confidence is rather low for now as we look into the coming weekend.  Some of the guidance suggests that the Thursday/Friday front will stall and possibly retreat northward as a warm front into the weekend, making it difficult to define rain probabilities.  Our key models are also differing on the weekend solution.
We’ll have to watch and wait on the developments in the coming week.  For now, we’ll go with 20% to 30% rain chances for both weekend days, with a sweeping front clearing everything out on Monday.

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