Tuesday, February 11, 2014

More Rain Overnight

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Just about the only good thing we can say regarding today’s weather is that it didn’t rain all day long.  Other than that, we still had a winter feel to the day with Baton Rouge area temperatures struggling just to get into the 40°s.  And for many WAFB communities north of the Red Stick, 40°s would have been a treat!
While many of us had some dry time today, don’t think that we are done with the rain.  In fact, the next wave of rain moved back into much of the viewing area by mid-afternoon and we even had a couple of flashes of lightning picked up by the detector to our west.
Another mid-/upper-level disturbance is heading into the region from the west, ready to deliver more rain through a good deal of the overnight hours.  In fact, we’ll keep scattered rains in the forecast well into Wednesday morning.  Just about all of the models call for an end to the rain in our viewing area by-or-before noon.
As with last night’s rains, this upcoming disturbance has the potential for delivering another inch of more of rain for many WAFB neighborhoods before it clears the region and heads east.  That’s not enough rain to cause flooding problems, even when we add in the 0.5” to 1.5” some communities reported early this morning, but it will be enough when added together to cause some standing water for the usual problem areas.  And those backyards and gardens should be extra soggy now for many of us.
For all locations in the WAFB viewing area, anything that falls tonight and early tomorrow should be all-liquid, thanks to a “warm air” layer aloft.  With the clouds and next round of rains on the way tonight, metro Baton Rouge temperatures will bottom-out above freezing overnight and into the early morning -- we’re calling for a Baton Rouge low in the mid 30°s.  All of that translates into no winter-type precipitation (snow or sleet) and no freeze threat for the Baton Rouge area.
However, there is a slight chance for a little freezing rain for viewers to the northwest and north of the BR metro area.  The Lake Charles NWS office has posted a “Winter Weather Advisory” for Avoyelles, St. Landry and Evangeline parishes and points west: the Advisory is in effect from 6PM this evening until 8AM Wednesday, with the main concern being freezing rain.
For those along and north of the LA/MS state line, the Slidell NWS office appears unlikely to post a formal Advisory for this evening and tonight, although the office does acknowledge a slight chance of “frozen precip” (again, a freezing rain concern) for those areas in the early morning hours. 
So the question boils down to whether surfaces will be at-or-below freezing by the early morning hours and how long those freezing temps might persist.
WAFB viewing areas near and north of the LA/MS state line -- and sections of northern Pointe Coupee and St. Landry parishes as well as Avoyelles -- could dip to freezing or so by the early morning hours.  Admittedly, if freezing rain does develop in some spots, it could linger for a while into the day as we await the slow Wednesday warm-up. All in all, however, we think that the threat of significant icing is very low.
Look for clearing to begin during the afternoon on Wednesday, but it stays chilly: highs top out in the mid to upper 40°s for the Capital City, and only reach the low to mid 40°s to the north of BR.
Skies will continue to clear overnight into early Thursday morning and that will set-up the northern half of the WAFB viewing area for a light morning freeze.  Thankfully, however, sunshine will take everyone back up above freezing by or before mid-morning.
As promised, we still see a warming trend beginning Thursday afternoon and extending right through the weekend.  What’s more, we’ll stay dry through the weekend too -- a double bonus, at least for most of us!
Our forecast calls for a Friday morning start in the mid to upper 30°s under sunshine with highs in the upper 60°s.  Fair skies will rule the weekend with highs flirting with the 70°s for Saturday and Sunday.

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