Monday, February 10, 2014

Rainy, Chilly Next Couple of Days

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

After a fairly nice weekend and welcomed highs in the 70°s for many of us on Sunday, it is clear that "Ol' Man Winter" is not done with Louisiana and much of the Deep South just yet.

Rainy, Chilly Weather Details

Another winter storm system is poised to impact much of the Bayou State starting late tonight and extended into early Wednesday.  Once again, a well-developed mid-/upper-air disturbance will take advantage of Gulf moisture and a cold, Canadian air mass to produce a swath of winter precipitation that will extend from the Southern Plains eastward to the Carolinas.
For northern Louisiana, this could mean ice accumulations of up to one-quarter-inch -- sufficient to damage trees and down powerlines.  And to our east, Atlanta is bracing for the potential of a near-repeat of the winter nightmare that paralyzed the city and surroundings just two weeks ago!

Any Wintry Precipitation?

Fortunately for most WAFB viewers, this won't be much more than a disagreeable cold-rain event.  Still, some of our more northern viewers -- including parts of SW Mississippi and sections of Avoyelles, northern St. Landry, and Catahoula and Concordia parishes -- will need to be on-guard for the possibility of freezing rain late Tuesday night into early Wednesday.  If -- IF -- this were to evolve into a freezing rain event for those locations, icing would not be so serious of a big problem as to produce significant power outages but Wednesday commuters in those areas could be dealing with slick spots during the morning drive.
So what about that rain in the coming days?
Yes, looks like we're going to be on a roll for continued "umbrella weather" for the next 36 hours or so -- it started this morning and will extend off-and-on into early Wednesday. While the real winter woes will remain to our north, it won't be all that pleasant around WAFB-land either.
Today has become one of those upside-down temperature days: most of us saw the day's high arrive in the morning with temperatures slowly falling through the afternoon.  A quasi-stationary front along the coast will keep most of us in the cooler air, although the really cold stuff should stay well to the north for the next couple of days.  However, add in a heavy cloud deck and frequent periods of rain right into early Wednesday, then factor-in daily highs in the 40°s for Tuesday and Wednesday, and you've got the ingredients for some rather cold-and-damp weather days ahead.

How much rain?

NWS Weather Prediction Center rainfall projections call for 2" of rain or more for many WAFB neighborhoods between today and Wednesday morning -- not enough for serious flood concerns but sure to make for standing water along area roadways and in the usual suspect spots.
With the rains shifting east early Wednesday, we'll head into a dry-out spell that looks like it will extend right through the upcoming weekend. 
Communities near and along the I-10/12 corridor will flirt with a freeze for Thursday's start, with freezes likely north of the interstate corridor and into SW Mississippi.  But that will be a one-day-deal for those communities, with no additional freezes in the forecast for the rest of the week and weekend.

Warmer into the Weekend!

The forecast gets better: a warming trend begins after Thursday morning's chill with sunshine taking just about all WAFB viewers into the mid to upper 50°s for Thursday afternoon.  And based on the latest guidance, we're calling for sunny and 60°s on Friday and a return to the 70°s for most of us on Saturday and Sunday.

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