Thursday, March 13, 2014

Clouds Friday, Rain for the Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB Storm Team QuickCast:

- clear skies not as cold overnight
- breezy & warmer with clouds returning during the day on Friday
- 70°s for the weekend, but rain appears likely
It certainly was a chilly morning, in fact some of our more northern viewers briefly dipped to around freezing for the morning start.  But blue skies and sunshine meant a steady warm-up after sunrise with today’s highs topping out in the 60°s for just about everyone.
Skies will stay mainly clear through the evening and the overnight but southerly winds will mean milder overnight and early morning lows -- we’re calling for minimums around 40° for metro Baton Rouge.  The southerly winds will be a little more active during the day on Friday, bringing in more Gulf moisture.  We’ll see the clouds on the increase through the day, becoming mostly cloudy by the late afternoon and evening.  Highs should reach about 70° for the Capital City.

Turning Wet This Weekend

We’re going with afternoon highs in the 70°s for both Saturday and Sunday, but unfortunately, rain returns to the forecast and messes up a good bit of the weekend. 
However, St. Patrick’s revelers, not to worry about the parade: “The Wearing of the Green” rolls on Saturday morning.  Although the morning line-up and parade kick-off may be under the clouds, we’ve got isolated showers -- at best -- during the parade window (10am – 1pm).  That’s just not enough to worry about.

Threat of Severe Weather?

The weather looks like it gets a little “bumpier” later in the day on Saturday, with rain likely from the late afternoon or early evening into Sunday.  The NWS Storm Prediction Center even has areas west of the Atchafalaya Basin posted with a “Slight Risk” for severe weather through early Sunday, so we'll keep an eye on the potential for severe weather.
The big question about the weekend’s wet weather is what happens during the latter half of Sunday.  Right now, two of our key extended range models keep rain in the area for just about the entire day and even into Sunday night, while our in-house RPM currently suggests that the rains may end sometime during the day.  In either case, the first half of Sunday certainly looks wet.
The weekend weather will be courtesy of a disturbance currently spinning over the U.S. Southwest.  The system is expected to track essentially due east in the coming days and continue along the path into early next week.  As it moves from the Southwest into the Southern Plains, it will be further fueled by Gulf moisture.  The latest projection from the NWS Weather Prediction Center calls for weekend rains ranging from 0.5” to 1.5” across the viewing area, with the larger totals generally located over WAFB’s southern communities.

Extended Outlook

Skies will clear on Monday and it turns cooler once again, with Monday’s highs only in the low 60°s for the Red Stick.  We’ve got highs returning to the 70°s by mid-week, with another cool front arriving early Thursday.

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