Monday, March 17, 2014

Cold Start on Tuesday!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB Storm Team QuickCast:

- clearing skies and headed into the 30°s tonight
- nice warm-up for Tuesday under mostly sunny skies
- milder and dry through the rest of the work week
A chilly day for WAFB viewers indeed as most WAFB neighborhoods never made it into the 50°s this afternoon!  The winds are running out of the northwest and north and the dew points have fallen into the 30°s -- all we are waiting on now is for the skies to clear.  As of this afternoon, the clearing line has already made it into northwestern Louisiana and is approaching the LA/TX state line in the southern half of the state.  We anticipate WAFB skies will clear from west-to-east across the WAFB viewing area later this evening. 

Cold AM, Much Warmer PM on Tuesday

Taken together, we’re headed for a cold night and Tuesday sunrise: mid to upper 30°s for metro Baton Rouge with some communities to the north and east of the Capital City flirting with a light freeze once again!  Winter may officially come to an end on Thursday, but the “Old Man” is going out with a chilly bang rather than a mild whimper!
The good weather news for this week comes in the way of daytime highs, with 70°s on the forecast board for each day.  Even with Tuesday’s cold start, we think that most of the southern half of the WAFB viewing area will still sneak into the 70°s briefly during the afternoon under mostly sunny skies.  And after tomorrow, mid 70°s will be the rule for metro Baton Rouge right into the weekend.  Morning lows will be much milder after Tuesday morning as well.  In addition, even though the forecast calls for a cool front to slide through the region on Wednesday, we’ll keep the forecast dry into the weekend.

Rains Returning for the Weekend?

So the first days of spring -- Thursday and Friday -- look rather inviting.  Sadly, the weather takes a turn to the “wet” as we head into the weekend.  For Saturday, our main models are a bit split in terms of rain chances: for now, we’ll go with a 30% to 40% rain chance for the latter half of the day.  Sunday looks a bit “wetter” than Saturday and Monday looks even “wetter” as a disturbance moves from the Texas coast towards the Bayou State.

Unusually Cold for Mid-March?

Given the unusual run of winter weather this season, you may be wondering, “How unusual is it to have a low around 36° after the middle of March?”  For Baton Rouge, it’s really not that unusual. Historical statistics show that there is a 4-in-10 chance for a low of 36° or below on or after March 18th and roughly a 20% chance for two or more days at 36° or below in the coming weeks. 
In fact, there is still roughly a 1-in-10 chance for another light freeze!  Given the cold outbreaks we’ve seen this winter, we’re keeping our heavy jackets within arm’s reach for another couple of weeks.

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