Thursday, May 15, 2014

More Record Lows?

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB Storm Team QuickCast:

- another record low for Friday morning? 
- a modest warming trend ahead, but fine spring weather continues through the weekend

This morning’s sunrise arrived with upper 40°s to low 50° for many WAFB communities, setting new record lows all over the place! And the ‘dry’ Northwest-to-northerly winds made for a fine May afternoon, with most WAFB neighborhoods topping out in the low to mid 70°s. And there is still more great spring weather to come as we enjoy a prolonged run of rain-free days.

Thursday morning lows. Record lows indicated by an *.

Another Record Low on Friday?

Maybe the biggest weather question for the next few days will be about Friday morning’s low: another record low on the way? Baton Rouge’s current record low for Friday (May 16) is 51°, set in 2006. So how cool will it be for Friday’s wake-up? The answer will be determined mainly by how long of a delay we get before the surface winds shift around to the southwest.

Our latest guidance suggests a southwesterly component to the light, overnight winds developing as early as midnight: that would slow the pre-dawn temperature fall. However, if the swing to the SW holds off until something closer to sun-up, that would allow for a lower morning minimum. Remember, we’ve mentioned in the past how temperatures for the second morning are often the lowest during these kinds of brief cool snaps. This time around, it will largely depend on the overnight winds. We’ll call for a Metro Airport low of 50° again for Friday morning -- the same as we saw this morning and low enough to break another record.

Warmer Friday into the Weekend

We’ll begin a warming trend through the day on Friday and into the weekend as the winds maintain a southerly component (flow off the Gulf) over the coming days. Warmer, yes, yet still just fine for some outdoor fun or yard and garden work. We’ll see mainly sunny skies for Friday afternoon with highs around 80° or so, then it’s fair skies through the weekend with afternoon highs returning to the low 80°s for Saturday and climbing into the mid 80°s for Sunday.

Of course, the flow off the Gulf means an upward trend in humidity as well as temperatures, but the rise in both will be rather modest. Even Sunday afternoon should be reasonably comfortable outdoors. For the indoors, you’ll likely run the A/C ... and for outdoors, we recommend a little sunscreen.

Extended Outlook

Our forecast continues to stay essentially rain-free through the coming week. By the early part of the work week, we’ll be back to somewhat muggy morning starts in the 60°s with afternoons in the mid and upper 80°s under fair to partly-cloudy skies -- about normal for mid May. And as we mentioned yesterday, most of our reliable extended guidance not only keeps the work week dry, but keeps NEXT weekend dry too.

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