Friday, October 31, 2014

Freeze Watch for Sunday Morning!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:
- turning much cooler over the weekend
- FREEZE WATCH for the northern half of the viewing area on Sunday morning
- waiting on some rain

The way we see it, there are two weather stories in play for our area. The most immediate is the coming cold snap for the weekend. The other story deals with the “Abnormally Dry” conditions affecting much of the Florida Parishes.

First Up: the coming chill! A dry cold front is working north-to-south through the viewing area leading the way for a cold Canadian air mass. The front slipped through almost unnoticed this afternoon: fortunately, our Trick-or-Treaters will be done with their door-to-door visits before we get a real feel for the northern air mass. But by Saturday’s sunrise, there will be no doubts in anyone’s mind that a ‘real’ autumn has arrived.

We’re calling for Saturday morning lows in the upper 30°s for the Baton Rouge metro area with mid 30°s for many of WAFB’s northern communities -- the coldest morning since mid-April. Although there will be plenty of sunshine on Saturday, it will stay rather cool. We’re looking at highs only in the low 60°s for the Capital City and that means that some neighborhoods north and east of BR may not get out of the 50°s. Add in a northerly breeze and it will certainly be the coolest day of the season thus far.

Don’t forget: set clocks back one hour (you get an extra hour of sleep!) on your way to bed Saturday night. And check the batteries in those smoke alarms and NOAA weather radios too!

It’s colder still for Sunday morning! How about the low to mid 30°s for the Red Stick, with the possibility of a light freeze for some of our northernmost viewers? Say “hello!” to a taste of winter! That forecast has prompted a FREEZE WATCH on Sunday morning for all WAFB communities near and north of the I-12 (the Florida Parishes, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge and SW Mississippi).

Thankfully, we’ll begin a warming trend on Sunday afternoon, with Sunday’s highs in the mid to upper 60°s for most of us. The warm-up continues into the work week, with morning lows getting back into the 50°s and 60°s by mid-week and highs up into the 70°s to even around 80° for many neighborhoods.

So that leaves the “dry” weather over parts of the viewing area as the other weather story. The last two months have been dry ones for a large portion of the viewing area, although certainly not for every WAFB community. The largest two-month rainfall deficits are evident over the Florida Parishes, centered between the I-12 corridor and the LA/MS state line. Some of the largest two-month deficits are reported in central Livingston and central Tangipahoa parish areas, where rain totals since September 1st remain under 4” -- as low as 35% to 50% of normal in some spots. Not quite “drought” just yet, but getting worrisome, especially with regard to wildfire threats.

We still have rain in the forecast for the latter half of next week but admittedly our confidence is a bit lower today than it was yesterday as to when it arrives.

Meanwhile, it’s all quiet across the tropical Atlantic.

Have a great weekend!

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