Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Chilly Weather Continues!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- cloudy, damp and chilly into Thursday morning
- slow clearing but staying cool for Thursday afternoon
- FREEZE WATCH for Thursday night into Friday morning

Today was a rather ugly, raw November day under the clouds with occasional sprinkles and passing light rains that kept things just damp enough to add to the air’s ‘winter-ish’ feel. And today was one of those upside-down temperature days, with the high occurring right at midnight with temperatures generally trending downward for most of the day.

The mid- and high-level clouds moving over us from the west and southwest had just enough moisture to occasionally squeeze out a sprinkle or a brief light shower through the day. That will continue tonight and into Thursday morning -- not enough rain to make a difference for the backyard but just enough to require an occasional swipe by the windshield wipers and to keep the air feeling colder than it really is.

Add in a Thursday morning start in the upper 30°s for the Red Stick and you’ve got a classic January morning right in the middle of November. Clouds will start to clear during the latter half of Thursday -- too late to allow for much of a warm-up but soon enough to allow temperatures to start a near free-fall under mainly-clear skies after Thursday’s sunset. We’ll call for a high around 50° for Thursday -- that’s better than 20° below normal for this time of year.

And then? Time for the down comforters and flannel pajamas for Thursday night!

The National Weather Service has issued a FREEZE WATCH for most of the WAFB viewing area for Friday morning -- expect that to be upgraded to a FREEZE WARNING later tonight or early Thursday. We’re calling for upper 20°s for most of metro Baton Rouge and that could mean a couple of WAFB’s communities along and north of the LA/MS state line could sneak down to the mid 20°s.

We are not too concerned about the freeze duration for this event: this will NOT be a “pipe-wrapper” ... but please remember the pets. And what about those extra-tender plants? You may not need to bring them all the way indoors but get them under the carport or under an extended overhang.

After the morning’s “first freeze” of the season, Friday afternoon remains cool under sunny skies. And then here comes another freeze for Saturday morning: not quite as cold, however, with lows around 30° for the Red Stick. Saturday afternoon should be mainly fair with highs climbing to near 60°.

Heading into Sunday, we’ll warm things up considerably as an upper-air disturbance brings Gulf warmth and moisture into the region. Rain is likely for Sunday into Monday: goods news for most of us with the NWS Weather Prediction Center currently suggesting as much as 1” to 2” of rain for most of our area.

Although milder temperatures will come with the rain, we recommend that you keep the winter coats handy for next week. Another shot of cold Canadian air follows behind Sunday and Monday’s wet weather, with another round of freezes in the extended outlook for the early to middle part of next week.

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