Friday, November 7, 2014

Cool, Dry into the Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- dry through the weekend
- a little warmer early next week
- waiting on some rain

We started the day much cooler under clear skies with most WAFB neighborhoods slipping to the mid and upper 40°s for this morning’s sunrise.  A north to northeast breeze and occasional high clouds helped keep today’s highs in the low to mid 60°s for most of us in spite of the mainly sunny skies.

We’re expecting a few more clouds later tonight but not enough to stop an even larger drop in overnight area temperatures: plan on a Saturday sunrise in the low 40°s for metro baton Rouge, with some upper 30°s possible for some of our northern viewers.  Skies on Saturday should be generally fair for much of the morning, becoming partly cloudy into the late morning and afternoon.  We’re looking for mid-afternoon highs in the upper 60°s for the Red Stick. 

We’re still expecting a ‘dry’ front to slide through the viewing area Saturday evening: that’s the source of some of the late day clouds.  But rain with Saturday’s front?  Not a chance: bad news for those looking for a garden soaking but great news for the LSU Tiger faithful and the Jaguar Nation as the Red Stick hosts two big college home games on Saturday night.

The front clears the coast by early Sunday morning, having very little impact on our weather.  We expect Sunday morning lows in the low 40°s for metro Baton Rouge with afternoon highs in the upper 60°s to around 70° -- about 5° or so below the official norm but still quite pleasant under mainly sunny skies.

A modest warming trend sets in for Monday and Veterans Day (Tuesday) as most of us sit back and wait on some much-needed mid-week rains.  Our next fall front is scheduled for arrival in the Bayou State sometime late Tuesday into early Wednesday.  We’ll go with rain chances for the WAFB viewing area at about 20% for the latter half of Tuesday then call for scattered rains on Wednesday.

But … once again, the current extended range indicators are not very promising in terms of next week’s front being much of a rainmaker.  That outlook could change between now and then, but we aren’t very optimistic at this stage.  It looks like the front slides through without much in the way of rainfall, then stalls over the northern Gulf.  That leaves us with the hope of some ‘backside’ rains (light to moderate rains to the north of the surface front, sometimes called “overrunning” rains); however, those rains don’t look all that productive either.

Let’s face it: dry weather in the fall is welcomed by many -- like football and festival fans.  For farmers, it’s a bit of a mix: many are pleased by a run of dry weather that provides for efficient field work, especially for the sugarcane community at harvest time.  However, for others, the dry weather has stunted grass growth, leaving some pastures in fair to poor shape for livestock.  What’s more, we’re seeing some residents pulling out the sprinklers for the dry lawns and landscaping.  Without doubt, soil moisture conditions are becoming a little too dry across most of our viewing area and without any significant relief soon, we’re anticipating the U.S. Weekly Drought Monitor experts to officially post areas of drought for portions of southeast Louisiana next week.​

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

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