Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cooler into the Weekend

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- continued clearing tonight, much cooler for Friday AM
- cool and dry weekend ahead

As expected, we had a little fog and a few lingering showers for the early morning commute. Although we did see a blip or two on radar into the afternoon, just about all of the rains ended across the viewing area by the mid-to-late morning. In fact, there were occasional peaks of sunshine during the afternoon but a fairly dense deck of clouds remained over most of the region through the afternoon and into the early evening. After a mild morning start in the 60°s, the cooler air behind the front combined with the day’s clouds to keep highs for a majority of WAFB neighborhoods in the low 70°s.

Skies will clear into the evening and overnight, with Friday morning temperatures dropping into the mid 40°s for metro Baton Rouge. Highs on Friday will reach the mid 60°s for most of us as the northerly winds deliver a cooler and less humid continental air mass to the Gulf Coast region. It will be a mostly sunny day, with occasional thin, high clouds sliding in from the west.

Our forecast remains dry through the weekend. Expect Saturday morning lows in the upper 30°s to low 40°s for much of the WAFB viewing area with Saturday highs in the mid to upper 60°s under mostly sunny skies. We still anticipate a weak, dry cold front to move into the lower Mississippi Valley early Sunday morning, but the most that the weekend front does is generate some cloud modest cover: we’ll call for partly cloudy skies from Saturday evening into early Sunday with Sunday sunrise lows in the low 40°s for the Red Stick. By Sunday afternoon, it’s back to mainly sunny skies with highs in the mid to upper 60°s for most of our viewers.

A brief warming trend early next week takes afternoons back into the 70°s for Monday and Tuesday ahead of the next anticipated cold front. We’ll go with a 20% to 30% rain chance for Tuesday afternoon and early evening -- Veterans Day -- with scattered showers and maybe a few rumbles of thunder for Wednesday. For now, next week’s front looks “wetter” than what we saw last night and early this morning ... but confidence is not all that high, especially given our dry trend that has persisted since the start of September.

And without doubt, many people are disappointed with the paltry rain totals that most of us received during the last 24 hours. As we anticipated, the larger rain totals in our viewing area were generally to the north, northwest and west of the Capital City, but even those were below one-quarter of an inch in almost all cases. And as expected, rain totals trended downward to the east and southeast of the metro area. While we did find a couple of sites that reported 0.2” or more, the majority of locations came in at under a tenth of an inch … with a number of raingage sites reporting no “measurable” rainfall -- in other words, a ‘trace’ at most with some sites reporting no rain whatsoever.

That is NOT what the (lawn) doctor ordered!

Meanwhile, nothing of any concern in the tropical Atlantic as the official hurricane season (ending November 30th) continues to wind down.

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