WAFB First Alert Quickcast:- thick cloud deck persists
- rains move in tonight into Thursday morning
- a little warmer over the weekend
The clouds have taken hold and their firm grip continues through the night and well into Thursday. In fact, it now looks like the rains we’ve been talking about for several days will hang around later into the day on Thursday than what we previously thought. If you remember, yesterday we had the rains around mid-day or so with skies clearing through the mid to late afternoon. The latest guidance now keeps the rains in the area past noon, then slowly tapering off into the late afternoon.
So it will be a wet morning drive with the last lingering showers still in the area for the evening commute. The clouds also hang around longer too: with the slow clearing not beginning until the early evening.
All that means a couple of things in terms of temperatures. Like yesterday and today, the heavy deck of clouds kept afternoon temperatures for many WAFB neighborhoods in the upper 30°s to 40°s -- nearly 20° below seasonal norms. But like last night and early this morning, the clouds will also keep overnight and early morning lows on Thursday a little warmer than we would expect under fair skies, given the steady low-level northerly winds.
We’ll call for a Thursday morning low in the upper 30°s for the Baton Rouge metro area. So it’s a cold start to the day and remember, you’ll want the umbrella as you step out the door tomorrow morning. The rains will begin overnight with the first isolated showers possibly arriving in the WAFB viewing area before midnight. The rain coverage expands through the pre-dawn hours, making for that wet morning drive and bus ride for the youngsters. Yesterday we were thinking about a 50% to maybe a 60% rain chance for the Red Stick: now we’re upping that to 70% or more.
Thursday’s “overrunning” rains under gray skies will be fueled by an area of low pressure over the northern Gulf, which gets an upper-air “assist” from a disturbance passing by to our north. There is no threat for severe weather: any active thunderstorms should remain over the Gulf as the surface low moves to the east. So these won’t be heavy rains … just a “cold” rain. We’re thinking rain totals by Thursday evening for most of us will come in somewhere between 0.1” to 0.3” with totals approaching a half-inch along the coast.
Once the winter Gulf low and the upper-air energy shift farther to the east, we’ll see a welcomed clearing of our skies. But the northerly surface flow remains in play throughout Thursday and into Friday. We’ll lose the “insulating/blanketing” effect of the clouds for our overnight temperatures and that means a colder start for Friday morning under fair skies. The Capital City will flirt with a light morning freeze to start Friday and our friends along the LA/MS border could see lows in the upper 20°s.
But with mainly clear skies through the day, the sunshine should get most WAFB neighborhoods into the mid to upper 50°s by Friday afternoon. It’ll be another cold start for Saturday, with sunrise temperatures for many of us in the low to mid 30°s, but fair to partly-cloudy skies during the day gets us in the low 60°s for Saturday afternoon -- something closer to mid-January normal highs.
The forecast for Sunday is a good one too, with a morning start in the 40°s and afternoon highs in the 60°s for just about everyone. All in all, a fine looking January weekend, and well-deserved after such a cloud, chilly and all-around disagreeable work week.
Our current extended forecast now remains mild and mostly-dry through mid-week.