Thursday, January 29, 2015

Much Cooler for the Weekend!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

 WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- cooler for the next 7 days or more, but no freezes
- rain returns on Sunday

“Goodbye 70°s!” 

It sure has been fun while it lasted, with today being the third consecutive day in the 70°s under fair skies.  The afternoon temperatures we’ve enjoyed over the last few days have been as much as 8° to 12° or more higher than normal for late January … it’s time to get back closer to something more typical for this time of year.  In fact, by next week, afternoon temperatures could be running as much as 10° below normal!  Such are the big (and frequent) swings in daily temperatures that we often see in the winter months.

And we admit, our temperature forecasts this week have been less than stellar, occasionally missing by more than a handful of degrees with both the morning lows and the afternoon highs.  Today was a great example.  Our forecast last night called for mid to upper 40°s for the morning lows and afternoon highs in the mid 70°s: what we got were lows close to 40° and highs in the upper 70°s for many metro area neighborhoods.  Sometimes, all the computer guidance in the world can’t “out think” and predict what Mother Nature decides to do.

What we do know is that a ‘dry’ cold front will be sliding south through the WAFB viewing area later this evening.  While it brings no rain, the front will deliver a “cooler-but-not-cold” continental air mass that will put an end to our recent run of spring-like days. 

We’ll start Friday off in the 40°s, but highs will struggle to reach 60° in many WAFB communities for Friday afternoon under partly cloudy .  It will be even chillier for Saturday morning, with upper 30°s expected for lows around the Red Stick.  Clouds will be on the increase during the latter half of Saturday, although we have now taken the modest rain chances we had been including for Saturday afternoon off the Saturday forecast board.  Saturday afternoon remains cool like Friday, with highs on Saturday around 60° to the low 60°s.

As we’ve been describing for a few days, a storm system currently over the eastern Pacific will become our Sunday rainmaker.  We’re not talking a lot of rain and no real threat for anything severe.  The latest forecast from the NWS Weather Prediction Center calls for rains on the order of one-quarter to one-half inch for most of the viewing area.

The rains wind down Sunday evening into early Monday, but behind Sunday’s system comes another cool, continental surge, likely delivering highs only in the low to mid 50°s for Monday and Tuesday.  Temperatures will rebound into Wednesday, but that comes with another round of rains.

Bottom line: get ready for a return of South Louisiana winter for the next 7 to 10 days or more.

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