Wednesday, January 28, 2015

One More Spring-like Day on Thursday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- another spring-like day for Thursday
- cooler, stays dry for Friday & Saturday
- rain returns to the WAFB area on Sunday

Another beauty of a day today under blue skies, and many WAFB neighborhoods managed to climb back into the 70°s for the second straight day. What’s more, the spring-like afternoon weather continues into Thursday.

Skies will stay clear into the night with a few clouds moving in before sunrise. We’ll call it partly cloudy for Thursday’s start with maybe a patch or two of light fog and mild wake-up temperatures in the upper 40°s for metro Baton Rouge. Skies will stay partly cloudy through the day, but it gets a little warmer than today -- plan for highs in the mid 70°s for the Red Stick.

A ‘dry’ cold front slides through the region during the latter half of Thursday, delivering a shot of cooler air to all of us. Although Friday starts out in the mid 40°s across the metro area, the afternoon will be quite a bit cooler with highs expected to top-out in the low 60°s -- about normal for this time of year.

Headed into the weekend, clouds will be on the increase through Saturday, with a morning start in the upper 30°s to low 40°s and highs again in the low 60°s for metro BR. We’ll call it mostly cloudy as we head into Saturday afternoon and evening. While we could see a spotty sprinkle or two during the latter half of the day, most stay dry through Saturday evening into early Sunday.

The big change arrives by mid-day on Super Bowl Sunday. A storm system currently located in the eastern Pacific (to the west of Mexico) will serve as the focus for Sunday rains as it tracks to the northeast-then-eastward over the coming days. We’re not expecting a really stormy event: no concern at this time for severe storms although a thunderstorm or two can’t be ruled out. And for now, rain totals look like they will be rather modest, with most neighborhoods coming in at well under one inch for the day. (We’ll keep an eye on how the models adjust these numbers over the next few days.)

It should get much cooler for Monday and Tuesday, with highs only in the 50°s, and then our guidance shows the next rainmaker arriving sometime late Tuesday into Wednesday.

The winter storm is finally coming to an end for the U.S. Northeast. We’ve talked about it for a couple of days now: while Philadelphia, New York City and most of the mid-Atlantic didn’t get the huge snow totals that had been anticipated, eastern New England was walloped. Preliminary reports suggest a band of 30” to 36” snows extending from extreme southern Maine southward through southern New Hampshire, eastern Massachusetts, and into northern Rhode Island and parts of Connecticut. Even if those aren’t record numbers, the impacts have been serious, even deadly in a few cases. And that doesn’t include the tens of thousands that lost power in the extreme cold nor the millions of dollars in damage from the coastal storm surge produced by this mid-winter Nor’easter.

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