Monday, January 19, 2015

Staying Mild Through Wednesday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- more clouds, mild for Tuesday and Wednesday
- rain returns for Thursday into Friday

Admittedly, our morning temperatures dropped several degrees lower than expected, with freezes reported across most of the Baton Rouge metro area to start the day.  But the air warmed quickly during the morning with most neighborhoods in the 40°s before 9:00am and many in the mid 60°s by lunchtime. 

No doubt about it: a beautiful Monday whether you were attending dedications and remembrance ceremonies, doing a little community service, or just enjoying a day off.  In fact, even if you had to work today (like us), the sunshine, blue skies and mild afternoon temperatures should have put a smile on your face.

It looks like we are done with freezes for a while, but the fine weather over the past few days certainly can’t last forever either.  We’ll go with morning lows in the mid 40°s for metro Baton Rouge on Tuesday with a Tuesday high near 70° under a sun/cloud mix to mostly cloudy skies.  Wednesday begins in the upper 40°s to near 50° for the Red Stick with highs in the upper 60°s.  For Wednesday, the morning starts under mostly-cloudy to cloudy skies, easing to a sun/cloud mix for the afternoon.  A weak (and dry) cool front slides through the lower Mississippi Valley late Tuesday night into early Wednesday; the modestly-cooler air behind Wednesday’s front won’t have much of any effect on Wednesday morning’s low given the cloud cover, but it should keep Wednesday afternoon highs a few degrees cooler.

We’ve been talking for a few days now about the developing weather coming on Thursday and Friday.  A mid/upper-level disturbance will become better organized as it exits the Southern Rockies and heads east across the Southern Plains.  As the same time, Wednesday’s front will stall over the Gulf.  An area of surface low pressure will form along the stalled front and track eastward over the open Gulf while the upper-air disturbance tracks east across the Gulf States.  The two features will be enough to keep us under the clouds for just about all of Thursday and Friday … and generate rains from Thursday into the first half of Friday. 

It will be a cold, “overrunning” rain for both days -- highs for Thursday and Friday will struggle to make the 50°s, especially for some of WAFB’s more northern neighborhoods. 

Rain totals will remain modest, so there’s no need to be concerned about any flood threats.  Very-early rain estimates for the viewing area from the NWS Weather Prediction Center suggest a north-to-south increasing gradient for the two-day totals, ranging from under 0.5” near and north of the LA/MS border up to 1.0” or more closer to the coast.  (We’ll keep an eye on these rain projections over the coming days.)  While we won’t rule out a rumble or two of thunder, especially along the coast, severe weather will not be a concern on Thursday or Friday either.

The rains should be ending from west-to-east during daytime hours on Friday, although it is still a little too soon to say when.  We’re thinking that the bulk of the rains should be off to the east before noon, although a few lingering showers could hang into the mid to late afternoon.  Regardless, skies should begin clearing well before Saturday’s sunrise. 

The upcoming weekend will be “cool-ish,” with morning starts in the 30°s and afternoon highs in the upper 50°s for the Capital City.  We’ll keep an eye on the Saturday morning outlook as some WAFB communities might flirt with a light wake-up freeze, but we’re expecting mainly-sunny skies on Saturday and fair to partly-cloudy skies for Sunday.  

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