Monday, February 23, 2015

Light Freezing Rain Possible for Areas NW of Baton Rouge

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- temps continue falling through the night
- freezing rain potential to the north and west

Our weekend forecast didn’t turn out so well … and the forecast for the next 12 to 24 hours doesn’t get much easier.  The big question now: “What are the chances for frozen precipitation in our viewing area tonight?”

Let’s start with what we do know.  There’s really no chance for snow and little to no chance for sleet anywhere in the WAFB viewing area tonight or early tomorrow.  A rather thick layer of warm air in the mid-levels of the atmosphere eliminates the snow option and should be prohibitive to any sleet development even over the northern and western sections of our viewing area.

Temperatures will fall through the evening and overnight but the majority of the WAFB viewing area should remain above freezing.  However, some of our northern WAFB communities will get down to freezing before dawn, and that has prompted the National Weather Service to expand the “Freezing Rain Advisory” to now include all of SW Mississippi, the Felicianas, Pointe Coupee Parish and locations in central and western Louisiana.

Even metro Baton Rouge will get very close to freezing, with some of the metro area’s neighborhoods likely to at least briefly drop to 32°.  We recommend the metro area morning commuters need to vigilant over elevated bridges tomorrow morning.

The issue in many cases will be the amount of moisture.  We’re thinking only isolated showers after midnight, when the freezing rain threat will be the greatest.  A generaly lack of rainfall should limit the onset of roadway icing, even in those areas where temperatures are below freezing for an extended period of time.  As a result, we don’t expect icing to be a widespread problem for Tuesday morning.  Any travel issues will be limited to bridges and elevated roads in the WAFB portion of the current “Advisory” zone – and that will depend on if whether enough rain has fallen to allow a glaze to develop. 

Just be smart.  Everyone on the roads at or before sunrise tomorrow north of the I-10/12 corridor should be cautious.

Any rains on Tuesday are likely to be gone by the early morning, so the afternoon stays mainly dry.  We’re expecting clouds through most of the day, although we may see some breaks with sunshine during the afternoon.  That formula keeps us cool all day long, although at least some of us could get into the 50°s for the afternoon, even if only briefly. 

Everyone stays above freezing for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, with rains on the return in the morning hours.  The rains and clouds keep things chillier on Wednesday with highs topping out in the 40°s.  Look for rain totals of an inch or more for much of the viewing area.

A dry-out begins for Wednesday night into Thursday, but that comes with another cold night as the Red Stick drops to around freezing by Thursday’s sunrise.  A return of at least limited sunshine on Thursday should get most of us back into the 50°s for the afternoon.  Then it’s another light freeze for the overnight into Friday morning for Baton Rouge, with highs on Friday returning to the 50°s once again.

So it’s a work week of below-normal temperatures … what about the weekend?

Baton Rouge returns to the 30°s for Saturday morning, with a warming trend pushing highs into the 60°s for the afternoon.  We’ll carry spotty showers in the Saturday forecast and isolated showers for Sunday, when afternoon temperatures are expected to reach the 70°s.​

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