Monday, February 9, 2015

Much Cooler on Tuesday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- cooler for the rest of the week, stays dry
- morning freeze on Friday

We say “Goodbye!” to our recent run of spring-like weather as Ol’ Man winter makes a return to the viewing area later tonight.  A dry cold front is headed to the Gulf this afternoon and evening, and while many WAFB neighborhoods saw highs today in the upper 70°s, the cool-and-dry continental air mass behind this afternoon’s front will take temperatures down into the upper 30°s to low 40°s for most of us by Tuesday’s sunrise, with highs on Tuesday struggling to reach the 60°s, even with clear skies and sunshine throughout the day.  No doubt, you’ll notice the more-than-15° drop between today’s highs and those expected for tomorrow.

But the frontal passage will be a dry one.  We did have a few passing sprinkles earlier in the day, but those were tied to a weak trough ahead of the main front. 

So it’s cooler but sunny for Tuesday afternoon.  For Wednesday’s sunrise, we expect lows to be cooler still, with much of the Red Stick dipping into the mid to upper 30°s.  by Wednesday afternoon, however, we’ll get a bit of a rebound in temperatures under mainly sunny skies: look for highs on Wednesday in the mid to upper 60°s across the WAFB viewing area.

Another cold front rolls through the viewing area during the first half of the day on Thursday – and like this evening’s front, Thursday’s front will also be rain-free.  But the difference on Thursday is that the air mass behind the front will be much colder.  Many of us won’t make the 60°s for Thursday afternoon and the thermometer will fall dramatically through Thursday evening and into the overnight.  We’re calling for lows in the upper 20°s for the Red Stick on Friday morning, a harsh reminder that we are still in the heart of the winter season.  Friday stays cool all day long too, with Capital City highs only getting into the low 50°s.

For Friday evening’s Krewe of Southdowns, it stays dry but it will be quite chilly: parade time temperatures will be in the 40°s, possibly sneaking down into the upper 30°s by the parade’s end.  It’s a fun neighborhood parade and worth the time: just be sure to dress for it!

Into Saturday, it’s time for the sometimes bawdy and often irreverent Spanish Town Parade.  Be aware that the morning starts out chilly for early arrivers and krewe members, with sun-up temps in the mid 30°s.  By parade time, however, temperatures will have warmed into the mid 50°s.  And with afternoon highs around 60° to the low 60°s under mostly sunny skies, it should turn out to be quite a nice day, especially given the chillier Thursday and Friday afternoons.  Hey, it is February, after all!

In fact, we’ve got a third front moving from north-to-south through the lower Mississippi Valley during the latter half of Saturday, and once again, the outlook calls for it to be a dry front like the previous two during the work week.  That will mean another dose of cold, Canadian air by Sunday morning, with freezes possible for the northern half of the viewing area.  Sunday will be another fair-sky day, but out long-range guidance keeps highs in the 50°s for the afternoon.

So what about Lundi Gras (Monday) and Mardi Gras (Tuesday)?  For now, Monday looks pretty good but guidance is indicating a decent chance of rain to close the Carnival Season.

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