Friday, February 13, 2015

Nice Weekend, Turning Ugly for Mardi Gras

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- chilly this evening and a cold start for Saturday
- mild Saturday afternoon under sunny skies
- looking rather messy for Lundi Gras & Mardi Gras days

You may have seen Steve’s tweet earlier in the day. February 13-14 is the anniversary for what may well be the all-time recorded record cold snap for the entire Deep South. Set back in 1899, most stations with climate records back that far highlight the lows on these two dates as not only the all-time records for February, but the all-time record lows for any date. For Baton Rouge, the low dropped to a bone-chilling 2° -- lows dropped below -10° in some of our northern parishes, including the state’s all-time record low of -16° at Minden (NW Louisiana). Three words come to mind: “no thank you!”

We did dip just below freezing this morning, and it stayed cool through the day, with most WAFB neighborhoods topping out in the 50°s for the afternoon. If you are headed out this evening, be sure to dress for it: LSU Baseball, Southdowns Parade, or just a little evening relaxation will all be done with temps falling through the 40°s.

Saturday starts out cold, with mid 30°s on the board for sunrise in the Red Stick, but we’ll enjoy a nice warm-up through the day under mostly sunny skies. Temps should be in the mid 60°s by lunchtime -- and the start of the Spanish Town Parade -- with afternoon highs up around 70°.

A dry cold front slides through the state late Saturday into early Sunday. It won’t have much of an impact on Sunday morning’s lows -- expect low to mid 40°s for the BR metro area -- but highs on Sunday will only reach the low 60°s. (As an FYI, Plaquemine’s Krewe of Comogo has moved their parade up from Monday to Sunday evening, and the small Krewe of Old River their parade and field fun for the kids from Monday to Sunday at 11:00am.)

Why the changes? Because both Monday and Tuesday are looking wet. We’re currently going with 80° or better rain chances for both days, so plan accordingly for Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras.

Monday looks wet for most of the day but at least the temperatures should get into the 60°s. Sadly, the outlook for ‘Fat Tuesday’ is much uglier. While the rain looks like it will subside during the day, the temperatures aren’t likely to cooperate. The way things look right now, highs on Mardi Gras day will be in the 40°s, and the day’s warmest periods are likely to be in the morning. We’ve got temperatures falling through much of the day under gray skies. The afternoon readings could be in the 30°s.

We’ve taken the “winter mix” off the table for Wednesday morning, although Wednesday probably starts out with a light freeze. Skies clear through Wednesday and temperatures show a slow rebound into Thursday and Friday.

Try to get outdoors and enjoy Saturday’s mild weather!

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