Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rainy, Chilly on Wednesday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- winter keeps hanging around the South
- rain a sure bet for Wednesday

As we expected, the freezing rain threat never really developed: not for a lack of cold but for a lack of overnight rain.  On the other hand, passing spritzes and sprinkles today were just enough to remind us that we had expected a mainly-dry afternoon with highs around 50° instead of the mid to upper 40°s.

We did get a few breaks in the clouds this afternoon, but they weren’t enough to allow a significant warm-up and those clouds will fill back in tonight as we slip down into the upper 30°s.  By sunrise on Wednesday, we should be seeing a return of isolated showers for the morning drive.  Most stay dry on their way to work, and temperatures will be too warm for any kind of wintry “stuff.”

We’ll stay chilly through the day on Wednesday, with highs topping out in the mid to upper 40°s for metro Baton Rouge.  And rain from mid-day into the late afternoon appears to be a near-certainty.  Indeed, we’re posting a somewhat rare 100% rain chance for the viewing area. 

We’re not anticipating heavy rains and we should get through the rain period with little if any thunder.  Most of our forecast models are trending towards rain totals tomorrow ranging from roughly 0.25” to 0.75” for just about everyone, so that shouldn’t be much of a problem either.

In case you were hoping otherwise, Ol’ Man Winter isn’t ready to make his exit just yet. 

Another winter storm system is expected to track across the South in the coming days.  It’s currently spinning over the Desert Southwest, and its winter weather forecast track has prompted a new series of watches, warning and advisories that extend from Texas to the Carolinas.  For Louisiana’s northern parishes, this go-around will likely be more of a snow-maker and less of an ice-maker that what they experienced over the past 24 hours.

We don’t anticipate any kind of winter weather concerns in our area this time: the winter action stays to the north.  However, our forecast has lows near or at freezing for Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings for the Red Stick.  Slow clearing on Thursday should allow temperatures to get into the low 50°s for the afternoon, but a reinforcing dry front between late Thursday and early Friday keeps the region chilly, with Friday afternoon highs barely making 50° for some WAFB communities even under fair to partly-cloudy skies.

Headed into the weekend, however, we’ll enjoy a warming trend that could have us in the 70°s by Sunday.  The nation’s signature upper-air pattern over the past two months or more has been “ridge over the west, trough over the east.”  That’s the set-up explaining the persistent cold in the eastern half of the country this winter as well as accounting for the record and near-record snows across parts of several midwestern and eastern states.  That upper-air pattern will begin a reversal by Saturday, with a modest ridge building over the southeastern U.S. as a deep trough digs over the western states.  Unfortunately, this won’t be a “dry” upper-level ridge pattern for us, as we’ll carry scattered rains in the forecast for Sunday and into early next week.


  1. Rain and sleet mix in east feliciana

  2. Hi Denise -- where in E. Feliciana? And would you be able to send a pic?